What Women Want (2000)
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Dolby Digital Trailer-Rain
Menu Animation & Audio
Audio Commentary-Nancy Meyers (Dir) & Jon Huttman (Prod Designer)
Featurette-Showtime Interviews With Andrew Warne
Featurette-A Look Inside
Biographies-Cast & Crew
|Year Of Production||2000|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (72:50)||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Nancy Meyers|
Roadshow Home Entertainment
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.85:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
|Subtitles||English for the Hearing Impaired||Smoking||Yes, including a very funny performance by Bette Midler|
|Annoying Product Placement||Yes, I wonder how much Nike paid to get the screentime|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
He thinks he is in line for promotion to Creative Director, but at the last moment his boss Dan Wanamaker (Alan Alda) decides to hire a woman instead: the interestingly-named Darcy McGuire (Helen Hunt). The rationale is that women are now the big spenders and more and more advertising is targeting women, so Dan is afraid his firm will be left in the cold unless he gets a Creative Director who understands how women think.
Does Nick get mad? No, but he plans to get even, by sabotaging Darcy. As he ponders how to do this, he attends Darcy's inaugural staff meeting where she hands everyone a box full of women's products and urges everyone to start thinking like a woman in order to come up with ideas about how to market the products.
At home in his elegant and sumptuous apartment (Clue #1 as to why I suspect Nick is not quite the man's man he's supposed to be: if he really was, his apartment would probably be a mess), he decides the only way he can figure out how to market the products is to try them on - literally. So, after a glass of wine and some dancing (Clue #2: dancing?), he starts applying the lipstick, nail polish, hair removal wax, bra and pantyhose (Clue #3: huh? Then again, maybe he's watched the Footy Show too many times) when he is surprised by his teenage daughter Alexandra Marshall (Ashley Johnson) and her boyfriend Cameron in a hilarious scene. After that, he continues except a slapstick accident involving electrocution with a hairdryer in a bath tub enables him to hear what women think.
At first he is really perturbed by this, but a session with a psychologist (played brilliantly by Bette Midler in a cameo role) convinces him that he can use this new talent to his advantage. He promptly starts to sabotage Darcy by stealing all her ideas as she is thinking them, and also to woo frustrated-aspiring-actress-working-as-a-waittress Lola (Marisa Tomei). However, just when his Machiavellian scheme is starting to work, he discovers he is starting to fall in love with Darcy and he also realizes Darcy is besotted with him.
I think Mel and Helen are perfectly cast in their roles, and I'm not sure any other male actor would have carried off the role of Nick as successfully.
One thing that perturbed me about the movie is the rather callous treatment that Lola gets from Nick, which goes totally against the flow of the plot - which is about how Nick starts becoming more sensitive to women as he listens in to their thoughts. I think she deserved better, and I felt really sorry for her.
I noticed a number of minor plot inconsistencies in the film (in addition to the various goofs listed on IMDB). For example, early on in the film Nick talks about moving up to the "44th" floor once he is promoted to Creative Director. Yet, later on in the movie, we find that the new Creative Director Darcy is working on the same floor as Nick. So, does Darcy not get to work on the 44th floor (because she is a woman?) or is Nick already working on the 44th floor and he's too dumb to realize? Also, around 30 minutes into the film, Nick gets to hear a female poodle "think" to her owner "Please, monsieur, I need to poop" but in a deleted scene (featured in the trailer) he meets an ethnic woman in the park and she is thinking in a foreign language. So, he can understand dog-think but not ethnic-woman-think?
Despite all that, I quite enjoyed this film - it's more a comedy than a romance, but well worth watching anyway. Somehow, it reminded me of another movie about an obnoxious advertising man learning to see things from a female perspective: Switch (starring Jimmy Smits and Ellen Barker). I'm not sure that a man watching this film will really gain any real insights into the female psyche, but hey we in the Sisterhood do guard the details of our secret women's business quite closely!
Sharpness and shadow detail are pretty good, as you would expect from a recent film, and colour saturation is fairly good, though the colour balance looks slightly forced and unnatural at times.
There is one subtitle track: English for the Hearing Impaired. I turned it on briefly, and it seemed reasonably accurate and detailed, transcribing auditory cues and even lyrics of songs in addition to dialogue.
This is a single sided dual layered disc (RSDL) and the layer change occurs at 72:50 between Chapters 14 and 15. It occurs during a screen blank in between scenes and is quite well placed. However, it is still noticeable because of the pause in the underlying soundtrack.
In general, I quite like this audio track - dialogue sounds clear and natural at all times, and the music nicely blends with and supports the dialogue. I did not encounter any dialogue synchronization issues.
The music is a mixture of original material by Alan Silvestri and a medley of Frank Sinatra and Cole Porter songs that reminded me of another romantic comedy, Sleepless in Seattle.
This is a mainly dialogue-driven film, so the rear surround channels and the subwoofer are sparingly used. The scene where Mel Gibson encounters a whole bunch of female joggers thinking at 31:05-31:12 is one of the few places where the rear surrounds are used to provide an enveloping effect, and ambient noises like rain are also channelled occasionally to the rear speakers. The subwoofer was rarely engaged, apart from during thunderstorm scenes such as around 40:25 and also 99:00-99:20.
|Surround Channel Use|
Most of the commentary is provided by Nancy, with Jon's contributions limited to a few scenes here and there, but even then there are long periods where all we hear is the audio track of the film. Nancy and Jon obviously recorded the commentary track together whilst watching the film, as they respond both to each other and to events in the film. I think the periods of silence are due to both of them being engrossed in watching the film!
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-626D, using Component output|
|Display||Sony VPL-VW10HT LCD Projector, ScreenTechnics 16x9 matte white screen (203cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Front and rears: B&W CDM7NT; centre: B&W CDMCNT; subwoofer: B&W ASW2500|