"If Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus, and you speak Venutian, the world can be yours."What Women Want
is a 2000 comedy starring Mel Gibson
as Nick Marshall, an advertising executive who holds a really strong "Alpha Male" outlook on life, thanks to having a Vegas showgirl for a mother. He's skilled at marketing products to men, as well as romancing numerous women. Word at his agency is his boss Dan Wanamaker (Alan Alda) is looking for a new creative director, and Nick is convinced it'll be him, but it turns out he's hired Darcy McGuire (Helen Hunt), so as to broaden their appeal to women.
Further complicating matters is his divorced wife Gigi (Lauren Holly) has asked him to take care of their teenaged daughter Alex (Ashley Johnson
) while she goes on honeymoon with her new husband. And Alex has a much-older boyfriend, who she's embarrassed to be with in her father's presence.
One day, as part of a marketing assignment, Nick is trying out several women's products when he slips and falls into the bathtub with a hairdryer. When he awakens, he finds himself able to hear the thoughts of every woman around him. He's horrified, but after a meeting with his former marriage counselor (Bette Midler), he starts to see his telepathy as a gift, and he peruses the thoughts of women, including Darcy, to not only get ahead in marketing feminine products, but also in becoming closer with his female coworkers as well as his daughter.
In 2011, a remake
was made in China under the title 我知女人心 ("I know women's hearts"), starring Andy Lau
and Gong Li
Tropes featured in this film include:
- A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Read: Nick thinks this way until he starts using it to get ahead at his job and improve his relationships with other women, including his daughter.
- An Aesop
- The Casanova: Nick is a notorious playboy. He gets better.
- Character Development: At first, Nick uses his powers to sleep with a stubborn but hot coffee girl and phase Darcy out of her job, but as he continues he uses it to be a better father and help Erin the File Girl.
- Chick Flick: Totally.
- Cursed with Awesome / Blessed with Suck: For a strong willed guy like Nick who has the ability to change his ways or manipulate women into doing what he wants this power is awesome. However, for a weaker man the knowledge that every woman hates you constantly forcing its way into your brain would probably leave you an emotional cripple.
- Dirty Mind Reading
- Dyeing For Your Art
- Electrified Bathtub: How Nick inexplicably gets his powers.
- Guardian Angel: In the end, when Nick hurries to stop Erin from committing suicide, a woman appears to point him in the right direction, and at the same time takes away his mind-reading power. It is clear to the viewer that she is on the case, showing where Nick's power comes from and why.
- Lady Killer In Love: Nick, by the end of the film.
- Licensed Sexist: Nick is a subversion of this, being the "Alpha Male" and all.
- Lightning Can Do Anything
- Mistaken for Gay / All the Good Men Are Gay: The coffee girl Nick sleeps with and then forgets about later confronts him, saying that he was so sweet and so sensitive that he just had to be gay and that was why he didn't call her. Nick chooses to lie and confirm this, pretending that she's his Last Het Romance, just so she won't think she's undesirable.
- Also, Nick's coworker finds out a woman in the office thinks he's overpaid...and gay.
- Plucky Office Girl: Erin the File Girl.
- Sassy Black Woman: Flo.
- Survival Mantra: "Don't fall for a guy at work...don't fall for a guy at work..."