What Women Want (2000)

(In theaters, March 2001) It’s not easy for an actor to grow old, but Mel Gibson has done so enviably well, enhancing a tough-guy image with considerable willingness to play quirky roles and hard-won charm tempered with age. In short, he’s the perfect lead for What Women Want, a gender-driven comedy about an uber-macho with the sudden power to read women’s minds. Fantasy-lite concept handled with some rough skill, though a promising first half eventually peters out in traditional dramatic arcs, including a few long-foreshadowed life crises. It’s not even a passable script overall, with Marisa Tomei pretty much used as a one-joke character despite the overall creepiness factor. Well, at least it’s good to see her in another big-budget role again. But, overall, What Women Want is pretty much what the audience wants, and if it doesn’t really go anywhere new or fresh, at least it’s reasonably entertaining up until the last fifteen saccharine minutes.

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