Just a couple months out from the mediocre but promising Ocean’s 8, Hollywood has already managed to bankrupt the gender-swapped remake trend with this: a What Women Want reinvention titled what else but What Men Want. The original 2000
classic misguided, untenable relic starred Mel Gibson as an ad exec who, after being electrocuted while wearing feminine products, logically gained the ability to hear women’s thoughts—a misogynist who grows to modestly understand women by psychologically exploiting them, like a living rationale for why a dude just had to snoop on his girlfriend’s emails. The remake, to its modest credit, seems to at least do something more reasonable—and less rom-com manipulatively—with its exceedingly high-concept premise.
Taraji P. Henson stars as a sort of Jerry Maguire, or a sort of what we figure The Rock plays in Ballers but have never confirmed by actually watching Ballers. She’s stuck in a boys’ club of sports agents who offhandedly dismiss her for a big promotion, sending her to a… psychic, or maybe voodoo practitioner, who, combined with a clunk in the head (like this nonsense magic needed to be more convoluted), gives her the ability to hear the thoughts of men. That it’s a bit more field-leveling than creepy is honestly a solid, modern play on the material, but despite a couple decent jokes in this trailer (the Get Out and Shaq stuff mostly lands, right?), there’s reason for concern: It’s seemingly impossible to figure out who wrote this thing. From IMDb, to Wikipedia, to Variety, to the trailer’s finale, there’s seemingly no one willing to take credit for writing What Men Want. The most any source offers is to credit the story to Nancy Meyers, who directed but didn’t even have a hand in writing the original.
Anyway, Henson co-stars with the likes of Wendi McLendon-Covey, Max Greenfield, Aldis Hodge, Tracy Morgan, Richard Roundtree, Pete Davidson, Shaq, and Silicon Valley‘s Josh “Big Head” Brener, who has gone full-on Tony Hale.
As unpromisingly as its origins and lack of writers, What Men Want arrives next January.