The heroine of the movie What Men Want is Ali Davis, a successful sports agent. The only thing she lacks to be happy is to become a partner in her company. However, the promotion bypasses our heroine, among other things, because she moves poorly in the world of male desires and ambitions. Fart wants an accident at one of the girls’ parties, after which Ali begins to hear the thoughts of men. This unique gift allows her to climb her career ladder and win in a private field.
Taraji P. Henson is a very good actress, but here the script does not allow her to show herself from the good side. The poor foundation in the form of a poorly written heroine causes that the production star often runs aground with her acting aspirations. She just can’t find the golden point in this heroine full of forced extremes, and she charges too much in her screen shows again and again. Alternately, it is either overexpressed or too subdued, thanks to which the whole role balances on the border of self-parody and in a bad sense. In some of the scenes Henson manages to get out of this weak situation outlined by the scriptwriter defensively, but in most cases you can simply get tired of watching the next heroine exploits, and this should not be the case. The best way to create such a weak foundation in sketching a character would be simply to play with the role, but Henson unfortunately does not do this, which translates into poor reception of the whole of her performance. It is a pity, because during the screening I had the feeling in places that the actress was getting on track, but it passed quickly.
Unfortunately, the relationship between the main character and Will, a character played by Aldis Hodge, was also poorly built. You just don’t believe in the romantic bond that begins to connect them throughout history. There is absolutely no chemistry between the actors, which you can feel in virtually every scene. This romantic thread began to seem to me at some point in the film a simple, boring clog, which was created to outline the complex personality of the main character. However, the creators’ plan clearly failed, because this aspect only deepens the weakness of the material with which Henson collides in his actor’s journey. It is a pity, because it could be a quite efficient complement to the story, but you can not build something when there is no basic factor for development, that is, this tension and getting along between the characters. Hodge seems to be in this movie as a punishment and is almost every time dominated by Henson by her expressiveness, which the actress misses in this production.
The concept itself to reverse the idea known from the original and introduce a man who knows the thoughts of men to the male world is quite good and fresh (of course, if someone did not watch the original). However, the use of this idea by the creators does not always hit the point. The interesting foundation of history, which has a lot of potential to use it very well (or at least make it a good comedy), collapses under the flood of successive hilarious scenes. There are a few exceptions here, even in the sequence of a poker evening, but the vast majority of creators go with their sense of humor towards the effortless, not funny, and even embarrassing jokes. The whole try to save the actors, to a lesser extent Henson, to a greater extent even Tracy Morgan as the eccentric father of the future NBA star and Josh Brener, who plays the role of the main character’s assistant. The experienced actress tries to go beyond the poor material and as I have mentioned a few times it comes out, but Morgan and Brener play with more freedom and looseness, feeling good in the comedy repertoire. Glory to them because they really had nothing to work on.
What Men Want is another comedy that you will forget very soon after the screening and will not leave any emotions. Schematic, poorly written, with a low-impact story (with some exceptions). I do not recommend.
Source: main picture: press materials
What men want