Director: Adam Shankman
Cast: Taraji P. Henson, Aldis Hodge, Richard Roundtree
Release Date: May 7, 2019
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 5/10
Disc Rating: 8.5/10
Ali Davis (Taraji P. Henson) is a successful sports agent who’s constantly boxed out by her male colleagues. After a wild night out with her girls, she mysteriously gains the ability to hear men’s thoughts. With her newfound power, Ali looks to outsmart her colleagues as she races to sign the next basketball superstar, but the lengths she has to go to will put her relationship with her best friends and new love interest to the test. The film also stars Aldis Hodge, Richard Roundtree, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Erykah Badu, Max Greenfield, and Tracy Morgan.
‘What Men Want’ tells the story of Ali Davis (Henson) a talented and take no nonsense sports agent who delivers the numbers and never disappoints, but nonetheless finds herself struggling to achieve the place she deserves in a business still dominated by men. Desperate to find an edge she can use to her advantage in order to infiltrate the exclusive ‘boys club’ she soon gets her wish when drinking a weird batch of tea followed by a head injury result in the ability to read the minds of men everywhere. Now, armed with a flawless advantage Ali begins to make her move, using her newfound talents to her advantage as she navigates her way to the top at last, often to hilariously chaotic results.
Directed by Adam Shankman (Rock Of Ages, Hairspray2007) from a screenplay written by Tina Gordon Chism (Drumline), Peter Huyck (TV’s Veep) and Alex Gregory (TV’s King Of The Hill) from a story by Tina Gordon Chism and Jas Waters which was itself based upon the film ‘What Women Want’ and its screenplay by Josh Goldsmith and Cathy Yuspa respectively, Shankman does a solid job at the helm of ‘What Men Want’ smoothly guiding along the goofy fun and laughs throughout. The film also owes plenty of credit to the well selected cast which includes Taraji P. Henson (TV’s Empire), Aldis Hodge (Hidden Figures), Richard Roundtree (Shaft), Tracy Morgan (TV’s The Last O.G.), Wendi McLendon-Covey (TV’s The Goldbergs), Josh Brener (TV’s Silicon Valley), Max Greenfield (TV’s The Neighborhood) and Erykah Badu (House Of D) along with more, the majority offering capable and fitting performances in each of their respective roles overall, and helping a great deal to keep this one running as smoothly as it does.
‘What Men Want’ is a fun, easygoing and quite funny romantic comedy for the modern age that doesn’t offer anything real exceptional or clever, often falling into every predictable plot direction and character arc imaginable and delivering plenty of raunchy and vulgar humor along the way. Although never overly original, it still manages to serve up plenty of hilarious and chaotic fun in this new take (or reboot, perhaps even parody?) on the Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt starring 2000 film ‘What Women Want’ that switches up the gender focus and also dives into a full-on unapologetic R rating with the material this time around. It’s swiftly guided along by director Adam Shankman and his capable work at the helm is complimented by a well selected cast led by Taraji P. Henson that helps keep the fun and laughs flowing smoothly, forming together into a generic, yet nonetheless quite enjoyable romantic comedy. Albeit imperfect and not exactly noteworthy, I’d still encourage anyone that enjoys a fun, frequently hilarious and occasionally somewhat raunchy romantic comedy that’s predictable and somewhat ridiculous, yet no less fun and enjoyable as a result to give ‘What Men Want’ a whirl one casual evening. If you’re seeking a carefree and fun film that doesn’t require you to concentrate or think too hard and you can go in expecting nothing more than some goofy fun and laughs, you’ll likely end up at least having quite a bit of fun with it.
Overall, ‘What Men Want’ is a thoroughly entertaining and frequently quite hilarious comedy with a solid cast, yet it never really manages to bring anything original or unique to the table either, too often falling into every predictable pattern and outcome possible. Although fortunately offering enough consistent fun and laughs to still make for a pretty fun little movie. While it’s probably unnecessary to go out of your way to check out ‘What Men Want’ right this minute, it’s likely still worth a watch at some point if you’re a fan of the key cast members or simply in the mood for a fun and funny little flick one day and happen to come across it on your favorite premium channel or streaming service. If you just feel like some simple, by the books fun with plenty of goofy laughs to be had, this one might be right up your alley.
The Blu-ray release of ‘What Men Want’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.39:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks outstanding as a whole and delivers a continually sharp, smooth and detailed presentation from start to finish, with no noticeable issues or faults to be uncovered along the way. It holds up perfectly even during the few darkly lit and heavily populated moments and never allows anything occurring onscreen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible at any point. Overall, this is a wonderful high definition video presentation that looks great every step of the way and shouldn’t disappoint in the slightest.
The Blu-ray release features a 7.1 channel Dolby TrueHD soundtrack. This multichannel soundtrack provides a clean, crisp and at times fairly active audio presentation throughout. It often takes advantage of all seven available channels in order to immerse viewers in the fun, sending music, crowd chatter, nature elements and much more throughout the various speakers whenever appropriate, and never causing any dialogue or other audio elements that may be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible in the process. Overall, this is a great little 7.1 channel Dolby TrueHD soundtrack that delivers in every way required of it and adds some extra fun to the overall viewing experience along the way.
The Blu-ray release of ‘What Men Want’ includes a healthy helping of bonus content that fans of the film should have fun with. Included on the release is an ‘Audio Commentary with Director Adam Shankman’, in addition to a bunch of ‘Deleted Scenes with Introductions by Adam Shankman (running approximately 31 minutes in length altogether) and a ‘Gag Reel’ (running approximately 5 minutes). We’re also treated to a collection of Behind the Scenes Featurettes including interviews/comments with the cast and crew, plus behind the scenes footage and more. The included Featurettes are: ‘The Dream Team’ (running approximately 16 minutes), ‘Flipping the Narrative’ (approximately 3 minutes), ‘What Do Men Want?’ (4 minutes), ‘Poker Night’ (4 minutes) and ‘Ali + Athletes’ (3 minutes). A silly ‘Sister Spills the Tea’ Infomercial (approximately 2 minutes) is also included.