So, what do men want?

24 February 2019 | Art and Entertainment

New at the movies this week, is What Men Want. And yes, the title does sound familiar because it's keeping with the script's inspiration – Nancy Meyers' 2000 hit, What Women Want starring Helen Hunt and Mel Gibson as a confident man's man who magically acquires the ability to hear women's thoughts.

In this version, sports agent Ali Davis (Taraji P. Henson) wonders what else she needs to do to succeed in a man's world when she is passed up for a well-deserved promotion. Hoping to find answers from a psychic, Ali drinks a weird concoction . Thereafter follows a blow to the head, and suddenly she can hear what men are thinking.

While she keeps her friends in the dark about her magical insights into the male mind, every man she meets, even the visiting sports idols, are susceptible to her amazing powers of telepathy, yielding light humour generally at the athletes' expense.

The setups supplied by director Adam Shankman and screenwriters Tina Gordon, Alex Gregory, and Peter Huyck are obvious throughout, but the punchlines are often chuckle-worthy and occasionally insightful.

Sadly, it's too bad the film isn't funnier. Henson nails the balance of Ali's outsize ambition and openness to change, but labours a bit at the wacky, Lucille Ball-style physical hijinks.

In a nutshell though, What Men Want proves a gender-swapped remake can work. It also shares some bright ideas about what it might take for a woman to stay true to herself and get ahead in a male-dominated field, especially a chest-thumping, ego-driven world like pro sports.

WE give it 2.5 out of 5. Two readers can win two tickets each to the movies this week. To par­ticipate, SMS WE to 51500 (at N$3 each).

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