June 20, 2024

Opinion: “What Men Want” lacks expected comedic value

Charlie Higdon gives his thoughts on the film “What Men Want.”

Do you ever look at someone and wonder “What is going on in their mind?” There have been many films taking a look into the mind of an individual. If people had the ability to understand a person’s mind, then we could gain a better understanding of each other and get along well. In 2000, Paramount Pictures gave us a possibility of understanding others. In the film, “What Women Want,” Mel Gibson plays a chauvinistic bachelor working with advertisements and the ladies, but all of that changes when he goes through a near-death experience. Though he survives, he gains the ability to hear women’s thoughts and he uses it to see how to gain more attention from women. However, along the way he gains an understanding of them, even adapting to a more feminine side. This February, Paramount Pictures and BET Films are bringing back this romantic and comedic story, but this time the tables have turned as one woman climbs to the top by exposing the inner thoughts of men.

The Story

From the producers of “Girls Trip” and “Ride Long” comes the story of Ali Davis, a hard-working sports agent played by Taraji P. Henson. Davis considers herself one of the top recruiting agents in Atlanta with many clients to back her up. However, she feels boxed in as a woman in a man’s profession. She loses her chance to be a partner of the agency because of a man, so she attempts to recruit the latest athlete from Georgia Tech to regain her status; however, the father of the athlete, played by Tracy Morgan, does not trust a woman to lead the way. After seeking help from a psychic, along with drinking a drug-induced tea, she finds herself having the night of her life, until she knocks herself out and wakes up in the hospital. Davis feels as if she has hit an all-time low. Though, she finds a small ray of hope: she can hear men’s thoughts.  With this new power, she plans to take the men at the agency down and rise to the top of the sports industry.

My Thoughts

There were several things that came to mind about “What Men Want.” Considering the efforts of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movement, this film did not feel like a comedy, but more like a display of radical propaganda. As I was watching the film, there were some points proving the perspective. When Davis begins to use her power, most of the men’s thoughts were either masculine comments on the physical appearances of themselves and women or something stupid. This film displays general stereotypes of men and their superiority with all the jokes centered around it, and it hardly earned laughs from the audiences.

The plot of the film was mediocre, giving audiences the redundant archetype of the romantic comedy. In most films, the main character tries to achieve something throughout the film, however, a love interest will come along and change all of it. The main character may not get what they requested, in the end, but a romance blooms and there is a happily ever after. Unfortunately, this was the case with “What Men Want.” Its plot is the basic formula of a romantic comedy, failing to give audiences something new and exciting to look forward to.

Lastly, the acting of the lead roles needed definite improvement. I applaud Henson for taking the lead in the film; however, based on her acting experience, she played the kind of character that is a push over, and when she gains her power, she will enjoy it at first, then she won’t want it once it goes too far. Morgan’s character was beyond flat, playing a man with only two personalities: a chauvinistic male, and a father who is sponging off his son’s athletic success. This film does offer a cast of familiar faces in both acting and sports, but most of them appeared to be dull and unappealing for the occasional movie goer.

I certainly did not find understanding of others in “What Men Want.” This remake is a mockery of the value of the original film. The comedy was too blunt, especially coming from the lead actors. Of course, this film could be seen in a different perspective. This is the type of film for women to see during a girls night out; but, outside of that, I would let this fly right over your head. The film does not reach other demographics. I am giving “What Men Want” a rating of 3 out of 10.


Edited by: Grace Goodacre and Kaitlin Flippo

Featured image courtesy of Pexels