Rum And Rom-Coms With Alison Stevenson: ‘What Women Want’

In Rum and Rom-Coms, with Alison Stevenson, intrepid comedian and film reporter Alison Stevenson explores how much alcohol it will take to get through a rom-com.

This Rum and Rom-Coms is dedicated to one of the 84 stars of the Expendables 3 film, Mel Gibson. That’s right, sugar tits himself. Way back in the year 2000, Gibson starred in What Women Want, a film that should have taught him no woman ever wants to be referred to as sugar tits. Then again, I haven’t seen this movie in at least ten years, so I could be wrong. I have half a bottle of Jim Beam in my freezer, as well as some tequila. Tonight is going to get weird. I pour some of the whiskey in my glass and get started.

The film starts off with croony Frank Sinatra music playing. Some women are talking about what it means to be a man’s man. Hint: Mel Gibson is the ultimate man’s man. His character’s name is Nick Marshall. How alpha! He works in advertising, which for some reason is always the job of a man’s man in these kinds of movies. This is even before “Mad Men”. What is so manly about advertising? I envision the ultimate man’s man would be a professional lumberjack. He’d still work in the city and have an office in a high-rise building,  but all he does all day is chop tree trunks while wearing a suit made of flannel. He also faxes his beard hair, and fights the office bear when on his break. Actually, this might already be an Old Spice commercial.

Nick Marshall’s back story is that he was raised in Vegas, his mother was a showgirl, and he had no father figure except for a sleazy looking Italian mobster guy who counts money and slaps his mom’s ass. This is supposed to explain why he is a complete jerk to women today. Now it cuts to Nick Marshall as an adult. He wakes up alone in bed, with a perfect lipstick kiss on his cheek. This must mean that Mel Gibson had sex last night, with a woman who only kissed him once the whole time they were boning, and it was on his cheek. Sounds like friend zone sex to me!

His maid has to wake him up and he slaps her ass and calls her babe. She’s not even hot. What a man! Next we see him in a coffee shop, and he purposely bumps into a woman, making her spill coffee on her shirt so he can clean it up with a napkin and grab her boob. Nick Marshall is essentially a 15-year-old boy’s image of a man’s man. He now tries to get Marisa Tomei (who works at the coffee shop) to go out on a date with him. She refuses, making Nick Marshall go crazy! She plays a struggling actress, which let’s face it, doesn’t sound too far off from actual Marisa Tomei. Damn, why did I say that? I love Marisa Tomei. Sorry, I’m just negging. Perhaps if I keep insulting her throughout this film, I will get to have sex with her.

Now Nick Marshall is at work, as he walks to his office he tells a chubby woman not to eat a pastry, and then tells a hacky blowjob joke to another female coworker. His boss is a fellow douchebag played by Alan Alda. Why would anyone make Alan Alda play a misogynist prick? This movie is making me angry. Oh, and I also finished my whiskey and am taking a shot of tequila because why the hell not? Moving on, Nick thought he was sure to get promoted to creative director, but Alda is all like, “Sorry Nick but turns out women buy stuff so we need a woman to be in charge so she can get women to buy stuff.” Nick is mad, and then goes to his ex-wife’s wedding. Turns out he has a daughter, yikes!

The new boss is Helen Hunt. She gives everyone in the office a box of girly products that they need to come up with ads for. Nick Marshall is very against this. When he goes home that night, he gets wine drunk while listening to Frank Sinatra. He puts on a fedora and starts dancing with a hat rack. He is the poster boy for Men’s Rights Activists everywhere right now. I need whiskey again. I have poured my second glass, and also a tequila shot for later.

Okay, so now Mel Gibson literally says “I gotta think like a broad”, and starts using all the products in the girly box. He has nail polish on, is putting hair stuff in his hair, and plays his daughter’s Meredith Brooks CD. “I’m a Bitch” plays as he puts on tights. Suddenly, Nick Marshall is more of a woman than I will ever be. He even waxes his leg, and put his nail polish on perfectly. I can’t remember the last time I shaved my legs. Things are starting to look like a rainforest below my waist. With its own ecosystem and everything. You might think this is disgusting, but California is going through yet another drought and I need to do my part to conserve as much water and energy as I can. My love of the environment should be turning you on right now. If not, you’re a monster. So with that, I will take a tequila shot. Not to go on a rant right now, and I might have said this before, but no man has ever not had sex with me because of my leg hair. It’s impossible to stop once two bodies have reached full horny levels.

Back to the movie. Nick’s daughter comes home with her boyfriend, and both find Nick wearing tights and a bra in the middle of the bathroom. How hilariously embarrassing. He uses the old, “I’m conducting research” excuse, which has never been believable ever. By the way, the boyfriend looks like an extra from the movie Kids. Hot. When they leave, Nick accidentally electrocutes himself when he falls in the tub while the hair dryer is on. When he wakes up in the morning, he can suddenly hear women’s thoughts. WHAA?????

Nick Marshall can read women’s minds, and it first it drives him bonkers. That overweight woman, he finds out, thinks he’s an asshole for telling him not to eat food. Whoddathunk? The lady who heard that blowjob joke, she thinks he’s a pervert. Shocking! All this brutal honesty is unbearable, so he tries to reverse the curse by re-electrocuting himself the same way he first got electrocuted. Smart guy. Shouldn’t he be dead by now?

Well, the curse isn’t gone, and I am drinking the last of my whiskey. His best friend does not believe that he can read women’s minds, and he eventually goes to a therapist to see what she says. After he guesses all the numbers she’s thinking of, she becomes convinced. By the way, the therapist is Bette Midler. She then says something about how Freud died wondering what women want, and that Nick is blessed with a powerful gift. For some reason, this is a question only a man can answer.

Nick is finally realizing how he can use this to his advantage. He can get the boss-lady fired! Helen Hunt is not the mega-bitch she is rumored to be, and is actually a great boss. So, of course she needs to be fired. He starts stealing her ideas, and saying what she’s thinking before she can. Making her both perplexed, but also kind of attracted to this Nick Marshall guy. Nick also uses his mind reading skills to get Marisa Tomei to finally have sex with him. She thinks to herself that she doesn’t want to get hurt again, so he says out loud that he is not going to hurt her.

Their sex scene is supposedly funny, because Marisa is at first not in to it and wants to get it over with. Like all women do! However, Nick steps it up and uses his power for good. He gives her the best sex of her life, and now she is in love with him.

Next we see a montage of how Nick is a full-on woman. He gets manicures, and cries while eating rice cakes. Haha it’s funny because that’s what broads do, not men! He also takes his daughter shopping for a prom dress, and Christina Aguilera’s “What a Girl Wants” plays over the montage.

So, Nick is starting to fall for Darcy (Helen Hunt) because she is actually better at advertising than him, but more importantly because she also listens to Frank Sinatra. They meet at a bar called the Back Door and make out. They meet at a bar called the Back Door. The Back Door.

After his date at the Back Door, he is shocked to find an upset Marisa Tomei outside his apartment building. He slept with her, told her he wasn’t going to hurt her, then didn’t call her since they had sex. Nick knew full well that having sex with her would be a bad idea, but he did it anyways. Guess he’s still a man after all. Marisa starts talking about how he’s so sensitive, and in tune with women, that he must be gay. Nick goes along with this, because he doesn’t want to tell her the truth. That he’s an asshole. So now she thinks he is gay, even though they had sex.

There is barely any conflict in this film. Nick is pretty much getting his way, and his plan is going smoothly. He is both falling in love with Helen Hunt, while taking her job. She has no idea that he is sabotaging her. Well, actually I guess he’s starting to feel bad about stealing her thunder. Eventually Alan Alda fires Helen Hunt, after Nick gets her job after he snags the company a campaign for Women’s Nike. It’s at this point, Nick decides to have a heart, and wants to fix things. He wants Helen to have her job back, but before he can run to her, he has to go find the girl at the office who had a bunch of suicidal thoughts. A secretary who no one notices because she’s nerdy (wears glasses). Apparently she didn’t show up to work that day so he feared the worst. A suicidal girl at the office should have really been his first priority, but I dunno I guess that don’t create drama or somethin’. He finds her, and as he convinces her not to kill herself, he loses his ability to read thoughts. Perhaps she was the real reason he was given the power to read minds? Hmmmm.

I have taken another shot of tequila. May this film be over with very soon. Nick also has to go find his daughter at the prom, who he worries might be having sex with her boyfriend. The horror! She is crying in a stall in the bathroom because her boyfriend left her when she said she didn’t want to have sex with him. She even calls him dad. This officially means they have bonded. Man, I didn’t even go to prom. Is that a shocker? I just didn’t want to. Instead, me and a few friends went to Disneyland. Jesus Christ I’m just realizing now how goddamn sad that is. Then at night I stayed home and watched television. By this time, I had only kissed one boy. I didn’t even drink alcohol until the summer after I graduated high school. Then college happened, and it completely ruined me. All the stereotypical college crap happened to me. I suddenly started partying, drinking alcohol,  having depressing casual sex, and experimenting  with girls at 4am while high on cocaine. I am a living cliché. How can I judge rom-coms when I, myself, am a collection of tropes and predictability? Am I really having a crisis right now? Wait, why am I crying? I think I drank too much. I need a veggie burger. It’s from Trader Joe’s. I’m a millennial who shops at Trader Joe’s. What is wrong with me?! Did I choose to be this way? Do I have free will? Okay wait, I am now eating my veggie burger and don’t care about this anymore. That was a close one.

So now Nick can go to Helen Hunt. It’s late at night, and he admits to all the terrible things he has done. He tells her she has her job back, and she tells him that he is fired. However, they are still in love so they kiss passionately.

Okay, so let’s assess this film. I am definitely drunk. What did I have, four tequila shots? Three whiskey drinks? I’m hammered. There are going to be so many typos I have to fix in the morning. I hated this movie. It was boring, and Mel Gibson is a turd. Helen Hunt is gorgeous, and amazing. As is Marisa Tomei. This movie should be remade starring only Helen Hunt and Marisa Tomei, and the original plot should be removed. That’s what this women wants ;)

Anyways, on the drunk scale this film gets an 8 ½. May I never have to look at Mel Gibson’s dumb face again.