• 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.

Read More



Leave A Comment

More News

Rolling Stone Latest Movies

Oscars 2019: Who Should Win, Who Will Win 2019-02-18 09:00:47Peter Travers predicts who's going home with the gold on Oscar night — and who really deserves the award

Robert Rodriguez: How We Made ‘Alita: Battle Angel’ 2019-02-17 10:00:35The director (and producer Jon Landau) break down the FX design and technical process of bringing this anime heroine to the big screen

Bruno Ganz, Swiss Actor Who Portrayed Hitler in 2019-02-16 10:31:57Actor also known for collaborations with director Wim Wenders, including Wings of Desire and The American Friend

Academy Awards Reverse Decision to Cut Categories From 2019-02-16 09:04:11"All Academy Awards will be presented without edits, in our traditional format"

Trailers of the Week: ‘Aladdin,’ ‘Ma,’ ‘Frozen 2,’ 2019-02-16 08:00:25From a blue Will Smith to first looks at a big-time Disney sequel and Danny Boyle's world-without-Beatles movie

Watch Charlize Theron, Seth Rogen Flirt in Trailer 2019-02-15 17:46:13Film will hit theaters on May 3rd

Chris Cornell Documentary Produced by Brad Pitt in 2019-02-14 16:04:19The film will be directed by Peter Berg and Cornell's widow, Vicky Cornell, is also a producer

50 Greatest Romantic Comedies of All Time 2019-02-14 13:41:46From '30s screwballs to 21st-century meet-cutes, Rock and Doris to Hanks and Ryan — our picks for the best rom-coms ever

Academy Clarifies Controversial Plan to Cut Oscar Categories 2019-02-14 09:35:35Four awards will be presented during commercials, while speeches will be edited into live broadcast

‘Birds of Passage’ Review: Colombian Crime Saga Is 2019-02-13 15:41:49Drug-war story set in the South American nation's indigenous community is bold, brilliant — and a regional reinvention of the gangster movie

‘High Flying Bird’ Review: Steven Soderbergh’s Got Game 2019-02-08 12:16:44The scrappy auteur's satirical takedown on Sports Inc. and corporate strangleholds is one mic-drop of a movie — and a must-see

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

FilmBook

ROCKETMAN (2019) Movie Trailer 2: Taron Egerton becomes New! 2019-02-21 16:51:34  Rocketman Trailer 2 Paramount Pictures has released the second movie trailer for Rocketman (2019). The first movie trailer for Rocketman can be

CAPTAIN MARVEL (2019) TV Spots: Brie Larson & 2019-02-21 10:00:06  Captain Marvel TV Spots Marvel Studios and Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures has debuted four new movie TV commercials for Captain Marvel (20

THE DIRT (2019) Movie Trailer: Motley Crue’s Rags-to-riches 2019-02-21 09:00:05  The Dirt Trailer Jeff Tremaine‘s The Dirt (2019) movie trailer stars Douglas Booth, Iwan Rheon, Colson Baker (aka Machine Gun Kelly), Dan

FIGHTING WITH MY FAMILY (2019) Movie Trailer 2: 2019-02-21 08:00:31  Fighting with My Family Trailer 2 The second and final U.S. movie trailer for Fighting with My Family (2019) has been released by Metro-Goldwyn

THE HIGHWAYMEN (2019) Movie Trailer: Kevin Costner & 2019-02-21 07:00:34  The Highwaymen Trailer John Lee Hancock‘s The Highwaymen (2019) movie trailer stars Kevin Costner, Woody Harrelson, Kathy Bates, Kim Dick

THE GIFTED: Season 2, Episode 16: oMens TV 2019-02-20 09:00:22  The Gifted oMens Trailer and Plot Synopsis Fox‘s The Gifted: Season 2, Episode 16: oMens TV show trailer and official plot synopsis have

GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS (2019) TV Spot: 2019-02-20 08:00:07  Godzilla King of the Monsters Time Has Come TV Spot A movie TV commercial for Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) has debuted from Warner Bro

THE ENEMY WITHIN (2019) TV Spot: ‘Our Greatest 2019-02-19 21:42:20  The Enemy Within Our Greatest Enemy Will Become Our Greatest Asset TV Spot NBC has released a new TV show commercial for The Enemy Within

GOTHAM: Season 5, Episode 7: Ace Chemicals TV 2019-02-18 21:32:52  Gotham Ace Chemicals Trailer; Ep. 8-9 Plot Synopses Fox‘s Gotham: Season 5, Episode 7: Legend of the Dark Knight: Ace Chemicals TV show t

TRUE DETECTIVE: Season 3, Episode 8: Now Am 2019-02-18 18:46:12  True Detective Now Am Found Trailer HBO‘s True Detective: Season 3, Episode 8: Now Am Found TV show trailer stars Mahershala Ali, Stephen

SUPERGIRL: Season 4, Episode 13: What’s So Funny 2019-02-18 18:22:22  Supergirl What’s So Funny About Truth, Justice, and the American Way? Trailer The CW‘s Supergirl: Season 4, Episode 13: What’

TV Review: HANNA: Season 1, Episode 1: Forest 2019-02-18 17:49:07  Hanna Forest Review Amazon Prime‘s Hanna: Season 1, Episode 1: Forest reintroduces the viewer to the story-line of the original film but

NYT > Movies

It Was the Hottest Oscar Night Party. What New! 2019-02-21 17:23:51Vanity Fair has ruled the roost, but its guest list is bloated by corporate sponsorships. And now there’s competition from Jay-Z.

5 Film Series to Catch in N.Y.C. This New! 2019-02-21 17:00:04Our guide to film series and special screenings.

Anatomy of a Scene: How ‘Cold War’ Makes New! 2019-02-21 16:52:20The director Pawel Pawlikowski discusses how he uses “Rock Around the Clock” in a moment from his drama about a turbulent relationship.

‘Cold War’ | Anatomy of a Scene 2019-02-21 15:57:18Pawel Pawlikowski narrates a sequence from his film.

The Carpetbagger: Oscars 2019 Predictions: Who Will Win 2019-02-21 14:30:54Our expert has been closely following the races and the voters, all season. Here’s what he thinks will happen at the ceremony on Sunday.

Woody Allen Is Shooting a New Movie in 2019-02-21 14:05:29The director may have a tarnished reputation in the United States, but he has been able to secure funding from a Barcelona-based company for a new pro

Anatomy of a Scene: Watch: An Inside Look 2019-02-21 14:00:03Hear from directors of this year’s Best Picture nominees.

The Baffling Road to the Oscars: An Academy 2019-02-21 13:58:23A look back at the announcements made by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences about the 91st Academy Awards, and some of the backlash those

If You Think the Oscars Have Gotten More 2019-02-21 12:00:04Our expert analyzed all 554 best-picture nominees over the years, and found that political themes are becoming more common.

A Pocket Guide to the Oscars’ Beefiest Controversies 2019-02-21 10:11:58How to navigate a fractious, scandal-plagued year at the movies.

No Thanks. Really, Oscar Winners, Skip That Part. 2019-02-21 10:00:05If the Academy Awards can proceed without a host, it’s time to rethink those acceptance speeches. Please.

‘Prosecuting Evil’ Review: At 98, His Passion for 2019-02-21 07:00:04Benjamin B. Ferencz was the chief prosecutor in the Einsatzgruppen case at the Nuremberg trials. This documentary tells his story.

L.A. Times - Movie News

Review: ‘The Changeover’ brings YA fantasy magically to New! 2019-02-21 19:15:00It’s taken a while for Margaret Mahy’s beloved, award-winning 1984 young-adult novel “The Changeover” to make it to the big sc

Why the Spirit Awards feel even more essential New! 2019-02-21 18:30:00The Spirit Awards are known for their casual, irreverent attitude — they take place in an oversize tent on a beach in Santa Monica — and o

Review: Low-budget ‘My Stretch of Texas Ground’ takes New! 2019-02-21 17:10:00Given that some outrage-stirring politicians have begun recounting details from action movies like “Sicario” as though they were hard fact

Inclusion, not President Trump's hair, is the theme New! 2019-02-21 17:05:00It’s Wednesday in the heart of Hollywood and staging crews are rolling out the red carpet with just four days to go until the 91st Academy Award

Review: Stylish Taiwanese neo-noir ‘Who Killed Cock Robin?’ New! 2019-02-21 16:40:00Like a thoughtful fusion of Brian De Palma and Asian filmmakers Johnnie To and Lee Chang-dong, the arty Taiwanese suspense picture “Who Killed C

Review: ‘1st Summoning’ merely a ‘Blair Witch’ redud New! 2019-02-21 16:30:00The found-footage horror picture “1st Summoning” doesn’t just pay homage to the genre’s most influential movie, “The Bla

Review: Mark Duplass and Ray Romano star in 2019-02-21 16:05:00Friendship is often funny. Mortality can be. Cancer typically isn’t. What about a goofy friendship with terminal cancer? That’s a big subj

Review: Documentary asks ‘What Is Democracy?’ 2019-02-21 15:35:00“What is Democracy?” is not only the title of the thought-provoking documentary from writer-director Astra Taylor, but the big question po

Milorad Krstić’s ‘Ruben Brandt, Collector’ is fueled by 2019-02-21 15:25:00Intense artist Milorad Krstić is making his feature film debut only now, at age 66, with the delightfully surreal animated thriller “Ruben

Critic’s Choice: ‘Can You Ever Forgive Me?’ is 2019-02-21 14:45:00The wonderfully sardonic title of “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” comes from a phony letter concocted by New York literary forger Lee Israel, w

Review: ‘How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden 2019-02-21 14:25:00There are moments in the “How to Train Your Dragon” series so beautifully realized, so attuned to the joys of flight and to nuances of lig

Film preservationist Kevin Brownlow to receive Robert Osborne 2019-02-21 13:00:00Kevin Brownlow, the noted British film historian and preservationist, will receive the Robert Osborne Award at this year’s TCM Classic Film Fest

CinemaBlend Latest Content

6 Wrestling Legends Who Could Have Bonkers Biopics New! 2019-02-21 18:37:10Here are some of the wrestling greats whose lives would make for a bonkers biopic.

Why The Black Panther Best Original Song Nominee New! 2019-02-21 17:01:11Just when we thought we'd hear all of the Best Original Song nominees on Sunday night, that turns out not to be the case. But it's probably not for

Felicity Jones Wants To Play Her Amazing Spider-Man New! 2019-02-21 16:25:01The Rogue One actress is interested in putting Felicia Hardy’s shoes on again.

The Fighting With My Family Moment Paige Fought 2019-02-21 15:28:32Out of all the moments captured in Fighting With My Family, there was one that WWE Superstar Paige was insistent to see included in the film.

Captain Marvel's Brie Larson And Samuel L. Jackson 2019-02-21 15:18:38All pets deserve love and attention, even if they are actually interdimensional aliens.

How The Kree-Skrull War Will Play Into Captain 2019-02-21 15:11:00In the pages of Marvel Comics, there is a long history in the hateful relationship between the alien races known as the Kree and the Skrull – bu

What J.K. Rowling Told Jude Law About Why 2019-02-21 14:49:38Jude Law has revealed some of his conversations with the Harry Potter author

The Angry Birds Movie 2 Trailer Promises That 2019-02-21 14:36:36This sequel is going to be a chillier event than its predecessor.

Chewbacca Actor Joonas Suotamo Reveals The Downside To 2019-02-21 14:33:10It's not all fun, games, and bowcasters for the young actor.

Full Rocketman Trailer Is Full Of Music, Costumes, 2019-02-21 13:44:36This brightly-colored film tackles the life of Elton John, blending fantasy with drama and all anchored by Taron Egerton's performance.

Universal Orlando's Wizarding World Of Harry Potter Is 2019-02-21 13:43:53The new Wizarding World of Harry Potter roller coaster has been revealed, and it's all about Hagrid.

How Big Of A Financial Gamble Is Dune? 2019-02-21 13:17:08Denis Villeneuve's Dune is one of the most exciting films on the calendar. It could also be one of the riskiest.


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