Nick Marshall, a sexy, charming and single Hollywood exec, hey it’s Mel Gibson everybody, suddenly develops the ability to hear what women are thinking. Of course he’s completely freaked, though obviously flattered at some of the “what a great butt” comments – this being the very last time that Gibson’s physique rather than his politics would be attracting attention. To start with Nick exploits his talents as many men would – getting laid, psyching out his female boss (Helen Hunt) and shortcutting his way back into his estranged daughter’s affections. But then something weird happens, which lifts this film right out of the common run. As a result of listening to the hopes and fears of all those sad lonely Bridget Joneses he’s surrounded by, Mel finds himself turning into a warm, empathetic and sensitive human – Men may be from Mars but this one’s behaving very much like he just beamed in from Venus. So what does that make the woman who falls for him? Holy erotic subtext, a crypto-lesbian drama hiding inside a standard screwball romance. You’re not buying it? I’m reading far too much into this standard bit of Hollywood misogyny? Writers Josh Goldsmith and Cathy Yuspa have simply missed the sort of illogicality Hollywood films are full of? OK. Then watch right to the end of this otherwise straight up and down film and see if you can explain its final line.
© Steve Morrissey 2013