As this lackluster year for movies begins to wrap up, Christian critics are finding more and more quality among the latecomers, including the Disney cartoon The Emperor's New Groove and Ang Lee's martial arts epic Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. But the box-office leaders What Women Want and Dude, Where's My Car? just added to the recent malaise.
What's Hot Christian critics couldn't decide what they wanted from What Women Want, a romantic comedy starring Mel Gibson as a chauvinist who suddenly finds himself able to read women's minds. Crosswalk.com's Holly McClure was happy to see "a male character that understands women the way women want men to," but others complained that all Gibson's character learns to understand is about sex. "The emphasis seems to be more on sexual activity than gender differences," says Preview, complaining of the shallow revelation that "women are people too." Michael Elliott of Crosswalk.com agrees that it "doesn't offer anything new in terms of insight into the male/female relationship," but he doesn't mind. "What Women Want is not a think piece. It is what it is: an enjoyable, light and frothy romp." The U.S. Catholic Conference, though, says it isn't even that enjoyable: "The one-joke premise soon wears out its welcome in contrived and pathetically predictable situations." Planet Wisdom, too, says the movie "delivers lots of big laughs early on," but as the protagonist "begins to 'learn his lesson,' What Women Want gets a lot more predictable and a whole lot less interesting." Critics were split even about the film's PG-13 rating—Movie Reporter Phil Boatwright calls it "a nice romantic film, diminished only by two irreverent uses of Christ's name and a few minor obscenities evidently placed ...1
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