Imagine seeing inside the mind of the opposite sex. The film What Men Want will give one woman a look at the innermost thoughts of men everywhere, whether she likes them or not.
Ali (Taraji P. Henson) is a sports agent to some of the biggest names around. She directs the careers of a number of truly extraordinary players in a variety of sports, but the sports agency world is a notorious boys club. After being passed over for a well-deserved promotion, Ali is determined to show everyone who is in charge.
But a night out at her friend’s bachelorette party is about to leave Ali with a gift — or a curse — to help her navigate the predominately male-dominated world that she is running in. She gets the power to hear what men are really thinking. All men. All the time. As a man, I can admit that is a frightening concept that, if used properly, could really be a game-changer for the man-eating agent.
Ali can read the thoughts of her assistant Brandon (Josh Brener), including his career goals and disdain for her sometimes crazy behavior. She finds men she wants to date and knows exactly what they want. And she finally has a leg up on her colleagues in their scramble to sign the future first-round NBA draft pick — that is, if she can get by his helicopter dad, Joe “Dolla” Barry (Tracy Morgan). From poker games to high-powered negotiations, Ali uses her new power to succeed. But is this really a good thing?
Henson dominates her scenes with all the men, whether playing poker with the boys or negotiating contracts for the stars. She is a bright spot in the film.
The other bright spot is the plethora of cameos, from Mark Cuban and Shaquille O’Neal to Lisa Leslie and Karl-Anthony Towns, it’s a virtual who’s who of the sports world.
Although the minds of many men consist of R-rated thoughts, the film misses the fact that many others have cleaner and altruistic thoughts like Ali’s father (Richard Roundtree) and new boyfriend Will (Aldis Hodge) do. And even more men have nothing mischievous in their thoughts at all — a phenomenon virtually unseen in the film.
Despite my criticisms, What Men Want isn’t a bad film. It’s just an average endeavor, exposing every stereotype imaginable and using them all for laughs. Sometimes, the laughs work, while other times, they fall harmlessly incomplete. Henson and the variety of star power make this film somewhat worth watching. This man wanted a slightly better film but came away from this OK with the result.
What Men Want is available On Demand on on DVD beginning May 1. Check your cable system for availability