What do Men want? I would think most women think we want to be left alone to just sit around, watch sports, and drink beer. Part of that is definitely true, but the new film What Men Want directed by Adam Shankman wants to explore that notion even further. I did not even realize it till recently but I tend to enjoy most of Shankman’s movies, even though they may not be cinematic pieces of art they are all relatively enjoyable. Movies such as: Bringin’ Down the House, The Pacifier (shoutout Vin Diesel), Cheaper by the Dozen 2, and who could forget his Hairspray adaptation. So he knows how to put together enjoyable comedic films that are easy to watch on a lazy saturday.
What Men Want is a remake to the 2000 Nancy Myers comedy What Women Want starring Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt (Juice Rating 43/100). Recently I watched WWW and it really felt extremely dated and I can completely understand why you would want to make people forget about this guy.
The danger with a movie like this though is that you fall into the trap of Ghostbusters, where remaking a man old movie with a new gender did not quite work. I am sorry to say that this movie did not quite fall into that trap, but it was by no means a special film.
The story is familiar Woman gets looked over for a promotion, in favor of a dim witted man, she takes drugs, drinks tea, bonks her head and BOOM she can hear what men are thinking at all times.
At first she feels wrong about this gift, until she of course learns to use it to her advantage in her career. In true Rom-Com fashion, everything goes wrong in a very public way, and then it all works out in the end. Again, this is all executed well by Shankman, it is just every formula and cliche we have seen before.
Stock Up – Taraji Henson plays our star Alison Davis (Ali) who is a self centered Sports Agent and learns to love the people around her. She is the best part of this movie and really surprised me with how funny she was the entire time. Her next movie The Best of Enemies looks great, so this could be a big year for her.
Stock Down – Tracy Morgan is someone I have never been a huge fan of even when he was on 30 Rock. He seems to have one form of comedy and even that I do not find funny. He plays a Lavar Ball type of dad to the potential number one draft pick, that Ali is trying to sign. Of course, his character is supposed to be annoying but he just takes it too far and I hardly laughed at anything he said.
Stock Up – Aldis Hodge I have been a fan of since his short stint on Friday Night Lights as Quarterback Voodoo Tatum. I have never been able to figure out what type of actor he is yet, but I thought this was a great first step for him. Just like Liam Hemsworth I was surprised by how funny he was and how in command he felt on the screen. He played the love interest for Ali and seemed to have a lot of fun in this. I look forward to whatever he is doing next.
Stock Neutral – Adam Shankman please continue to make movies like this, even if they are all not perfect, I think there is a place for turn off your brain comedies at the theatre.
*A Couple other tidbits
- Josh Brener AKA Big Head from Silicon Valley had some funny moments as Ali’s Assistant.
- Wendi McLendon-Covey (the mom from Goldbergs) was hilarious as always, and I hope she finds a way to start getting some bigger roles.
- Erykah Badu really went for it in this…
Overall I am happy they made this because it is better than the original (not a high bar), I just thought the script was pretty terrible, and corny. I also thought most of the performances outside Henson and Hodge were under par. There are better Rom-Com’s out there, but if you see this on TBS on a Sunday afternoon, maybe flip it on it will make you laugh.
Juice Rating: 51/100
*As always you can find all of my Movie Ratings here.