What Men Want: Review by @Kush_Hayes
One of the worst things a comedy can do is: Be too long.
Another thing it can also do is: Not be funny.
What Men Want, starring Taraji P Henson and directed by Adam Shankman is both. One of the problems is the source material from 2000, What Women Want, starring Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt, wasnt a strong premise to begin with. It was already that cookie-cutter bland Hollywood Rom-Com that would pacify the wife or girlfriend for two hours on date night. And because of a bunch of factors, including its stars for the time, it would go on to be a hit. Mission accomplished.
No one is bad in this. But aside from time length, making pacing a problem, tone is all off as well. Its cast with a lots of funny people who have good comedy timing, including its star Henson. But its the flow, its the fact that you really dont like the character. Hell, the characters friends dont like her. You dont feel sorry for her when as displayed in the trailer she doesnt get the partnership, or that her boss specifically didnt give it to her because her personality… oh and in his case her gender as well.
Once she gets her gift, its a lot of funny Additional Recording for the guys inner monologues, but even then when the plan is to use it to her advantage in the work world, things just fall apart anyway. Ultimately she loses her telepathy the same way she received it, ala good ol fashioned Giligans Island style head trauma and thats after shes ruined her friends life and betrayed confidence and trust amongst everyone close to her.
Eventually things work out in the end for everyone, lessons are learned, ends are tied up, opportunities are created, except the opportunity for this to be a good movie.
Thanks to an anomaly in architecture, in a row of five, I was in the center seat and still had my privacy, however, the couple on the left of me, left early at the 45 mins mark of the 119 mins movie. The couple on the right of me got bored and started making out, getting a little heavy to the point I moved over to the abandoned seats on my left. The audience that was focused on the movie, laughed only in a few places. But never with anyone else at the same time. It was strange how spread out amongst everyone the humor was.
Director Shankman is no slouch to this kind of movie. Aside from TV and music videos, he knows how to make a movie like this entertaining. His resume has several crowd pleasing hits on it as well.
I keep hammering the movies length as a problem, not just with the story, but eventually this is going to broadcast on commercial television. You can always censor the graphic and raunchy language, but its still going to need to be two hours with its commercials. While theres lots of opportunity for commercial breaks in this movie, you have to drop a whole story line to edit it for terrestrial tv.
You can argue Tracy Morgan is the biggest name in this movie, but hes a supporting character that doesnt need to be on the poster as he isnt the love interest. Again, his tone is all off, sometimes he is The Cartoon Tracy Morgan, sometimes, hes a concerned father looking out for his son, sometimes hes a puppet to his overpowering wife (thats only around for one scene and never mentioned again).
There are jokes in this that land. Each joke lands differently with different people. Some of it is raunchy. I dont find that a problem, but most of them just dont land. Plenty of sexual situations, but no nudity. Which would be easy to play off for humor.
Unless youre just freaks like the couple on my right, this date movie can wait for streaming.
Two out of Six Blueberries.