Throughout the history of time, women have a common stance that men do not understand them. That men see women as sex objects, and that they can not figure out a woman’s psyche. But with the 2000 film “What Women Want”, that age old question has been answered. Somewhat. The film has a unique story and the lead actors are good, but the pacing drags making the movie go slow, and certain story elements to become bothersome. “What Women Want” is interesting to watch, but it gets sidetracked way too quickly.
The story has Nick Marshall (Mel Gibson) as a head of a marketing agency. Nick is the ultimate cool guy: he knows his business, he knows his job, and most importantly: he knows his taste of women. One day, a woman named Darcy Maguire (Helen Hunt) has become creative director, which upsets Nick as he wanted that position badly. Darcy gives everyone, including Nick, a box of items that mainly appeal to women: pantyhose, lipstick, etc. Nick gets drunk that night while actually testing the products, and electrocutes himself. The next morning, Nick wakes up and suddenly hears what women are thinking. Now that he has this ability, Nick uses this gift to head back to the top.
“What Women Want” is an okay romantic comedy that delves into the psychology of women. The story, for the most part, sets itself really well by having a man hear what women think. The cast is pretty good, especially from Gibson and Hunt, and the supporting cast does a fine job as well. Director Nancy Meyers is the perfect choice for directing the movie as she handles the production very well. The music by Alan Silvestri is a throwback to the romantic comedies of the 1950s and 1960s, which suits the movie well. The sets look real to fit the location of Chicago, the costumes fit the actors perfectly, and everything just seems to fit into place.
With that being said, though, there are some major problems with the film. First of all, the story has too many subplots. We have the subplot with the emotional daughter who doesn’t understand her dad. We have the subplot with the girlfriend with the lead character. We have the secretary who has suicidal doubts. You get the picture. Because there are a lot of interconnecting stories, this leads to the second major problem of the film: the pacing. The pacing is ungodly slow, making the movie longer than it should, and this happens the most during the third act. If the film had been cut by at least five to ten minutes, then the movie as a whole would have worked.
In conclusion, “What Women Want” is an interesting movie, but the overall feeling that this movie brings is slow and drags on what seems like forever.