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What Women Want

Synopsis

Nick Marshall (Mel Gibson) designated 'executive' in a Chicago advertising firm believes that he is a 'man's man' - a kind of man that even men look up to. And inculcates the habit of calling women 'baby' from his musical idol, Frank Sinatra. An ace at the job he performs, Nick is sure to be promoted Creative Director till Darcy Maguire (Helen Hunt) miraculously beats him to the chair. Darcy Maguire, nous in character is a woman who is all-focussed to aggressively importune the commercial women's market.

For Nick the best way to get an idea about a certain product is to use it and learn how it feels and what it is all about. And thus he progresses to employing the products himself when he encounters an atypical accident that provides him with the ability to actually hear what women think. Having felt cheated and resolute to win back the job he thinks is rightfully his, Nick uses his new talent and boon to his advantage. No sooner does he start beating Darcy at her own game that he realises that his smart, intelligent, and beautiful rival, is not all the "bitch on wheels" people make her out to be.
Also, this inimitable opportunity, helps him sort his estranged relationship with daughter Alex (Ashley Johnson) and gets him working on the multifarious relationship he shares with Lola, a coffee shop waitress. That's when he realises that he actually may be the only man successful at understanding what women want.

Analysis

The film features Mel Gibson in his first-ever romantic comedy. And though it's a bit difficult for one to picture him in such a role, the hunk has done more justice to the role than one can ever imagine. The film could however have done with a reworking on a few scenes that seemed sultry - like the one which captures Mel's 'forced' reaction with the appearance and disappearance of his new powers - seems clichéd and contrived. But all this compared to the other well-done elements of the film remains a little thing.

Performance wise, no complaints whatsoever. As far as Helen and Mel are concerned they deliver more they seem to promise. But a special mention goes out to Marisa Tomei (Lola), who even in a cameo performance executes an act par excellence.

The film generates a few honest laughs and Nancy Meyers has tried to strike a balance between the emotional aspects and humorous facets. With expectations of an enjoyable entertainer, Nancy Meyers doesn't fail to deliver on this one. Do catch it once and the discussions could well carry over three days over three rounds of hot beverage (if you may) at the coffee table.

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