8:00 PM, 11th August, 2001
Mel Gibson is Nick Marshall, a wealthy, chauvinist, yobbo, advertising executive expecting a promotion to land on his lap. Naturally, Nick is a little disgruntled when Darcy McGuire (Helen Hunt) is given the job he's expecting, and even more disgruntled when he finds out his company wants to target the young female market rather than the T & A market he specializes in. This attitude begins to change shortly after an incident between Mel, a hair dryer and a bathtub leaves him with the ability to hear the thoughts of women around him. Hilarity ensues. When the scriptwriters run short on hilarity they bring in a love story between Mel and Hel. Throw in some bits about Mel the single dad with a teenage daughter and that's the lot.
What Women Want is the only movie I have ever seen that manages to be both a yobbo comedy and a chick flick. What's even more surprising is that it manages this by dressing Mel Gibson in women's underwear and screwing over Helen Hunt (no pun intended). If you like Mel Gibson then come and laugh along with him, if you hate Mel Gibson come and laugh at him, either way, What Women Want has something for everybody.
10:06 PM, 11th August, 2001
Have you ever wondered why the black characters are always on good terms with the paranormal, but act only as guides? Whoopi Goldberg in Ghost, Will Smith in The Legend of Bagger Vance and now Don Cheadle in The Family Man. They're all for Demi Moore, Matt Damon and Nicolas Cage, always the medium - never the message. In The Family Man, Cage plays Jack Campbell, a businessman ruled by his career. He has no personal life, works on Christmas Eve and doesn't even return calls from old girlfriends, Kate Reynolds (Leoni). In 1987, we learn, Jack flew away for a year, even though Kate begged him to stay. She feared if he left, they'd never get married. She was right.
Now, thanks to his taxi driver (Cheadle), Jack falls asleep wealthy bachelor, awakens married to Kate and father of two children and dog owner. One of these is now slobbering all over him (I'll leave you to figure out who).
The basis of the movie is Cage's realisation that his other life has disappeared, he's now a family man, and has been given the opportunity to experience all that he missed by putting his career ahead of personal goals. I liked the movie, liked Cage, liked Leoni, smiled a lot, laughed, cried and all and but I was having a parallel-life experience of my own. I kept remembering a movie named Me, Myself, I which did a more persuasive and thoughtful job of considering, more or less, the same plot. The movie is sweet, light entertainment, but could have been more.