Want more recommendations for your family?
Sign up for our weekly newsletter for entertainment inspiration
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Messages about empathizing with others' problems and really listening to them instead of making assumptions. Applauds choosing intangible rewards -- like respect from longtime friends -- over money and fame.
Positive Role Models
Parents and children have warm, supportive relationships. Ali is a tough but thoughtful woman of color in her late 40s, a type not often seen on the big screen, and viewers will take pleasure in watching her triumph. But friends are mostly window dressing -- viewers hear about strong friendships, but they come across as fairly shallow.
Violence & Scariness
Two brutal (both sounding and looking) head injuries are responsible for Ali's magical powers; the scenes are played for laughs. Also pitched as comic are scenes in which Ali slaps, pushes, and chokes her male partner during sex (for her own pleasure).
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Several sex scenes vividly depict Ali seeking -- and reaching -- climax during intercourse (after which she falls asleep, with her male partner unsatisfied); characters keep their underwear on or are covered up under a sheet during these scenes. Characters demonstrate growth during another sex scene, agreeing to share pleasure mutually. Some jokes have a sexual edge: Ali calls her in-shape neighbor "f--ktastic" and later has a dalliance with him that ends with him in black leather on some type of full-body swing. A woman says men just want to get "paid and laid."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Frequent language includes "f--k" (with many variations), "s--t," "a--hole," "bitch" (both men saying it to/about women and women saying it mockingly to each other), "bulls--t," "motherf----rs," "screw," "d--k," "hell," "goddamn," "boobies," "booty call."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
A focus on material goods that signal success (like a Porsche) is subverted by a character choosing intangible rewards (the love and respect of family and longtime friends, making a mark in one's hometown) over money, fame, and luxury.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters drink frequently at parties and dinners, sometimes overdoing it, getting sloppy and wild. A character is served a tea with "a little bit" of pot and MDMA in it; another character sells marijuana illegally (movie is set in Georgia, which doesn't have legalized cannabis trade). A doctor jokes about his addiction to cocaine, which he uses at work. Another joke references a "k-hole." Background character smokes a cigar.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that What Men Want -- a gender-flipped take on the 2000 Mel Gibson comedy What Women Want -- is a fairly raunchy comedy about a woman (Taraji P. Henson) who suddenly gains the ability to hear men's thoughts. Characters drink (sometimes too much), and an unwitting woman is served psychedelic "tea" that has marijuana and ecstasy in it (played for laughs). Another character sells marijuana illegally, and a doctor uses cocaine at work (he gets clean by the movie's end); a background character smokes a cigar. While there's no graphic nudity -- characters are covered by sheets or wearing underwear -- sex scenes include eyebrow-raising movements and noises, and a woman chokes, pushes, and slaps a man during sex while in pursuit of a climax (also played for laughs). It's suggested that characters have grown positively when they agree to "share" sexual pleasure with each other. In one scene, a woman forcefully kisses a (willing) man; it ends with him wearing black BDSM gear on a swing. Language is also salty and frequent; expect to hear "f--k," "s--t," and more. Women, including a main character in her late 40s, take strong, central roles and are unashamed about being powerful and sexual. Parents and children have supportive relationships, and there are themes of communication and empathy. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Viewers will know right away where this formulaic comedy is headed, but that doesn't mean there aren't pleasures to be found along the way. Chief among them: Henson knows her way around a punchline, and it's a kick to see her cast in a comedic role. Dressed in her trademark no-nonsense jackets and suits, her Ali is enviously confident in the man's world of the upscale Atlanta sports agency she works for -- that is, until she's passed over for a partnership and told by her just-shy-of-contemptuous boss that she doesn't "connect well with men" and should "stay in her own lane." Anyone who's ever seen a sisters-are-doing-it-for-themselves female revenge fantasy knows what's coming next: comeuppance for those who done her wrong -- and, after some forgivable missteps, ultimate triumph.
The setup is, of course, catnip for the type of viewer this movie clearly hopes to attract: girlfriend groups who will cheer as Ali rises to the top, thanks to her trademark mix of savvy and pluck, and the (thankfully temporary) powers she gains from Sister. What Men Want hits all the beats you expect: First, Ali has to learn how to balance power and sensitivity at work, then, to show she sincerely cares about her (clumsily characterized) girlfriend group and (shoehorned-in) love interest, Will (Aldis Hodge). The emotional moments aren't earned, but they pass by quickly enough that viewers can ignore them in favor of this movie's real, irritatingly rare treat: watching a smart, confident woman in her 40s get what's coming to her, in all the best ways. As an icon that fed-up women can connect to, Henson is perfect, even if this particular movie isn't.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
Our Editors Recommend
Best Family Comedy Movies
Movies with Strong Female Characters
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate