What Men Want

Taraji P. Henson in a scene from What Men Want. (AP)
Taraji P. Henson in a scene from What Men Want. (AP)


Inspired by the Nancy Meyers hit romantic comedy What Women Want, this film follows the story of a female sports agent (Taraji P. Henson) who has been constantly boxed out by her male colleagues.

When she gains the power to hear men’s thoughts, she shifts the paradigm to her advantage as she races to sign the NBA's next superstar.


Taking my seat in the cinema I'll admit that I didn’t have my expectations set too high and most definitely didn’t expect to laugh out loud the way I did.

But Taraji, who plays the lead character Ali Davis, propelled the otherwise "typical rom-com plot" with her comedy chops and sheer magnetism.

After being passed up for yet another big promotion, Ali (Henson) is frustrated with the boys' club culture in her male dominated office, as well as being overlooked and underestimated by her manager.

Ali vents about her frustration to her friends, while they are out celebrating a friend's bachelorette party, and this is where she meets an eccentric psychic called Sister, played by Erykha Badu.

Sister, who is completely over-the-top-ridiculous-dialled-all-the-way-up-to-amazing, picks up on Ali's inability to form meaningful connections with men and offers her a strange concoction to help her connect better with the opposite sex.

Erykha totally knocked it out of the park with her interpretation of Sister and commanded the screen with one simple eye roll, or flick of her long finger nail.

The friends head out to the club, but after being whacked by a large inflatable penis and knocking her head against a DJ booth, Ali wakes up in hospital with the ability to read men's thoughts.

With her new-found abilities, Ali turns the tables on her obnoxious (and stereotypically so) co-workers while racing to sign the next basketball superstar.

While the movie works its way through the typical rom-com plot points:

  1. Girl meets boy.
  2. Girl tells boy a lie.
  3. Girl realises she is falling in love with boy.
  4. Girl is caught in lie.
  5. Boy ends it with girl.
  6. Girl makes a grand gesture of her love, and commitment.
  7. Girl and boy live happily ever after.

What Men Want still touches on some valuable lessons, and I think we can all take note.

Don't take advantage of people: When you use people to get ahead or just to boost your ego someone will get hurt. Using people as a band-aid to cover up insecurities is never a long-term solution, and it's always better to be upfront and honest. If someone cares about you, they will understand.

Your self-worth is not dependant on your success or accomplishments:  Self-esteem should not be dependent on things external to us. If you strip away the job title, cars, houses and bank balance. What are you left with?

The chemistry between Ali and her love interest Will (Aldis Hodge) is off the charts and the witty banter between them came across as authentic and genuine, especially in a scene where Ali tells Brandon about the strange tea she drank, and he replies: "I thought black people stopped drinking tea after Get Out."

Other stand-out performances came from Ali's geeky assistant Brandon (Josh Brener) and of course Tracy Morgan, who takes on the character of tough dad-ager with his signature unapologetic robust flair.

Even though the movie follows the tried and trusted rom-com formula, there are plenty of hilarious moments, so hold onto your popcorn for some big laughs!

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