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What Women Want

movie reviewmovie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: What Women Want

Starring: Mel Gibson, Helen Hunt
Director: Nancy Meyers
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 123 Minutes
Release Date: December 2000
Genre: Comedy

*Also starring: Alan Alda, Delta Burke, Ana Gasteyer, Lauren Holly, Bette Midler, Marisa Tomei, Mark Feuerstein

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Review by Susan Granger
3½ stars out of 4

In this appealing romantic comedy, Mel Gibson stars as the ultimate man's man, an arrogant chauvinist ad executive who hasn't a clue what women are about. Just ask his ex-wife (Lauren Holly) and 15 year-old daughter (Ashley Johnson). So when his boss (Alan Alda) chooses a woman (Helen Hunt) as the agency's new Creative Director, a job he thought he had in his hip pocket, he's chagrined, particularly when she gives everyone a pink box full of feminine products, assigning them to come up with ideas. That night, after a hilarious scene in which he's waxing his legs, wriggling into pantyhose, and trying on a Wonderbra, he's almost electrocuted - but the shock opens up a new world. Suddenly, inexplicably, he can hear what women are thinking - and often what they're musing is what a jerk he is. Thoroughly rattled, he consults a therapist (Bette Midler), who says when Freud died, he still wondered "What do women want?" "If you know the answer, you can rule!" she tells him. Soon he does, coming up with clever ideas, stolen from Helen Hunt's mind, astounding everyone about how sensitive and perceptive he's become. And so it goes. Mel Gibson is sensational: captivating when he's dancing to Sinatra's music and charming when he's poking fun at his own manly image. Director/producer Nancy Meyers with writers Josh Goldsmith, Cathy Yuspa and Diane Drake have revived the battle-of-the-sexes genre, perfected by Spencer Tracy & Katharine Hepburn - only Gibson's more like Cary Grant. The ensemble acting is terrific and the father/daughter relationship scores. Only the ending drags a bit. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "What Women Want" is a smart, sassy, sexy 9. Don't miss this funny, funny mind game - it scores!

Copyright 2000 Susan Granger

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