What Women Want

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This article is about the 2000 film. For other uses, see What Women Want (disambiguation).
For the film What a Girl Wants, see What a Girl Wants (film).
What Women Want
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Nancy Meyers
Produced by
Written by
Music by Alan Silvestri
Cinematography Dean Cundey
Edited by Thomas J. Nordberg
Stephen A. Rotter
Carol Littleton
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release dates
  • December 15, 2000 (2000-12-15)
Running time
127 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $70 million[1]
Box office $374,111,707[1]

What Women Want is a 2000 American romantic comedy film, written by Josh Goldsmith, Cathy Yuspa and Diane Drake, directed by Nancy Meyers, and starring Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt. The film was a box office success with a North American domestic gross of US$182,811,707 and a worldwide gross of $374,111,707, against a budget of $70 million.


Nick Marshall, a Chicago advertising executive and alpha male, who grew up with his Las Vegas showgirl mother, is a chauvinist. He is skilled at selling to men and seducing women, including local coffee attendant Lola. Just as he thinks he's headed for a promotion, his manager, Dan, informs him that he is hiring Darcy McGuire instead, to broaden the firm's appeal to women.

Also, his estranged 15-year-old daughter Alexis Thomes is spending two weeks with him while his ex-wife Gigi goes on her honeymoon with her new husband. Alexis is embarrassed by Nick, and resents his being protective when he meets her boyfriend.

Needing to prove himself to Darcy and Dan, Nick attempts to think of copy for a series of feminine products that Darcy distributed at the day's staff meeting. Whilst singing to Meredith Brooks, he slips and falls into his bathtub while holding an electric hairdryer, shocking himself. The next day, Nick wakes up able to understand his maid's thoughts as she cleans his apartment. As he walks through a park and encounters numerous women, he realizes that he can hear their thoughts, even those of a female poodle. This proves to be an epiphany for him when he hears the thoughts of his female co-workers (some of whom have slept with him and regretted it). When he goes to a previous therapist, Dr. Perkins (who also disliked him), she realizes his gift: "If Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus, and you can speak Venutian, the world can be yours."

Nick eavesdrops on women's thoughts and uses their ideas as his own, but also begins to develop real friendships with his co-workers. But as he spends more time with Darcy, he is attracted to her. When he tries to get closer to his daughter, she resents him for trying after so many years of neglect. Nick shrewdly suspects that her boyfriend, who is considerably older than Alex, plans to sleep with her and then dump her, but she does not want Nick's advice. He is able to bond with her by helping her shop for a dress for a prom dance. He also uses his new telepathic power to irresistibly attract a woman who he sleeps with.

Nick and Darcy begin to spend more time together, and ultimately they kiss. When he manages to trump Darcy out of her idea for a new Nike ad campaign aimed at women, he later regrets his selfishness, especially as it leads to her being fired.

Nick loses his gift during a storm while trying to find a company secretary, Erin, who (his telepathic ability revealed) is contemplating suicide. He is also reconciled with his daughter when her boyfriend rejects her. Before going to Erin, Nick persuades his boss to give Darcy her job back by saying that it was all Darcy's idea. Nick finally visits Darcy and explains everything. (He later realizes he would get fired but doesn't mind.) She forgives him and agrees to save him from himself, to which he responds "My hero."



Critical response[edit]

Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 54%, based on 121 reviews, with an average rating of 5.7/10.[2]


For his portrayal of Nick Marshall, Mel Gibson was nominated for the Golden Globe award for Best Actor - Comedy. It won the ASCAP Award from ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards for "Top Box Office Films"—the recipient was Alan Silvestri, it received a Saturn Award nomination for "Best Fantasy Film" from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA. From The Blockbuster Entertainment Awards, Hunt won Favorite Actress in a Comedy/Romance, Gibson was nominated for Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Actor - Comedy/Romance, Mark Feuerstein received a nomination for Favorite Supporting Actor - Comedy/Romance and Marisa Tomei received a nomination for Favorite Supporting Actress -Comedy/Romance. The film also won the Bogey Award in Platin from the Bogey Awards, Germany. It was also Nominated for the Best Casting for Feature Film, Comedy from the Casting Society of America, USA. It received the Golden Screen Award, Germany. It also garnered a nomination for Golden Satellite Award for Tomei for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role, Comedy or Musical, as well as a nomination for Ashley Johnson from the Young Artist Awards.


In 2009 the website Pajiba published an article claiming that an inside source had told them that producer and scriptwriter Peter Chiarelli had been currently writing a sequel entitled What Men Want, which would re-imagine the concept from the viewpoint of a women who could hear men's thoughts.[3] They also claimed that Cameron Diaz was to star as its lead.[4] As of 2015 there has been no further development news for the rumored sequel has been released and the film, if it was in development, is likely in development hell.


A Chinese remake directed by Chen Daming starring Andy Lau and Gong Li was released in 2011.[5]

In popular culture[edit]


  1. ^ a b "What Women Want (2000)". Box Office Mojo. IMDB. May 13, 2001. Retrieved November 9, 2012. 
  2. ^ http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/what_women_want/
  3. ^ Rowles, Dustin. "Pajiba Exclusive: The Second Biggest Rom-Com of All Time Gets a Sequel". Pajiba. Retrieved 21 October 2015. 
  4. ^ Tyler, Josh. "Cameron Diaz Remaking Mel Gibson's What Women Want?". Cinema Blend. Retrieved 21 October 2015. 
  5. ^ "What Women Want (我知女人心)". Film Business Asia. March 1, 2011. Retrieved March 2, 2011. 

External links[edit]