What Women Want
What Women Want poster
Directed by Nancy Meyers
Produced by Susan Cartsonis
Bruce Davey
Gina Matthews
Nancy Meyers
Matt Williams
Written by Josh Goldsmith
Cathy Yuspa
Diane Drake
Starring Mel Gibson
Helen Hunt
Marisa Tomei
Alan Alda
Lauren Holly
Ashley Johnson
Bette Midler
Music by Alan Silvestri
Cinematography Dean Cundey
Editing by Thomas J. Nordberg
Stephen A. Rotter
Carol Littleton
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release December 15, 2000
Running time 127 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $70 million
Gross revenue $374,111,707

What Women Want is a 2000 American romantic comedy film, written by Josh Goldsmith, Cathy Yuspa and Diane Drake, directed by Nancy Meyers, and starring Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt. The movie was a box office success with a domestic gross of US$182,811,707 and a worldwide gross of $374,111,707, against a budget of $70 million.


Nick Marshall, a Chicago advertising executive and alpha male, who grew up with his Las Vegas showgirl mother, is a chauvinist. He is skilled at selling to men and seducing women, including local coffee attendant Lola. However, just as he thinks he's headed for a promotion, his manager, Dan, informs him that he is hiring Darcy McGuire instead, to broaden the firm's appeal to women.

Also, his estranged 15-year-old daughter Alex is spending two weeks with him while his ex-wife Gigi goes on her honeymoon with her new husband. Alex is embarrassed by Nick, and resents his being protective when he meets her boyfriend.

Needing to prove himself to Darcy and Dan, Nick attempts to think of copy for a series of feminine products that Darcy distributed at the day's staff meeting. However he slips and falls into his bathtub while holding an electric hairdryer, shocking himself. The next day, Nick wakes up able to understand his maid's thoughts as she cleans his apartment. As he walks through a park and encounters numerous women, he realizes that he can hear their thoughts, even those of a female poodle. This proves to be an epiphany for him when he hears the thoughts of his female co-workers (some of whom have slept with him and regretted it). When he goes to a previous therapist, Dr. Perkins (who also disliked him), she realizes his gift: "If Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus, and you can speak Venutian, the world can be yours."

Nick eavesdrops on women's thoughts and uses their ideas as his own, but also begins to develop real friendships with his co-workers. But as he spends more time with Darcy, he is attracted to her. However when he tries to get closer to his daughter, she resents him for trying after so many years of neglect. Nick shrewdly suspects that her boyfriend, who is considerably older than Alex, plans to sleep with her and then dump her, but she does not want Nick's advice. He is able to bond with her by helping her shop for a dress for a prom dance. He also uses his new telepathic power to irresistibly attract a woman who he sleeps with.

Nick and Darcy begin to spend more time together, and ultimately they kiss. When he manages to trump Darcy out of her idea for a new Nike ad campaign aimed at women, he later regrets his selfishness, especially as it leads to her being fired.

Nick loses his gift during a storm while trying to find a company secretary, Erin, who (as his telepathic ability has shown him) is contemplating suicide. He is also reconciled with his daughter when her boyfriend rejects her. Before going to Erin, Nick persuades his boss to give Darcy her job back by saying that it was all Darcy's idea. Nick finally visits Darcy and explains everything (He later realizes he would get fired but doesn't mind) and she forgives him and agrees to save him from himself, to which he responds "My hero".


  • Mel Gibson as Nick Marshall
  • Helen Hunt as Darcy McGuire
  • Marisa Tomei as Lola
  • Alan Alda as Dan Wanamaker
  • Lauren Holly as Gigi
  • Ashley Johnson as Alexandra 'Alex' Marshall
  • Mark Feuerstein as Morgan Farwell
  • Delta Burke as Eve
  • Valerie Perrine as Margo
  • Judy Greer as Erin
  • Sarah Paulson as Annie
  • Ana Gasteyer as Sue Cranston
  • Diana-Maria Riva as Stella
  • Lisa Edelstein as Dina
  • Loretta Devine as Flo
  • Eric Balfour as Cameron
  • Logan Lerman as Young Nick Marshall
  • Bette Midler as Dr. J.M. Perkins (uncredited)

External links

Mel Gibson films

What Women Want (2000)  · The Expendables 3 (2014)  ·

Helen Hunt films

What Women Want (2000)  ·

Ashley Johnson films

What Women Want (2000)  ·

Bette Midler films
()  · 

Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.