DIRECTOR: Adam Shankman
STARRING: Taraji P. Henson as Ali Davis; Aldis Hodge as Will; Josh Brener as Brandon Wallace; Chris Witaske as Eddie; Max Greenfield as Kevin Myrtle; Paul B. Johnson as Scott; Brian Bosworth as Nick Ivers; Kausar Mohammed as Jenna Abbiddi; Richard Roundtree as Skip Davis; Tracy Morgan as Joe 'Dolla' Barry; Shane Paul McGhie as Jamal Barry; Phoebe Robinson as Ciarra; Wendi McLendon-Covey as Olivia; Tamala Jones as Mari; Erykah Badu as Sister; Pete Davidson as Staff Worker
RUNTIME: 117 mins
Adam Shankman, the director for this movie is an American film director, producer, dancer, author, actor and choreographer. He has featured prominently as a judge in the television series’ program, “So You Can Dance.” In a recent interview, he revealed that regardless of what project he’s working on, music and rhythm always guided his choices. In his own words, he said: “I naturally associate every character I’ve worked on with an instrument. In that way, a script becomes kind of like a score.Thinking this way comes very naturally to me. I mean, I’m the idiot who doesn’t care that there are cameras all around; I will dance when I’m alone in an elevator. I’ll try out steps and am completely unashamed of that.” We can fully assert that in the directing of this movie, Shankman made use of these guiding principles.
“What Men Want” is a comedy and a gender remake of the 2000 Mel Gibson movie “What Women Want.” Taraji P. Henson plays Ali Davis, an ambitious and a successful sports agent who is constantly boxed out by her male counterparts. She was unfairly overlooked for a well-deserved promotion; which prompted her to reconsider her chances of surviving in a man’s world. In a bid to find solution to this, she drinks a“Haitian” herbal tea that shifted her perspective and gave her ability to hear what men are thinking. With this new found power, Ali races to sign the next basketball superstar ahead of her male counterparts but this new goal comes with a lot of intrigues.
The movie “What Men Want” is a simple, predictable but remarkable movie which dwells on a woman who is expected to understand her own feelings and thoughts. She is quite aware of what is expected of her as she had a foretaste of what living in a man’s world entail. She was raised by her father, Skip Davis who brought her up tough and she was always ready to take up her boxing gloves and get into the ring to have a chat with him, whenever she is bothered about any issue. He apologizes whenever necessary and tries to help through personal issues especially when she had to deal with emotional issues that centered on her love interest with Aldis Hodge (Will).
Will was a man who believed that all women needed to be accorded respect; which was contrary to the thought system of the other men in the movie. He is loyal and faithful. This tells us much that in a society of ours where women are ridiculed, it is the responsibility of a well thoughtful man to stand in defiance of such anomaly and portray the importance of valuing the self-worth of others, honesty and extending forgiveness to those who might have wronged us.
However, one might want to raise eyebrow about the sexual scenes showed in the movie. There was a scene where Ali was pictured with a bra and Will was shirtless; it was clear that the duo were naked in bed (though they were under sheets). But unfortunately, Ali’s underwear was used as a mask by Will’s son the next morning after Ali and Will both had sex. Not many parents would want their kids to see such strong sexual scenes. The use of sexual languages, infidelity, male and female anatomy, careless sex (both homosexual and heterosexual), sex with parents, masturbation, genital piercings, strippers, bodily fluids, impotence, sexual satisfaction, anal and oral sex and other anatomical references could be too much to handle for a kid.
Sex discrimination was also an issue in the movie. Ali was told to stay in her lane by her boss especially when it comes to work. And she was often overlooked for work functions purely because of her gender. The violent content of the movie raises a lot of concern too as we had to deal with violent fights between women, men with some even taking hits on the face. The use of vulgar words was predominantly used as derisive words were used on women and other profanities included the use of f-word and other several crude hand gestures.
Ali, in the movie, uses people (both men and women) to her own advantage. She feels indifferent about the feelings and hurts of others and focuses mainly on what benefits her. Many other characters in the movie also cheat and lie to take things at the expense of others. These and many more were elements the movie pushed. And frustratingly, gender discrimination was dominant all through the workplace and in the workers’ conversations.
What Do Men Really Want? This film gives the answer to it all. It shows the guts and will-power a woman needs to survive in the taunting world of men. While we are being exposed to the sensitive side of women; we could also visibly see the wild thoughts of men which are far from amazing. But one very element that can’t be taken away from the movie is the hilarious aspect the movie brings to bare; one can’t help but laugh as the intrigues unfold. The movie is surely an eye opener and we can’t but applaud Shankman for this thriller.