What Women Want (2000) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)
|The Robbins Report: "A
Christmas Carol" meets "Zapped!"
I think Mel Gibson is pretty darned charming. That's what made him a big star. He also proves that he is light on his feet, and can do a great fall. I never knew he was so agile. Doesn't seem fair that he can move like that in addition to what he looks like at his age.
But no matter how friggin' charming he is, popping his face in nearly every frame of a 136 minute romantic comedy about supernatural powers is really testing my patience. OK, Mel beats the hell out of Willie Aames and Chachi, but it's still just the grown-up version of Zapped!
|Don't get me wrong. It isn't a bad movie,
but two and a half hours seemed too much of an investment
in a romantic comedy with no deeper insights.
It's a bit disappointing considering the premise (a freak accident gives male chauvinist Mel the ability to read women's thoughts). If you are going to the trouble to write one of these supernatural powers flicks, at least do something with it, fer chrissakes! (Well, they wanted a pg-13.)
|OK, so it's not exactly Freud's "The
Interpretation of Dreams" in its penetrating
insights into the human subconscious, but for what it is
- a throwaway fluff piece - it's OK. It is pretty
romantic and pretty funny, and I thought that Helen Hunt
and Mel worked well together. That's enough, I guess,
because sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.
But I don't know about these movies with instant redemption through cataclysm or supernatural powers. They always seem so phony.
This may have been fresh when it happened to Saul of Tarsus. OK, Saul is an evil persecutor of Christians, gets hit by lighting, becomes Saint Paul. That worked. But when Dickens did it in "A Christmas Carol", it had already been tired for 1800 years. Ebeneezer Scrooge is evil, meets Casper and other ghosts, and is turned into Saint Francis overnight.
At the end of this particular film, Mel is yet another reformed old lecher who sees the error of his ways, joining Gere in "Autumn in NY". At the beginning of the movie he thinks of nothing but where to hide the salami, but by the end he's delivering food baskets to battered women, campaigning for president of NOW, running a woman's suicide hotline, and traveling to India to head up the U.N's fight against female infanticide. He's seriously considering one of those trips to Copenhagen to lop off his pecker, so he can don Mother Theresa's habit and continue her good works. God bless us, every one.
I'm exaggerating, of course, but you know what I mean, right? Do they always have to go to bed as Hannibal Lecter and wake up as Bernadette of Lourdes?
had been my script, I would have gotten rid of the
sub-plot with Mel's daughter completely.
Write her ass right out of existence, and let the romance and office rivalry hold the stage. That could have cut the film closer to 90 minutes, and would have paced it better, in my opinion.
But my opinion doesn't really count - it's already a big hit, despite a lukewarm critical response. It's gold, Jerry, gold!
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