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.
As the top brass of the leading ad agency, Sun's (Andy Lau) mind is only fixed on being promoted to the executive creative director post.
But the announcement comes and Sun is beaten by a new colleague Yi-Long (Gong Li), renowned as the Iron Lady in the ad industry. The boss believes Yi-Long would bring a competitive edge for the agency – the female perspective.
Sun and Yi-Long are at loggerheads at first sight, and she gives him an assignment – takes home a box of female hygiene products, and present an ad idea the next morning.
That night, Sun is brainstorming in the bathtub when he accidentally drops a lamp in the water. The electric shock knocks him out, and when he wakes up in the hospital, he realizes he has a new gift – he can really hear what women think! By listening to the inner thoughts of the opposite sex, Sun quickly wins the hearts and trust of all women, and he also takes advantage of Yi-Long by eavesdropping on her brainstorming, then copies them and present as his own work. The chauvinist suddenly becomes the expert on women psychology, and Sun soon gains the upper-hand on Yi-Long.
As Sun continues to hear Yi-Long’s thinking, he slowly discovers her fragility and gentleness inside the Iron Lady armor. Romance soon evolves among this odd couple, and Sun is at the crossroads – Should he be honest for true love, or use his gift to regain the executive creative director post?
A Chinese remake of 2000's original similar titled film starring Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt.
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).