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What Men Want - Review

In the remake of the 2000 rom-com What Women Want, Taraji P. Henson uses her comedy magic to entertain viewers from start to finish



What Men Want follows the story of a power-hungry, motivated woman who works as a sport agent. Overshadowed by her male colleagues, Ali (Henson) begins to question how she can succeed in a man's world. During an encounter with a crazy psychic, she gains the ability to hear men's inner thoughts and uses this to her advantage. She truly works out 'what men want'.


It's no doubt that What Men Want is a funny film. With comedy veterans such as Tracy Morgan and Wendi-McLendon Covey starring as supporting roles, it was sure to have people giggling in their seats. I think the reason this film works in the way that it does is because the comedy is drawn from Ali's ability to read men's thoughts: they're crude, they're cheeky, they're completely taboo. And that's what makes it so funny. I guess the entire gender of women (and men also) are always entirely intrigued to find out a man's inner thought really is.


Henson's performance really is the highlight of the movie. She's, of course, a very versatile actress. My favourite role of hers is definitely as mathematician Katherine Johnson in Hidden Figures. Though I do enjoy seeing Cookie Lyon on my screen every week when I watch Empire. Henson's character was very much like Cookie Lyon: sassy, dominant and very much misguided. Ali works so hard to put herself first that she denies close relationships with her friends, coworkers and lovers. She gains confidence when given the power to read the minds of men but it's an overconfidence. Only when she loses her powers does she realise how much she values these relationships. And that she must evolve as a person in order to further her career and her love life.


There was some great discussion of feminism and female representation in the workplace. Especially in one of the opening scenes based in an office conference room where only two women can be seen. Despite choosing to go down a 'safe' route, it takes some time to explore bias against women. Ali is ignored and disregarded by her male coworkers countless times in the movie. It's the entire basis of the plot - she wants to sign the biggest star in order to prove she can match the power of her male counterparts. It was a clear representation of how hard women must work in order to be recognised in the same way to men. And in the end, Ali chooses not to follow the option given by her male superior and decides to create her own sports agency. A win for Ali and a win for women.


Thoughts?


What Men Want infuses a little bit of fantasy with a little bit of romance in order to create a compelling comedy that most viewers will enjoy.


6.5/10


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