What Women Want (2000)
Main cast: Mel Gibson (Nick Marshall) and Helen Hunt (Darcy Maguire)
Director: Nancy Meyers

Is there anything more repulsive than a blatantly calculated movie aimed at women? What Women Want succeeds where Oprah Winfrey and the entire women's magazine staff of New York couldn't despite their best efforts - demonizing the entire female species as shallow, clueless, insecure, and neurotic one-dimensional creatures who live only to nab a man and change him to her measurements. Can a movie get any viler than that?

Well, it has Helen Hunt, that bland poster-girl for Oxygen. Oops.

Mel Gibson plays a disgruntled executive whose chance at promotion is nabbed by Darcy. After an electrocution gives him an ability to read women's minds, he decides to get even with Darcy.

Naturally he falls in love with her. The end.

But really, this movie is vile. Darcy might as well be a Cosmo blow-up doll for all the personality she displays, which fits right to a T the definition of a Modern Woman according to these women's mag. A modern woman whose sole ambition is Success in career, hit biological clock, and panic because there isn't a man in her life. Darcy is not only not a match for Nick, she actually collapses in the face of adversity. Oh, she got a man in the end - and since she has also attained her career aims, toss her self-respect - honey, she got a man! Woo-hoo!

If Nick is an odious character, that's because the script makes him that way. Every woman panders to him shamelessly in this movie. But hey, I do feel sorry for him too, because the movie humiliates him mercilessly in its notion that a woman wants get a man just to change her man. Nick is made to wear women's stockings and learns to be sensitive. Where the movie could've stopped at making him learn to be a better person, it proceeds further, making him in effect a woman at the end of the movie.

In doing so, WWW mocks both men and women, dumbing down the relationship dynamics between a man and woman into a new low that is never seen since Nora Ephron released that gutter material called You've Got Mail. WWW sinks even lower in its stupid adherence to pop psychology only shrinks wanting to sell books and editors wanting to sell magazines would take seriously, making its exploitation of the chick flick market even more unpalatable.

Nora Ephron, watch your back. A new hack's in town.

Rating: 01

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