Ali Davis has the gift that we all wish we had in this 2019 rom-com.
50% of the time you ask someone the age-old question “If you could have a superpower, what would it be?” mind reading is going to be their response. The other 50% are going to say flying. Those are statistics I made up so please don’t fact check me.
But really, how cool would it be if you had the ability to read people’s minds? In the case of Ali Davis, played by Taraji P. Henson, we get a comedic take on mind reading as she can only hear the thoughts of men in the What Men Want trailer below.
After not receiving a promotion that she, as well as some other coworkers, thought she would get, Ali is sent by her friend to see a psychic woman who offers her a cup of tea. Ali then goes out drinking with friends where she drunkenly smacks her head and winds up the hospital.
When she wakes up, she hears the doctor say that starting today, he won’t drink at work anymore. Ali confronts him but the doctor says he didn’t say anything. It isn’t until a car ride later on in the day with one of her male employees that Ali realizes she can hear the thoughts of men.
This, of course, can only lead to a number of shenanigans, but will also give Ali an edge over her colleagues as she tries to beat them in signing the NBA’s next star. Her gift also helps her wind up at an all men private poker game that she originally didn’t know about where she hears the thoughts of costars Tracy Morgan, Max Greenfield, and Shaquille O’Neal.
Just from the trailer alone, we hear some of the ridiculous things that Ali hears men say, like a valet attendant thinking “That cloud you’re walking through? That’s my farts.” or Tracy Morgan questioning if he’s having a stroke after he smells toast only to remember that he has a piece in his pocket.
Now, if you’re unfamiliar with the 2000’s film What Women Want starring Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt, then this may seem like a fun new story. And, in a way, it is. What Women Want follows the story of Nick Marshall who is gifted when it comes to seducing women. But when he loses a promotion to a woman, he realizes he knows nothing about the gender — until he is electrocuted into unconsciousness in his bathtub and wakes up with the ability to hear women’s thoughts.
A key part of What Women Want also includes Nick’s estranged daughter who he must reconnect with, but nothing in the new trailer indicated if Ali’s character is a divorcée with a child. Nick also hears the thoughts of a suicidal coworker, but that obviously wasn’t included in the new trailer either.
While there are some plot differences and questions that the trailer left us with, it’s apparent that this modern take is the story that women everywhere will find relatable and entertaining. Without getting too political and off topic from the trailer, there are people in the world who don’t think that women do still suffer a bit when it comes to the workplace, with things like the wage gap for example. But that’s another discussion for another time. This is the story that women want to hear, and the recognition that they deserve when it comes to how they’re treated in a work environment that is dominantly male.
Given everything that I’ve discussed so far, this seems like this will be a fun take on a woman in a man’s world. However, What Men Want isn’t just a comedy, it’s a rom-com. So where does the romance come in?
Aldis Hodge plays Ali’s love interest, whom at want point gets a pool cue to the crotch after Ali overhears his character saying he should “tap that ass” about a woman who is not his girlfriend.
Along with the fact that she’s hearing things she definitely shouldn’t like being secluded at work, we’ll get to see how Ali’s relationship holds up now that she can hear what her boyfriend is thinking. And I’m sure we’ll get some sweeter moments when she hears all of the nice things that her man has to say about her.