What Men Want will be hitting theaters in just a few months, and if you're wondering if it will be a straight-up comedy or more of a romantic comedy, like the movie that it's based on, producer Will Packer has an answer for you. When CinemaBlend spoke with him during roundtable interviews on the film's set in late May, he stressed that this movie would differ from the Mel Gibson original, What Women Want, by focusing way more on comedy than on romance.
It's more comedy. I mean, you know, rom-com is always about a relationship, and usually the woman has to find her way to the right man and figure that out. And, there's definitely a love story here; and there's a love interest. But, it's really a comedy about this woman in a man's world figuring out how to play the game using this very cool device that she gets in the movie to her advantage. It's really more about a woman becoming empowered than it is about a woman finding love. It's fun that that happens along the way, but it doesn't have the typical machinations of a rom-com.
So, while What Men Want will absolutely feature a love story, Will Packer is clear to note that it will not be the focal point of the story, or feature any of the "typical machinations" of traditional romantic comedies that we've all come to know and love over the years.
In What Men Want, Taraji P. Henson stars as a sports agent who's trying to get ahead but keeps getting denied opportunities in her male-dominated field. If you've seen the Nancy Meyers-directed original from 2000, you know that the "cool device" Will Packer spoke of is gaining the ability to hear the thoughts of the opposite sex. This magic power ends up allowing Henson's character, Ali (as in boxer Muhammad Ali), to begin to get a leg up on her male competition as she tries to sign a rising NBA star.
The original movie was, indeed, focused on the romance between Mel Gibson's character and that of Helen Hunt. While his character learned, through his gained power, to understand women more and grow as a person, much of that personal growth was really filtered through his burgeoning romance. What Women Want was definitely about a man and woman finding their way to each other in odd circumstances.
Will Packer mentioned that romance isn't completely ignored in What Men Want, even though you don't really see any glimpses of that in the newly released trailer. The film is much more about the comedy that comes from Ali's new gift and how she learns to use it to finally get what she's been after in her life and career for so long. It gives Ali the insight she needs to figure out what the men she works with and the athletes she's trying to sign need from her in order for her to succeed. And, it will probably also come in handy when her love interest arrives on the scene, as an added bonus for Ali's strange new life.