What Women Want

This article is about the 2000 film. For other uses, see What Women Want (disambiguation).
For the film What a Girl Wants, see What a Girl Wants (film).
What Women Want

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Nancy Meyers
Produced by
Written by
Music by Alan Silvestri
Cinematography Dean Cundey
Edited by Thomas J. Nordberg
Stephen A. Rotter
Carol Littleton
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release dates
  • December 15, 2000 (2000-12-15)
Running time
127 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $70 million[1]
Box office $374,111,707[1]

What Women Want is a 2000 American romantic comedy film written by Josh Goldsmith, Cathy Yuspa and Diane Drake, directed by Nancy Meyers, and starring Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt. The film was a box office success with a North American domestic gross of US$182,811,707 and a worldwide gross of $374,111,707, against a budget of $70 million.


Nick Marshall, a Chicago advertising executive and alpha male, who grew up with his Las Vegas showgirl mother, is a chauvinist. He is skilled at selling to men and seducing women. Just as he thinks he's headed for a promotion, his manager, Dan, informs him that he is hiring Darcy McGuire instead, to broaden the firm's appeal to women.

Also, his estranged 15-year-old daughter Alex is spending two weeks with him while his ex-wife Gigi goes on her honeymoon with her new husband Ted. Alex is embarrassed by Nick, and resents his being protective when he meets her boyfriend.

Desperate to prove himself to Darcy and Dan, Nick attempts to think of copy for a series of feminine products that Darcy distributed at the day's staff meeting. He slips and falls into his bathtub while holding an electric hairdryer, shocking himself. The next day, Nick wakes up and comes to realize that he can hear the innermost thoughts of all women. This proves to be an epiphany for him as he realizes that most women, especially at work, dislike him and consider him to be sleazy. When he goes to his old divorce therapist, Dr. Perkins (who also disliked him), she realizes his gift and encourages him to learn to use it to his advantage.

Nick eavesdrops on Darcy and sabotages her ideas to use as his own. As he spends more time with Darcy, he realizes he is attracted to her. When he tries to get closer to his daughter, she resents him for trying after so many years of neglect. He is able to bond with her by helping her shop for a dress for a prom dance. Using his gift, Nick detects that her boyfriend, who is older than Alex, plans to sleep with her and then dump her, but she does not want Nick's advice.

Nick and Darcy begin to spend more time together, and ultimately they kiss. When he manages to trump Darcy out of her idea for a new Nike ad campaign aimed at women, he later regrets his selfishness, especially as it leads to her being fired. Nick persuades his boss to give Darcy her job back by saying that it was all Darcy's idea.

Over time, Nick succeeds to rekindle some of his female acquaintance/ relationships especially at work. Nick loses his gift during a storm while trying to find a company secretary, Erin, who (telepathic ability revealed) is contemplating suicide. He stops her just in the nick of time and offers her a position for which she previously applied. When Alex's boyfriend dumps her for refusing his sexual advances, Nick consoles her and is able to restore their relationship. Nick finally visits Darcy and explains everything. She forgives him and agrees to save him from himself, to which he responds "My hero."



Critical response

Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 54%, based on 121 reviews, with an average rating of 5.7/10.[2]


For his portrayal of Nick Marshall, Mel Gibson was nominated for the Golden Globe award for Best Actor - Comedy. It won the ASCAP Award from ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards for "Top Box Office Films"—the recipient was Alan Silvestri, it received a Saturn Award nomination for "Best Fantasy Film" from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA. From The Blockbuster Entertainment Awards, Hunt won Favorite Actress in a Comedy/Romance, Gibson was nominated for Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Actor - Comedy/Romance, Mark Feuerstein received a nomination for Favorite Supporting Actor - Comedy/Romance and Marisa Tomei received a nomination for Favorite Supporting Actress -Comedy/Romance. The film also won the Bogey Award in Platin from the Bogey Awards, Germany. It was also Nominated for the Best Casting for Feature Film, Comedy from the Casting Society of America, USA. It received the Golden Screen Award, Germany. It also garnered a nomination for Golden Satellite Award for Tomei for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role, Comedy or Musical, as well as a nomination for Ashley Johnson from the Young Artist Awards.


In 2009 the website Pajiba published an article claiming that an inside source had told them that producer and scriptwriter Peter Chiarelli had been currently writing a sequel entitled What Men Want, which would re-imagine the concept from the viewpoint of a woman who could hear men's thoughts.[3] They also claimed that Cameron Diaz was to star as its lead.[4] As of 2015 there has been no further development news for the rumored sequel has been released and the film, if it was in development, is likely in development hell.


A Chinese remake directed by Chen Daming starring Andy Lau and Gong Li was released in 2011.[5]


  1. 1 2 "What Women Want (2000)". Box Office Mojo. IMDB. May 13, 2001. Retrieved November 9, 2012.
  2. http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/what_women_want/
  3. Rowles, Dustin. "Pajiba Exclusive: The Second Biggest Rom-Com of All Time Gets a Sequel". Pajiba. Retrieved 21 October 2015.
  4. Tyler, Josh. "Cameron Diaz Remaking Mel Gibson's What Women Want?". Cinema Blend. Retrieved 21 October 2015.
  5. "What Women Want (我知女人心)". Film Business Asia. March 1, 2011. Retrieved March 2, 2011.
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