Mel Gibson, What Women Want
Credit: Andrew Copper

Meyers is well aware that calling a Mel Gibson movie ”What Women Want” sounds like the obvious response to an easy ”Jeopardy!” clue. But casting the actor as a chauvinistic Chicago ad exec who, after getting electrocuted in the bathtub, realizes he’s able to read women’s minds, was a no brainer. ”He’s very romantic and very funny,” Meyers is quick to note, even though no other director has tested Gibson in a genre ruled by the likes of Tom Hanks and Hugh Grant.

Still, Hollywood’s $25 million man won’t have to enter this new territory without seasoned support: Meyers, a veteran writer and producer (”Father of the Bride”) whose first directorial outing was 1998’s ”Parent Trap” remake, reworked a script by ”King of Queens”’ Josh Goldsmith and Cathy Yuspa and filled out her cast with such funny folk as Alan Alda and Bette Midler, not to mention Oscar winners Hunt and Tomei as the ladies whom the mind reader manipulates most. ”Nancy is so smart, so generous… absolutely open to [suggestion],” says Hunt. ”She’s smart enough to say: Best idea wins.”

The producers (including Gibson’s own Icon Productions) can expect a hit if what winds up on screen is as funny as the notorious antics Gibson regularly pulled during the four month shoot. ”He loves to burp,” reports costar Feuerstein (”Rules of Engagement”). ”Fortunately, he was discreet and demure enough not to release any other kinds of gas on the set.” Uh, okay. But what pranks did Gibson pull on Meyers, his main victim? ”I will never tell,” the director says coyly. We wonder what this woman’s thinking. GOOD SIGN Three Oscar winning stars and nothing but positive buzz should attract audiences. THEN AGAIN We’re not mind readers.

What Women Want
  • Movie
  • 126 minutes