The Great Wall
Unlike any American blockbuster you've seen, a conservative movie with action set pieces that are actually inventive and thrilling enough to be worthwhile.
What women want is very simple: A man willing to listen when they're speaking to him. They also want a lot of other things, but that will do for starters. This we learn from "What Women Want," a comedy about a man who is jolted by electricity and develops the ability to read women's minds.
You would assume that this ability would make him the world's greatest lover, since he would know precisely what to do and when to do it, and indeed the movie's hero does triumph in that area, although not without early discouragements. (Extreme detumescence can result when a man discovers that during the throes of passion his lover is asking herself, "Is Britney Spears on Leno tonight?") Mel Gibson stars as Nick Marshall, an ad executive who thinks he's next in line for a top job at his Chicago agency. But his boss (Alan Alda) passes him over for Darcy Maguire (Helen Hunt), a hot steal from another agency. Nick declares war at about the same time he develops the ability to read women's minds. His knack of stealing Darcy's best ideas is a dirty trick, but he's ambitious and shameless.
He is also a man who needs to listen to women more. We learn he was reared in Las Vegas as the pampered child of a showgirl, and has been doted on by admiring females ever since--including, recently, the sexy Lola (Marisa Tomei), who works in the coffee store he patronizes. At work, two assistants (Valerie Perrine and Delta Burke) approve categorically of everything he does, but mind-reading reveals they never think about this. Many of the other women in the office, he is horrified to learn, pretend to like him but don't.
Because he feels chastened, and because he wants to win a valuable advertising account, Nick starts a crash program to research being a woman. This leads him to experiment with lip gloss, eye shadow, pantyhose and defoliation, in scenes positioned somewhere between "Tootsie" and Arnold Schwarzenegger's "Junior." Amazingly, given the opportunities, Gibson, who's the king of the tush scenes, keeps his netherlands out of view during these adventures.