• Follow us

Movies

‘What Men Want’ Review: Toothless Retread Flips the Genders but Not the Script

Taraji P. Henson powers through the comic clichés of What Men Want like a supernova engine that could. She’s a hot-wired riot, but her movie stalls almost as soon as it starts. It’s a gender flip on What Women Want, the nearly two-decades-old Nancy Meyers rom-com in which Mel Gibson (before he was revealed to be a raging bigot) played a piggish Chicago ad exec suddenly able to hear what women are thinking — which is nothing positive about him. In this inverted update, Henson plays Ali Davis, a hard-driving Atlanta sports agent who gets inside the heads of the boys’ clubbers who’ve been keeping her down for years. Their thoughts about women don’t go much deeper than “I gotta tap that.” But What Men Want, directed by Adam Shankman (Hairspray) from a worked-over script by Tina Gordon, Peter Hyuck and Alex Gregory, keeps promising a this-just-in relevance it can’t deliver. Giving old jokes a cosmetic facelift doesn’t make the gags any fresher; it just makes you wish someone could have really rethought the concept for the way we live now.

Instead, Henson plays all the usual male stereotypes as a woman. The workaholic, ruthlessly competitive Ali — pronounced like champ Mohammad’s last name, since her pro-boxer dad (Richard Roundtree) named her after him — drinks hard and plays harder. She browbeats her gay assistant, Brandon (Josh Brener), and mounts every guy she takes to bed, rolling over after two minutes, totally uninterested in their satisfaction. Ali even neglects her gal pals (Wendi McLendon-Covey, Phoebe Robinson, Tamala Jones), the ones who set her up with a weed-hustling psychic named Sister (played with go-for-broke gusto by Erykah Badu, who seems to having more fun than anybody). Sister gives Ali some kind of funky Haitian herbal tea, which leads to Ali falling and conking her head. Voilà — she can hear men thinking, a polite word for what’s in their craniums.

Related Reviews Oscars 2019: Breaking Down the Nominations, or This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things ‘The Last O.G.’: Tracy Morgan and Tiffany Haddish on Their Painfully Funny Sitcom

The central plot spins around a challenge: Can Ali, who hasn’t landed any talent from the NFL, MLB or NBA, finally make partner by signing rising basketball star Jamal Barry (Shane Paul McGhie). The hitch is that Jamal’s father, Joe “Dolla” Barry (Tracy Morgan being Tracy Morgan, bless him), makes all the decisions, and the idea of a female agent breaks the bro code. That is until a poker game with all the interested male parties gives Ali the chance to do some mental eavesdropping. Shankman plays the sight of men behaving badly for farce, in which the laughs come from all the familiar places.

There is even less surprise in the love story between Ali and Will (Aldis Hodge), a widowed single dad who teaches this female version of Gibson’s Mad Max that love is more than boinking. The whiff of stale that permeates the movie is occasionally broken by a scene that actually reflects the layered complexities of modern-day relations between the sexes. At one point, CEO Nick Ivers (Brian Bosworth), Ali’s agency boss, stops short of firing her for fear of being “crucified by MeToo-ers.” It’s a line that stings, and the script could have used more of them instead of settling for unthreatening business as usual. Henson looks ready to come out firing on all cylinders, but the comic cowardice of <em>What Men Want</em> leaves her shooting blanks.

In This Article: Tracy Morgan

Want more Rolling Stone? Sign up for our newsletter.

Show Comments Read More



Leave A Comment

More News

Rolling Stone Latest Movies

Albert Finney, Oscar-Nominated British Actor, Dead at 82 2019-02-08 11:10:12Four-time Best Actor nominee starred in films like Tom Jones, Under the Volcano and Erin Brockovich

Watch Chucky Come to Life in ‘Child’s Play’ 2019-02-08 10:00:59Murderous doll returns in horror classic remake

‘Everybody Knows’ Review: Two Movie Stars, A Master 2019-02-08 08:23:35Iranian director Asghar Farhadi's mystery about a missing woman — starring Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem — ends up slowly going nowhere

‘Lords of Chaos’ Review: Black Metal Biopic Should 2019-02-07 18:04:25Jonas Åkerlund's look at the fast rise and bloody fall of Mayhem should be the real deal — so why does it hit all the wrong notes

‘What Men Want’ Review: Toothless Retread Flips the 2019-02-07 16:16:50Taraji P. Henson comes out swinging in this female-centric update of the 2000 Mel Gibson rom-com 'What Women Want,' but the cliché-ridden fil

Watch Chilling New Trailer for Stephen King’s ‘Pet 2019-02-07 14:30:24In this new trailer, we catch a glimpse of the demonic girl that emerges from the pet cemetery to haunt her family

Woody Allen Sues Amazon Over Axed Movie Deal 2019-02-07 14:11:46Filmmaker claims internet giant terminated his contract over "25-year old, baseless allegation" of sexual abuse

‘Cold Pursuit’ Review: Call It ‘Taken’ on Ice 2019-02-07 08:38:06Liam Neeson's snowbound thriller is pure revenge-movie escapism — if you can get past the bad press

A Candid Conversation With Richard E. Grant 2019-02-06 16:53:55The Oscar nominee opens up about his extraordinary (and highly volatile) childhood, having a nervous breakdown and where his Barbara Streisand fandom

‘The Lego Movie 2’ Review: Everything Is Still 2019-02-06 14:53:38The sequel to the 2014 animated hit brings back the whole brick-by-brick gang to slightly diminishing returns

Oscars Won’t Have a Host for First Time 2019-02-05 21:01:43Producers hope lack of MC will keep show's runtime at three hours

Watch Hugh Jackman, Zach Galifianakis Lend Voices to 2019-02-05 16:29:28Pair portray legendary explorer, solitary Sasquatch in forthcoming animated film

FilmBook

BLACK LIGHTNING: Season 2, Episode 13: Pillar of 2019-02-08 11:00:20  Black Lightning Pillar of Fire Trailer The CW‘s Black Lightning: Season 2, Episode 13: The Book of Secrets: Chapter Three: Pillar of Fire

US (2019) Movie Trailer 2: Lupita Nyong’o Protects 2019-02-08 10:00:01  Us Trailer 2 Universal Pictures has released the second movie trailer for Us (2019). The first movie trailer Jordan Peele‘s Us can be vie

THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR (2019) Movie 2019-02-08 09:00:37  The Sun Is Also a Star Trailer Ry Russo-Young‘s The Sun Is Also a Star (2019) movie trailer stars Charles Melton, Yara Shahidi, John Legu

L.A.’S FINEST (2019) TV Show Trailer: Jessica Alba 2019-02-08 08:00:45  L.A.’s Finest Trailer Spectrum‘s L.A.’s Finest (2019) TV show trailer stars Jessica Alba, Gabrielle Union, Sophie Reynolds, J

PET SEMATARY (2019) Movie Trailer 2: Jason Clarke 2019-02-08 07:00:46  Pet Sematary Trailer 2 Paramount Pictures has released the second movie trailer for Pet Sematary (2019). The first movie trailer for Pet Semata

SHAFT (2019) Movie Trailer: Three Generations of Shafts 2019-02-07 21:39:17  Shaft Trailer Tim Story‘s Shaft (2019) movie trailer stars Samuel L. Jackson, Jessie T. Usher, Richard Roundtree, Regina Hall, and Alexan

DUMBO (2019) Movie Trailer 3: A Flying Elephant 2019-02-07 13:48:29  Dumbo Trailer 3 The third movie trailer for Dumbo (2019) has been released by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. The first two movie trailers

Film Casting: KENSUKE’S KINGDOM; NEWS OF THE WORLD; 2019-02-07 07:00:56  Kensuke’s Kingdom, News of the World, Avatar 2-3, and more Film Casting News Kensuke’s Kingdom, News of the World, Avatar 2-3, and

THE FLASH: Season 5, Episode 14: Cause and 2019-02-06 09:00:03  The Flash Cause and XS Trailer The CW‘s The Flash: Season 5, Episode 14: Cause and XS TV show trailer has been released and Grant Gustin

THE PROFESSOR AND THE MADMAN (2019) Movie Trailer: 2019-02-06 08:00:31  The Professor and the Madman Trailer Farhad Safinia‘s The Professor and the Madman (2019) movie trailer stars Mel Gibson, Sean Penn, Nata

TV Review: OUTLANDER: Season 4, Episode 13: Man 2019-02-06 07:00:32  Outlander Man of Worth Review Starz’s Outlander: Season 4, Episode 13: Man of Worth features many previous wrongs being set right, s

THE PASSAGE: Season 1, Episode 5: How You 2019-02-05 10:00:47  The Passage How You Gonna Outrun The End of The World? Trailer & Episode 6 Plot Synopsis Fox‘s The Passage: Season 1, Episode 5: How

NYT > Movies

‘Berlin, I Love You’ Review: Many Stories, Not 2019-02-07 07:00:01The once-divided nature of Berlin isn’t given much consideration in this film, part of the Cities of Love series.

Critic’s Pick: ‘One Million American Dreams’ Review: Stories 2019-02-07 07:00:00This haunting documentary guides viewers through heartbreaking tales of the lost souls buried on Hart Island.

‘The Gospel of Eureka’ Review: Christianity and Queerness 2019-02-07 07:00:00This cheerful documentary from Michael Palmieri and Donal Mosher refuses to grapple with its glaring contradictions.

‘Untogether’ Review: Adrift in Los Angeles, Looking for 2019-02-07 07:00:00Jemima Kirke and Lola Kirke play damaged siblings in this exasperatingly affected romantic drama from Emma Forrest.

‘The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the 2019-02-07 07:00:00The movie’s plot is as absurdly sensational as its title: The government taps Sam Elliott, an aging Nazi hunter, to kill a yeti.

‘Under the Eiffel Tower’ Review: In Whine, Truth 2019-02-07 07:00:00Full of midlife-crisis clichés, the film is yet another ode to the restorative magic of wine country sunshine.

Critic’s Pick: ‘The 2019 Oscar Nominated Short Films’ 2019-02-06 21:30:51This year’s Oscar-nominated shorts will make you cry, laugh, cry, think, cry, wonder, and cry some more. Have we mentioned they might also make

Just Who Has Seen ‘Roma’? Netflix Offers Clues 2019-02-06 19:14:36The company has given Alfonso Cuarón’s film a significant theatrical release, but the industry has its doubts about the streaming service

‘The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part’ Review: 2019-02-06 18:42:34This franchise’s latest is a busy, noisy clutter of action sequences, pop-cultural allusions, life lessons and cute critters.

‘Lords of Chaos’ Review: Where Anomie and Speed 2019-02-06 16:14:02Inspired by a sordid, true story, this English-language movie tracks a group of Norwegian death-metal musicians whose lives go murderously wrong.

Critic’s Notebook: Blackness, Gayness, Representation: Marlon Riggs Unpacks 2019-02-06 15:24:24He saw the past, present and future at once, and his timeless, masterful works are now the subject of a film series in Brooklyn.

The Carpetbagger: The Path to Oscar Victory for 2019-02-06 14:53:52In a wide-open year, how can each of the eight contenders win? We show you.

Movie News

Avatar Begins Shooting Live-Action Scenes This Spring in 2019-02-07 17:15:49While James Cameron has completed much of the motion capture for his Avatar sequels, the live-action filming still needs to take place.

First Look at Cynthia Erivo as Harriet Tubman 2019-02-07 16:11:57Cynthia Erivo is Harriet Tubman in the new Focus Features biopic Harriet, which tells the story of the legendary figure who freed dozens of slaves.

Justice League Vs. the Fatal Five Trailer Reveals 2019-02-07 15:37:06Warner Bros. has released a trailer for their latest DC animated feature Justice League vs. The Fatal Five ahead of its home video release next month.

Woody Allen Sues Amazon for $68 Million Over 2019-02-07 14:09:03Annie Hall director Woody Allen's four-picture deal with Amazon was terminated, resulting in this massive lawsuit.

Every Character Confirmed & Rumored for Avengers: Endgame 2019-02-07 13:43:45Avengers: Endgame will have more characters than any other MCU movie in history.

Shazam! Features a Superman Cameo That's Not Henry 2019-02-07 13:17:22It appears that there might be some pretty big changed to the DC Universe in David Sandberg's upcoming Shazam!

LEGO Movie 2 Acknowledges LEGO Batman Movie, But 2019-02-07 12:59:13The LEGO Movie 2 has chosen to ignore the box office disater that was Ninjago, but it still takes place mostly in the same universe.

Official Endgame Synopsis Teases Big Consequences for the 2019-02-07 12:47:38The official synopsis for Avengers: Endgame has been released and it teases some pretty big implications for the future of the MCU.

Oreo the Raccoon, Real-Life Guardians Inspiration for Rocket, 2019-02-07 12:35:39Oreo was the model for Rocket in all of the Guardian of the Galaxy movies and even walked down the red carpet with James Gunn.

Can LEGO Movie 2 & What Men Want 2019-02-07 12:09:38The LEGO Movie 2, What Men Want, Cold Pursuit and The Prodigy all open at the box office this weekend.

Deadpool Joins Avengers: Endgame in Ryan Reynolds Approved 2019-02-07 11:23:54The Merc with a Mouth actually looks pretty good in the latest Avengers: Endgame suits as seen in new fan art.

Why The Rock Said No to Hosting the 2019-02-07 10:55:59Dwayne Johnson says he was the first choice to host the Oscars this year, but had to turn the offer down.

ComingSoon.net

Don’t Wear Earbuds in New What We Do 2019-02-08 11:51:49The series will debut this March on FX The post Don’t Wear Earbuds in New What We Do in the Shadows Promo appeared first on ComingSoon.net.

Sam Elliott & Aiden Turner on The Man 2019-02-08 11:50:01The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot is in theaters and on VOD and Digital HD today! The post Sam Elliott & Aiden Turner on The Man Who

Supernatural Episode 14.13 Recap: 300 Episodes of the 2019-02-08 11:46:17The series will return after a short hiatus on March 7 The post Supernatural Episode 14.13 Recap: 300 Episodes of the Winchester Legacy appeared first

Amazon Rounds Out Cast for Jordan Peele’s The 2019-02-08 11:44:44The series will also star Logan Lerman and Al Pacino The post Amazon Rounds Out Cast for Jordan Peele’s The Hunt appeared first on ComingSoon.ne

EC Comics and Hivemind Team Up for New 2019-02-08 11:28:15EC Comics and Hivemind team up for new film & TV partnership Hivemind today announced a new partnership with William M. Gaines […

Aaron Taylor-Johnson and More Join Kingsman Prequel 2019-02-08 10:46:35The film's expected to hit theaters later this year The post Aaron Taylor-Johnson and More Join Kingsman Prequel appeared first on ComingSoon.net.

Rachel Skarsten Cast as Lead Antagonist in The 2019-02-08 10:38:46The series stars Ruby Rose as the titular hero The post Rachel Skarsten Cast as Lead Antagonist in The CW’s Batwoman appeared first on ComingSoo

Captain Marvel Hot Toy Figure Revealed! 2019-02-08 10:15:25Go binary with the regular and deluxe editions! The post Captain Marvel Hot Toy Figure Revealed! appeared first on ComingSoon.net.

Julian McMahon Cast in Dick Wolf’s FBI: Most 2019-02-08 10:11:31The new series has already been given the green light, and will "air as an episode of FBI in the spring." The post Julian McMahon Cast in Dick Wolf&

Justified Creator Gears Up for Sci-Fi Series Talent 2019-02-08 09:43:33Fox has already given the project a straight-to-series order. The post Justified Creator Gears Up for Sci-Fi Series Talent at FOX appeared first on Co

Oreo the Raccoon, Inspiration for Guardians of the 2019-02-08 09:34:43The raccoon previously attended the London premiere of the first film The post Oreo the Raccoon, Inspiration for Guardians of the Galaxy’s Rocke

Aquaman Blu-ray Swims Home this March! 2019-02-08 09:24:18Bring home the billion dollar movie! The post Aquaman Blu-ray Swims Home this March! appeared first on ComingSoon.net.


Disclaimer and Notice:WorldProNews.com is not responsible of these news or any information published on this website.