What Men Want is a gender-swapped remake of the 2000 Nancy Meyers comedy, with Taraji P. Henson stepping into the role once played by Mel Gibson. Could any major studio film feel more timely?
Paramount dropped the first official trailer for the movie on Tuesday, introducing us to Hensons Ali, a high-powered sports agent who gets shut out of a major promotion. Why? Because her company is a classic boys club, with all the C-suite trappings reserved for the workplace bros. “Just stay in your lane,” her boss warns. Frustrated, she goes for a drastic measure, meeting up with an earthy, witchy woman (a very meta Erykah Badu), who instructs her to drink a simple jasmine tea mix—infused with a smidge of weed, peyote, and crack.
After drinking the mixture, then going out for a night on the town in which she gets very drunk and hits her head, Ali wakes up and realizes she can hear mens thoughts—a terrifying, tantalizing new reality (and a far cry from the original movie, which saw Gibsons character acquire his powers after an electrified bath). Armed with her telepathic gift, she heads back into the world ready to work the patriarchy into the ground—insofar as she would really like to bust up that office boys club already. The premise presents a welcome twist on the original film, which focused on a chauvinist who thought he knew everything about women. By contrast, Ali is just a hard worker, trying to jump through the hoops that the men around her are constantly setting up.
What Men Want also stars Tracy Morgan as a sexist celebrity whose thoughts, Ali discovers, arent all that complex (“I smell toast. Am I having a stroke? Wait—I have toast in my pocket.”), as well as Wendi McLendon-Covey, Max Greenfield, and Aldis Hodge. Theres also a silly cameo from Shaq, who, it seems, even thinks in the third person. Directed by Adam Shankman, What Men Want hits theaters January 2019.
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