What Women Want

What Women Want
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6.1/10 by 9 users

After an accident, a chauvinistic executive gains the ability to hear what women are really thinking.

Title:What Women Want
Original Title:我知女人心
Release Date:February 3, 2011
Runtime:
Genres:Drama, Comedy, Romance, Foreign
Production Countries:China
Director:Daming Chen
Casts:, , ,
Alternative Titles:
  • What Women Want - [DE]
  • Wo Zhi Nu Ren Xin - [CN]
  • I Know a Woman's Heart - [US]
  • Czego pragną kobiety - [PL]

What Women Want Reviews

  • HK Neo Reviews: What Women Want
    by (webmaster@thehkneo.com) on 30 March 2011

    10 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

    A superficial remake of Hollywood counterpart...

    Although, What Women Want is what you proclaim as efficient, it is not a movie that affects or has any effect on you. At least that is the case, if you have seen the far superior Hollywood movie starring Mel Gibson. The problem is not the story, but rather the way the film is directed. There is absolutely no creativity or ambition, instead what the audience receive is a safe scene by scene re-dux into Chinese. If not for the attractiveness and on-screen presence of the leads, Andy Lau and Gong Li, the film would be almost unwatchable. With the two, What Women Want gets attention and with attention comes a decently made, polish production values and purely commercialised Mainland product.

    One of the Achilles heels of this movie is the pairing of Gong Li and Andy Lau. There is absolutely no love chemistry in the pairing. If there is any sort of chemistry it will be that of brotherly and sisterly love. In effect, the film is doomed to have any chance of real success when the main romantic leads fail the first hurdle. In saying that, whenever the two is on-screen, there is an automatic "big star" presence about them. This not only lifts the movie up a notch, but makes the film a watchable affair from start to finish without lurking into boredom.

    All in all, What Women Want is not a bad movie, in fact is more into the positive territory than not. The fact is that it is inevitable that any remake will be compare with its predecessor and in this case, the Hollywood original actually worked in all departments and even manages to convince. Sometimes, a safe bet is reasonable, but to copy scene by scene, it just lacks any sort of creativity that could have made the film better than it is. Using the idea and premises of knowing what women is feeling rather than a carbon copy can be a start. Still, What Women Want is an efficient and largely average entertain that does not ignite or fails. Watch the original, before indulging into this hugely average affair...(Neo 2011)

    I rate it 6/10

    - www.thehkneo.com

  • Clearly not a good V-Day film to indulge in with your partner
    by Jason Lin on 20 February 2011

    10 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

    Andy Lau and Gong Li are two of the most attractive and charismatic superstars of their age and it's a perfect dream match in this romance comedy. However the film itself fails terribly and is considered mediocre at best, putting such great cast potential to a pitiful waste. The best reward is a visual treat of two fabulous personalities trying to work chemistry on the big screen.

    After walking out of the theatre from this film, a raging question enveloped me.

    "How did two of the greatest Asian superstars agree to such a lacklustre film?"

    Most of us will have to admit that it is such a pleasure to have them on the same big screen as it surely satisfies audience members of both genders and thus holding great opportunities to appeal towards a massive audience size. Whenever I see Andy Lau working his charms on a well-composed Gong Li, it makes me wonder why youthful couples are always featured where you only get sweet puppy love and none of the enriched personalities sported by these two timeless veterans.

    Nevertheless, there is only that much these superstars can aid a bad film.

    What Women Want follows Benny Chan's successful remake of Hollywood's "Cellular" in another Asian attempt at similar, this time of a romance comedy genre. However it is interesting to see the project being entrusted into someone who is inexperienced with bid budget productions, which proves to be fatal indeed.

    Poorly scripted and handled, it is said that it retains a high level of adherence to the original. Possibly a source of creativity and flair deadlock as the filmmakers are merely trying to shadow an original without any new blood to improve or innovate.

    Almost every scene is briefly tackled on screen and soon after fleets towards the next, causing the film to feel like a superficial work of neither style nor substance. The audience will find themselves trying hard to attach themselves to the cast as much as they love to (Lau and Li are simply hard to ignore).

    As a romance comedy, there isn't any quality comedy in it unfortunately to compensate for the lack of good romance chemistry between both leads. Aside from the occasional whacky stint by Andy Lau who dresses up in feminine fashion in the first half of the film, dialogues were pretty much one-two liners that were shallow and uninspiring.

    The best parts of the film can be easily gathered as follow:

    1. Eye candy in the form of gorgeous Gong Li and charming Andy Lau. 2. Andy Lau sings.

    If these two aspects do not appeal to you in any manner, feel free to skip this film that tries hard to know what women want and has seriously neglected what the audience wants.

    This is clearly not a good Valentine's Day film to indulge in with your partner (It's an annual event and thus don't risk spoiling it for your other).

  • Disappointing along most dimensions
    by Maynard Handley on 31 July 2014

    2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

    I (a falang American) watched this out of curiosity, to see what a Chinese version of this sort of movie is like. Obviously one can't generalize from one movie, but all I can say it that, for the sake of Chinese audiences, I hope that most of their Rom Com directors are more skilled than Daming Chen.

    Regarding the movie itself, I'll repeat the comments of most other reviewers. Gong Li is as gorgeous as ever, but that's all she is --- a pretty face that exists to move the plot along. Andy Lau's character, on the other hand, is not neutral but vile. And he doesn't get better as the movie progresses --- he's the same dick at the end that he was at the beginning. It's not just that there's no chemistry between the two, it's that you don't want chemistry between them. Also don't expect any laughs along the way --- this fits the Rom Com mold, but has none of the comedy that could be wrung from the situation.

    The budget (as suggested by the stars, the decent lighting and costumes, the sets/locations) suggest a high-end movie, but the actual content --- everything from the clumsy and didactic story to the lack of humor or subtlety --- suggests the sort of sad movies you see on an indie TV channel late at night starring Hollywood hopefuls you've never heard of, in some direct to DVD garbage.

    What is interesting is the image of China it presents. The buildings shown are all incredibly new and, while I expect the intention was to present some sort of air of glamor, to me it felt extremely nouveau riche. The buildings struck me as not so much Manhattan as Brasilia --- designed based on theory rather than on human needs, and likely to be showing cracks and flaws in just a few years. There's one scene where we see our heroine in a car driving down a highway which struck me as the one scene where Chinese reality enters --- the highway is lousy and narrow, with few cars on it --- something like what the Pasadena Freeway may have looked like when it opened in 1940, and nothing at all like the general highways of Los Angeles today.

    The second image of China it presents is of a country that has not yet undergone the "psychologicalization" of America. The characters seem unable to relate to each other or discuss their inner lives in a way that Americans (helped by TV and movies) had already achieved by the early 70s or so. The clumsiness of the dialog doesn't help, sure, but it seems that there's more than that, that the screenwriter honestly doesn't know (or at least doesn't expect the audience to know) how to be introspective, how to have a theory of mind, how to interpret other people. They go through the motions (we get the occasional sermon on "being honest") but there's no follow-through, no appreciation of the relevant issues. You get the feeling that if you told the Andy Lau character to be vulnerable, to honestly communicate, he'd have no idea what that even meant; or that if you told Gong Li's character that she allows herself to be a doormat, she'd not understand the point you were making.

  • The Movie Was Saved By Its Talented Lead Stars
    by Desertman84 on 27 November 2011

    1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

    What Women Want is a Chinese romantic comedy film that presents two of the most popular Chinese movie stars - Gong Li and Andy Lau - for their first historic collaboration.It was written and directed by Chen Daming. The story takes place mostly in an advertising company in Beijing, in which slick advertising executive gets acquainted with his new talented competition.The film was a remake of the 2000 hit What Women Want starring Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt.

    Chauvinistic advertising executive Sun Zigang gains the power to read women's thoughts in a bathroom mishap, and becomes an instant expert on all things related to the fairer sex while scheming to steal the ideas of an ambitious female colleague. Sun's personal life is falling apart; his wife has left him for another man, and his adolescent daughter gives him nothing but attitude. None of this really fazes Sun, though, because all he can think about is getting promoted to creative director at the advertising agency where he works. But when distinguished executive Li Yilong swoops in from another firm and snatches the job right from under Sun's nose, the incensed cad starts to fear that his career may be over. Later, while attempting to soothe his frazzled nerves with some wine and a warm bath, Sun dons women's clothing in a drunken bid to better understand the opposite sex, accidentally knocks a lamp in the bathtub, and gets the shock of his life. Upon regaining consciousness, Sun finds himself in the hospital, and quickly realizes that he now possesses the power to know what women are thinking. At first Sun decides to have some fun around the office by expounding on his uncanny insight into the opposite sex, but when he begins using his newfound abilities to steal Yilong's ideas, he finally pushes things too far.

    The film has brilliant acting from both Gong Li and Andy Lau.They have great chemistry and provide fireworks during their scenes.Unfortunately,there is more to be desired from the screenplay.The comedy rarely provides laughter and the story is contrived and predictable.Nevertheless,it manages to provide entertainment with the presence of the biggest stars from China.Actress Margot Kidder said,"A good movie can be made from a bad script". I think that this Chinese remake falls into that category.I give it a mild recommendation especially for the fans of the stars involved in the film.

  • If you saw Mel Gibson version, do not expect entertainment
    by redfordxx on 26 February 2012

    3 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

    (...However I believe you can still enjoy the US version after watching this one;-) If you saw neither 2000 original, nor 2011 remake, stop reading here and go watch the original.

    In the beginning about me: I am not Chinese and I saw 2000 original. This things made me probably evaluate the movie lower than others. In other words, Chinese patriot who didn't see original would enjoy the movie better.

    The reason I made TODAY IMDb registration just to write this review, was someone mentioning somewhere without seeing the original, that this movie is probably better because Mel Gibson is more action hero than romantic actor. (I am simplifying here) Not true. And I had to mention it. Imho, Mel Gibson did good job acting as well as other actors in the original movie.

    I admit I don't know Chinese culture, so there can be some entertaining things I am missing. I also was not as comfortable watching the subtitles as it would be with English audio. Although English is not my native language, I dare to say that either the dialogs are shallow (I am sorry), or more probably the translation to English subtitles was bad. Not as bad as in early eastern martial arts movies, however, in that kind of movie it didn't matter that much.

    The story itself: I consider it the worst handled remake I ever saw. But the producers probably thought that there is like one billion people in China who didn't see the original and will like it. I would say there are several types of scenes in this move here is my breakdown: 1) scenes copied exactly (I had no entertainment here, because it was exactly same as original) 2) scenes slightly simplified (20% simplification of the scene usually means like 80% of humor reduction) 3) scenes with small additions (usually stupid) 4) scenes completely changed, removed, added...(probably done because otherwise the similarity of the remake would be too bad...however, I cannot recall any change of that kind which increases the quality of the Chinese version)

    To have an example what I mean by 2 and 3, here is short dialog from the movie (very shortened - not word to word). This will NOT SPOIL the entire movie:

    Boss: What do you think about the graphics? (both versions)

    She thinks: (is thinking about them and he hears it) (both versions)

    He: (answers exactly what she thinks) (both versions)

    She thinks: How can he think same as me??? (Chinese only, in US version mimics only which is much better: does the Chinese director think the audience is stupid?)

    Boss: Good idea, hey come to my office later, I have new cubans. (both versions)

    He: Cool. (both versions)

    She: OK. (US only)

    Boss: You smoke cigars? (US only)

    She: No. (US only: this is what makes it funny, otherwise mentioning he cubans is just empty smalltalk)

    I was going to watch the movie, because I considered the original pretty entertaining and I thought the Asian version would be entertaining in different way. WRONG. Howgh.

  • A Nutshell Review: What Women Want
    by DICK STEEL on 12 February 2011

    7 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

    The release of films here is getting quite predictable in the first two months of the year, with releases primed for the Lunar New Year weekend with plots that are family friendly comedies, and everything else that's on the Golden Globes and Oscar list of nominees. In between there's the Valentine's Day programme with romantic comedies such as Just Go With It, No Strings Attached and also this remake of the Hollywood film starring Helen Hunt and Mel Gibson before he self-destructed his career. Before we proceed I thought you may want to know I've never watched the original, since I was never convinced Gibson could be a romantic lead, and as it turns out he's more action packed than lovey-dovey in his real life exploits too.

    But back to this Pan-Chinese production, starring Singaporean Gong Li (I could say that, couldn't I?) and Malaysian PR Andy Lau as they take on the roles played by Hunt and Gibson respectively, where their characters Li Yi-Long and Sun Zi Gang are professional rivals in the advertising arena, who slowly find themselves drawn to each other romantically since they spend countless of hours in office in their dog eat dog profession. From their swanky office in Beijing to equally chic looking chill out watering holes - there's always the guzzling of wine in almost all their scenes together, talk about the affluence and a little bit of alcohol to withstand each other's nerves and charms - they find that they do actually click, but only because Zi Gang has a secret so powerful, I'm sure all men want to have that same ability, perhaps minus the need to be zapped by one point twenty one jigawatts.

    Zi Gang is the atypical ladies man, a smooth talker who knows how to rub women the right way and into his bed. Being the high flying creative director in a female dominant office, he gets every attention every day and is thought to be primed for the executive role, only for his company to hire Yi-Long from a rival agency, because the market as it seems is seeing the rise in the power of the female dollar, and the company is of the opinion of having a female at the helm would boost their chances. Talk about being sexist here.

    Things chug along and a freak accident while getting in touch with his feminine side (anima) gives Zi Gang the ability to listen in on the thoughts of all females, which while being thought of as a curse in the initial stages, becomes weaponized as a tool in the market place as he susses out opinions, ideas and especially strategies as cooked up by his rival Yi-Long. It's espionage at the highest and most subtle of levels, and the use of this power also extends to trying to improve ties with his rebellious teenage daughter, which is one of three subplots that unnecessarily bloats the plot and running time, the other two being the relationship between Zi Gang and his dad who irritates the bejesus out of everyone in the old folks home with his breakfast morning soprano singing, and a needless romance with a barista who's more eye candy than anything else.

    The best part of the movie is of course the countless montage sequences set during Zi Gang's initial confusion as he navigates through countless of sexists (but are they accurate?) thoughts from the fairer sex, which provided for some light comedy contrasting against the very heavily rote romantic set pieces. But these moments are few and far between especially when the romantic angle starts to muscle its way in to the second half of the film, when the concept and premise start to wear thin. Some parts also don't make much sense, and a few stem from the business perspective, such as how nobody within the industry know how the hotshots or peer competitors look like, or how the financial difficulties of the firm you're joining is not well researched into and got blindsided, or even how the hiring and firing policies of the company don't make much HR sense either.

    Andy Lau and Gong Li do share some chemistry as potential rivals and corporate competitors, though Lau looked visibly aged while I have to admit the latter looked more radiant in her role. There's nothing in the characters to challenge these two veteran performers, though you can take a sneak peek into their NG sequences when the end credits roll to give an idea which were some of the parts that they tripped up.

    You can tell that writer-director Chen Daming relied heavily on the Hollywood sensibilities in crafting this film, right down to the predominant English songs in the soundtrack. But what got delivered was an average fare that didn't quite excite or ignited a sustainable interest in its overly long run time, and coupled with some really slipshod CG which will unfortunately distract (check out that "fish in the tank" when Zi Gang stands out in the pouring rain).