2018 has been a good year for Taraji. P Henson. The Emmy-winning actress featured in some of great films in the past twelve months, including PROUD MARY and ACRIMONY, while simultaneously appearing as Cookie Lyon in popular Fox TV series EMPIRE. Her impressive run will continue into 2019, as Henson has even more movies on the way. The first is the comedy WHAT MEN WANT, set for release on February 8.
WHAT MEN WANT explores the struggles women face in a patriarchal workplace. With the film only a couple months away, here’s everything you need to know before it hits cinemas.
WHAT MEN WANT centers on Henson’s character Ali Davis, a successful sports agent who is constantly overlooked for promotions at work. “Stay in your lane,” she’s told. Ali is starting to believe she’s doomed to fail in what many people around her see as a man’s world. Then she visits a woman who might have slightly supernatural powers. One cup of drugged tea and a bump on the head later, Ali can hear men’s thoughts.
Unsurprisingly, Ali’s new power changes everything. But is her access to every man’s thoughts a way to level the playing field, or an unfair advantage? We expect the insight she gets also conveys the advantage she needs to succeed at work. Of course, this great power might also come with some consequences. and Ali must decide if she is willing to risk her relationships in order to get what she wants.
An Update With A Twist
WHAT MEN WANT is a remake with a twist. It is based on the film WHAT WOMEN WANT, from 2000, which starred Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt in the leading roles. After seeing trailers for the new movie, it seems like there are quite a few differences, but the biggest change is that the main roles are reversed.
In the original, Mel Gibson plays a chauvinistic alpha male who demeans women at every opportunity. Upon realizing he has the ability to hear the thoughts of women, he begins to see the errors of his ways. He also starts to understand the struggles that women face not only at work in a patriarchal society, but on a day to day basis. We don’t know how the update will play out, but there are some other potentially big changes in the way the story plays out.
Seeing Taraji P. Henson going for big laughs is a major part of the film’s appeal, but WHAT MEN WANT has a lot more to offer. Aldis Hodge, who starred opposite Henson in HIDDEN FIGURES, plays Ali’s potential love interest. In addition to HIDDEN FIGURES, Hodge has also starred in STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON, and featured in episodes of popular TV series’ THE WALKING DEAD and BLACK MIRROR. Josh Brener of SILICON VALLEY plays Ali’s assistant, and we know he can absolutely own a straight man role.
While we don’t know much about the character he’ll play — the trailer suggests he’s a legacy sports star — Tracy Morgan also features in WHAT MEN WANT. Morgan is best known for his work on SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE and popular series 30 ROCK, and he currently stars in THE LAST O.G. There’s also a rich supporting cast including Shaquille O’Neal, Richard Roundtree, Wendy McLendon-Covey, Max Greenfield, Kellan Lutz, Phoebe Robinson, and Jason Jones.
WHAT MEN WANT hits theaters on February 8, 2019.