44- “What Women Want” #52PickUp

For this installment, I went to one of the only romantic comedies that I’d ever enjoyed, and that is the 2000 film:


Yup. What Women Want is one of my all-time favorite “chick flicks,” but to be frank, that list isn’t drastically long. I’m a fan of two types of romantic comedies: ones that are from the male perspective (like this one), or ones that have a cool, fantastical premise (oh hey, like this one too!).

There’s nothing wrong with the female-led perspective films, I just tend to find them passable for the most part. The genre itself doesn’t scream originality, but hey, that’s not the Modus Operandi, and I get that, and so it naturally takes that type of twist to make it enjoyable for me.  Another example is the cult classic Love Potion #9, of which I had only recently seen.

What Women Want opens with a chauvinistic pig, Nick Marshall (played by Mel Gibson), who consistently does great at his job at an advertising agency; except that he’s always late, rarely seems to care about anyone but himself, and is a major sexist.

So when an opening arises in the Creative Manager position, he expects to get it, except that a competitor’s top performer, just left and joined Nick’s company in the new role… and she’s a woman!

Nick goes into pissing contest mode, and fights to get her fired, which is accelerated when Nick, the most crude man in the world, gets the magical gift to read women’s thoughts.

The story is silly, but well written, and I found myself laughing out loud at it on this viewing. Some of the cruder jokes resonated with me on a deeper level this time, so it was nice to watch this film again.

Bonus: Did you know that the Chinese market loved this film and they remade it in 2011?

Where/ when did I first see it?

I first watched this as I did many movies of this time, renting it at our local Video Market in 2001.

How does it hold up?

As I mentioned before, I laughed more than I thought I would, and enjoyed the film a great deal on this viewing. This movie wasn’t going to be in my initial run of #52PickUp, but honestly, it was a refreshing laugh that I wasn’t expecting.

The script is tighter than I remember– formulaic at times, yes, but nevertheless, the writing is solid. The acting is fun; I especially loved seeing Ashley Johnson (Up at Noon) and Judy Greer both of which I followed closely due to these roles (even though I knew Ashley as Chrissy Seaver.

What did I like about it and why?

It was geared towards men more, and I liked it for that. For once, I was able to relate to a romantic comedy in a way which I never could. We rented everything under the sun at the Video Market; we watched so many films. So yeah, in the exhaustion of regurgitated themes and plot threads, it was a nice change of pace.

Lessons Learned?

  1. Judy Greer is one of the most under appreciated actresses ever.
  2. Mel Gibson should have listened more and kept his mouth shut…
  3. This power would be insanely helpful in life, but only if you could turn it off at will.
Ooh la la!

Where can you see it?

Check out What Women Want on CanIStream.It?

-Jamie (@GuyOnAWire)


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