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Gender-swap shuffle | WHAT MEN WANT – Review

Taraji P. Henson stars in WHAT MEN WANT | © Paramount Pictures 2019

Reboot hamster wheel

Inspired by Nancy Meyers’ WHAT WOMEN WANT (2000) starring Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt, WHAT MEN WANT flips it and places a woman in the driver’s seat. The film follows Ali Davis (Taraji P. Henson), a successful sports agent who’s purposely exiled by her male colleagues. When she’s passed up for a well-deserved promotion, she questions what it is she needs to do to triumph in a man’s world… until she gains abilities to hear men’s thoughts. With her new powers, Ali looks to outsmart her colleagues as she races to sign the next basketball star, but the lengths she must go to will put her relationships with friends and potential lover to the test.

For starters, I can sit here and rant about how Dave Chappelle did it first (and he did), but I won’t. Not a movie, of course. But a sketch on his Comedy Central show “Chappelle’s Show.” With a skit that lasted a few minutes, it was harsh and hilarious. Extremely raw (as you can image considering the tone of the show), it was fitting for a time when comedy was viewed as comedy and no one blew a sensitivity fuse over it. Anyway, times have changed. A sketch like that wouldn’t go pass a writers’ meeting these days. So, we tone it down a bit, turn it into a feature, and title it WHAT MEN WANT.

Truth be told, I’d be a fibber if I said I didn’t enjoy WHAT MEN WANT. It’s hip, cute, energetic, enjoyably edgy and most of all… funny! I knew what to expect but didn’t really feel it’d be as much fun as it turned out to be. I’m not a fan of reboots, but every once-in-a-blue a decent one slips through the cracks. It knows what kind of movie it is and doesn’t take itself seriously – and that’s part of the fun.

Most of the charm comes from a solid cast! Kudos to Henson for holding her own and carrying the film. Solid and raw! As well as her supporters, mainly Tracy Morgan, Aldis Hodge, Josh Brener, and a memorable Erykah Badu whose role of “Sister,” a weed-dealing, psychic who runs her business out of a beauty salon has some of the best scene-stealing moments with Henson. At a run a little under two hours, it’s a feel-good flick. Yea, we’ve seen this formulaic type of comedy before, but who cares? Go see it!


Grade: B | Genre: Comedy (Reboot) | Rated: R | Run Time: 1:57

Starring: Taraji P. Henson, Aldis Hodge, Josh Brener, Erykah Badu, Richard Roundtree, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Tamala Jones, Phoebe Robinson, Max Greenfield, Jason Jones, Chris Witaske, Brian Bosworth, Kellan Lutz, and Tracy Morgan

Directed by: Adam Shankman

© Paramount Pictures 2019