Friday, January 27, 2012

What Women Want (2011) Celebrating Chinese New Year

A remake of the Mel Gibson film from a few years back, this is the story of a, charming, but piggish man who through an accident finds he can suddenly hear what women are thinking. The story follows how he uses the gift and begins to change as a result, all the while butting heads with his daughter, his ex-wife and a high powered executive in his company.

In reading on the film I found reaction very mixed. Some people found it a weak remake made worse by the leads, Andy Lau and Gong Li. Others were like me, who found the leads to be utterly charming and the film to be damn funny.

I should probably state at this point that I am not fan of the Mel Gibson original. I find that film entertaining but very forced and extremely manufactured. For me watching Mel and his co-stars go through the paces is like watching a well oiled machine go through its very preprogrammed paces.

I didn’t have that problem with this version of the story. I simply let the film unwind. I kind of knew where it was going, after all I had seen the earlier film, but I didn’t care. I was more interested in watching where Lau and Li took things.

When you see this film you’ll understand that the film’s success rests purely on the stars if you’re like some who’ve written on the film and you don’t like the stars or feel they don’t have a chemistry then you’re doomed. On the other hand if you’re like me you’ll find that the Lau and Li are absolutely wonderful together.

Actually to be honest to me the joy of the film is Lau. There is something about his devil care attitude toward women that is completely charming. He is clearly chatting up every woman he runs across in the hope of bedding them but he does it so sweetly that they manage not to be offended-except when they catch him doing it to every other woman.

Lau is a charmer and there is a scene early in the film in his apartment where he takes a shower to the music on his daughter's I-pod. The scene is so wonderfully wacky and utterly charming that it's at this point you're either completely hooked or you're lost. I was hooked and smiling from ear to ear.

Equally good is Gong Li as Lau's romantic sparring partner. She is stunningly beautiful and carries herself with an aire of confidence that makes her a wonderful match for Lau. She's so good that I quickly thought back to early in her career when she was the object of lust for a whole bunch of my friends.

For my money this is the superior version of the tale. If you want proof that sometime remakes are better`than the original see this film.

Currently out on import DVD.

1 comment:

  1. It's also on Netflix Streaming, which is how I watched it.

    Clearly, Andy Lau and Gong Li are upgrades when compared to Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt. CLEARLY. There's no contest.

    I do think it approves upon the original, too, although I don't remember it all that well. I did feel like Gong Li's character had more confidence than Helen Hunt's did.

    It's not a great movie, but it was a fun way to pass a Saturday night.