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What Women Want
DVD disk
Oct 7, 2004 By: Dr. Drew
What Women Want order
Director:
Nancy Meyers

Actors:
Mel Gibson
Helen Hunt
Marisa Tomei

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A male chauvinist (Mel Gibson) with an uncontrollable libido gets into a freak accident involving a hair dryer and a bathtub. After getting electrocuted and somehow escaping death, he realizes that he’s been given the power to listen in on women’s thoughts. While at first dreading his new found abilities, he eventually uses his skills to get into their heads, excel at his advertising job and score with the new chick at work (Helen Hunt).
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Bleeech! That’s basically all I need to say in describing my thoughts on this movie. For a supposed romantic comedy, I laughed at Mel Gibson’s antics a grand total of zero times and often found myself rolling my eyes at much of the supposed humor. The sad part is that while he’s easily one the better actors out in Hollywood, I wasn’t exactly impressed by his comedic talents. When he tries to pull off the frantic and confused look a la Jerry Lewis, he comes off looking like a drama school dropout. Do us all favor Mel and stick to your bread and butter...action or drama flicks! While this one is certainly not geared towards men, I question whether or not women will find his character charming or funny at all, I mean, the guy’s an absentee father and womanizing jerk. While he tries to change as the movie progresses, the transformation isn’t exactly well scripted and comes across as kind of unbelievable. I almost lost it when the movie decided to, completely out of nowhere, turn him into a sensitive suicide intervention expert. Yeah, right.

With that having been said, women will probably enjoy watching him prance around topless to Sinatra tunes for most of the movie. For this DVD reviewer, however, the shtick got horribly repetitive and irritating and came of as more a montage of music videos than an actual movie. I was really disappointed because given how interesting and original the premise is, it still managed to fall flat in the laughs and romance department. I don’t know, maybe it’s because I’m a guy in my 20’s, but a lot of it really didn’t work for me. Here’s my advice. For women who fall on the northern side of 30, get the gals together and give this one a shot because there’s a good chance you might actually like parts of the movie. But guys, take my warning and don’t let your girlfriend/wife/significant other drag you anywhere near this one, your funny bone and wallet will thank me later.
THE EXTRAS
I’m kind of confused over the inclusion of two separate "making of" documentaries and why they didn’t just combine them into one longer featurette is beyond me. The first one, “The Making of What Women Want” is a 16-minute candy coated extra which splices clips from the movie with interviews from people involved with the project. It comes off as more of a promotional piece which outlines the plot points and seems aimed towards selling moviegoers into checking out the film. Still, it was kind of sad to see Oscar winner Marisa Tomei, who’s since been taking some very crappy roles (ie: this movie), talk about her ditzy character and how much “fun” it was to play. Ouch.

Next up is “What Women Want: A Look Inside”, a 12-minute separate bonus which is pretty much self-explanatory. It’s got much more substance than the previous featurette and delves into interview highlights from all the women characters from the movie, including Tomei, Helen Hunt, Ashley Johnson and the Divine Miss M herself, Better Midler. It’s funny though, to listen to the director talk about how 60’s romance flicks inspired her to make this movie but then correct herself and say she doesn’t copy the formula. Sure. Two different theatrical trailers finish up the extras. The DVD’s main menu is actually really well done, highlighted by dialogue and video clips from the movie with full animation.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
If you’re looking for some lighthearted romantic comedy which offers great performances, lots of laughs and a good story, rent WHEN HARRY MET SALLY. This one on the other hand, leaves plenty to be desired although it does offer a half decent selection of added extras. If you’re stuck on a Friday night with nothing else to rent and you happen to be a woman, this one earns itself a “borderline rental” label. Otherwise, I’d suggest avoiding this one altogether.
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