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What Women Want (2000)

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Some have suggested that interpersonal relations between the sexes would work much more smoothly if only they had translators. Mars and Venus could continue to speak their native languages while also understanding each other. I'm inclined to think -- and apparently I'm not alone on this -- that much of this miscommunication stems from people simply not saying exactly what they mean. Thus the question: what if Mars could hear Venus' internal dialogue?

What Women Want What Women Want is a comic exploration of a wonderfully fascinating question. Nick Marshall (Mel Gibson) is a high-powered advertising executive, having produced one hit ad after another. The quintessential man's man, he has given voice to products that speak to men and their needs for identification and validation, all in very macho ways, of course. His success has put him on the fast track to a senior position in his firm. Trouble comes when the firm realizes that it will be dead in the water if it cannot speak to female buyers. The firm's successes, led by scantily-clad women peddling beer as orchestrated by Nick are an unlikely path to long-term success.

Enter Darcy McGuire (Helen Hunt): another high-powered advertising executive who joins the firm and heads its foray into the world of advertising to women. As Nick attempts to find his way into the mind of the female consumer, he experiences the kind of freak accident that one sees only in comic books and movies requiring explanation for some amazing power bestowed on the hero. Nick awakes to find himself able to hear the thoughts of the women around him.

I found the presentation amusing enough to stay engaged. The main characters were given enough room to develop and even Nick -- a complete and utter pinhead by any remotely objective measurement -- managed to make himself likeable by the time it was all over. My affinity for Nick is directly tied to what he did with his newfound insights: he used them to improve himself and to the advantage of those around him. Though he struggled with the transformation, he developed empathy and showed that even he could be come genteel.

The question I'm ultimately left with is how many of us would do so well if given such insight.

Created by cmcurtin
Last modified 2005-04-12 02:26 PM
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