Given the highly-publicized personal issues that saw him caught on tape more than once saying some reprehensible things, there’s an entire generation of movie fans out there who simply can’t fathom the idea of Mel Gibson as a romantic lead, but during his peak at the top of the Hollywood A-list, he was one of the biggest and most versatile stars in the business.
Action, drama, comedy, romance, historical epics; name a genre, and chances are Gibson found success in it during the 1980s and 90s. One of his biggest hits came at the turn of the millennium in rom-com What Women Want, which went on to earn $374 million at the box office and land the leading man a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in the Musical or Comedy category.
Directed by rom-com veteran Nancy Myers, who went on to write and direct Something’s Gotta Give, The Holiday and It’s Complicated, Gibson plays chauvinistic ad executive Nick Marshall, who gains the ability to hear what women are thinking. Initially, he uses it for his own personal gain, but he eventually falls in love with his professional rival, helps those around him and seeks to reconnect with his daughter.
What Women Want proved to be so popular that it was remade for both Indian and Chinese audiences within the space of a decade, while Taraji P. Henson would headline thinly-veiled retread What Men Want in 2019. The original is now streaming on Netflix, and serves as a reminder of Mel Gibson‘s undeniable star power, with the actor generating plenty of chemistry with his opposite number Helen Hunt, and it’s an entertaining enough diversion for those who like their studio comedies to be kept light and frothy.