(This review contains spoilers.)
Just in time for Black History Month, Paramount Players, BET, and Will Packer Productions come together to remake an old movie with a more inclusive cast.
“What Men Want” creates a world where anything is possible, including reading men’s minds. It includes many big names like Taraji P. Hensen (who plays Ali Davis) and Tracy Morgan; even Pete Davidson makes an appearance. What many viewers don’t realize is that it’s a remake of 2000’s “What Women Want,” in which Nick Marshall (Mel Gibson) can read women’s minds.
“Women” had a mainly white cast with one notable black character. In “Men” (rated R, one hour and 57 minutes), the main characters mostly are all black. Davis, like Marshall, uses her ability to climb the ladder in the workplace. And by the end of both films, the main characters lose their psychic abilities while finding love and realizing what lousy people they have been.
The story line of “Men” is very predictable and includes a few plot holes. Ali is not considered for a job because, her boss tells her, “a man can do [the job] better.” That evening, she gains her psychic abilities through a combination of THC tea and a hard blow to the head. She uses her abilities to prove she is capable of doing the job she was passed up for.
“What Men Want” tries to be a satirical piece on stereotypes, including the gay best friend, the optimistic white girl, and the cynical salesman.
For example, whenever the optimistic white friend (Olivia, played by Wendi McLendon-Covey) is shown on camera, she is always dressed in bright flowy dresses that stand out against the otherwise dark background.
Although the movie is a good idea in theory, it was executed poorly and just came across as making fun of many different groups. The idea of remaking old, predominantly white movies with a more diverse cast seems like a stroke of genius, but it fell short here.
That being said, “Men” is still extremely entertaining to watch. It just has very few elements that make it memorable. It is enjoyable in the moment, but maybe not a movie you would want to watch over and over again.