Did Paramount hamstring “What Men Want” before the Box Office Race started?


want.jpegEverybody’s review of “What Men Want” posted in the wee hours of Thursday AM, thanks to a silly and absurdly restrictive embargo Paramount (Paramount Players/BET) slapped on this latest mid-winter Taraji P. Henson outing.

She can say, “At LEAST they weren’t Screen Gems,” which dumped “Proud Mary” into theaters in a previous January, leaving a promising misfire of a star vehicle to its fate.

But nothing says the studio isn’t keen on a picture’s chances like not letting reviews show up before opening night.

And as lowdown as this farce is, it’s not bad. It’s full of laughs.

Sure, reviews are going to be mixed.

But it’s tracking even higher on the more selective-about-their-critics-site Metacritic.

The earliest ones I saw were from IMDb “users” who are among the class of gimme-free-tickets folk the studios call “passholes,” for obvious reasons. They’re older and most often white and the earliest “buzz” from them was they’re still mad Mel Gibson isn’t in it.

“What Men Want” was always going to do OK, with or without “Girls’ Trip” reviews. But I can’t help but wonder if BET didn’t let Paramount leave money on the table, not letting critics sing its praises for a few days before it opened.

Holding reviews back implies “damaged goods,” even though those of us who previewed it early this week knew better, Paramount didn’t want us to say so.


About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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1 Response to Did Paramount hamstring “What Men Want” before the Box Office Race started?

  1. clay says:

    Well I sure wasn’t looking forward to this film but reading your review of it below gives me the idea that it won’t be as dumb as these usually are, I’m a bit too big on actual Farce, Joe Orton and such, and I haven’t seen a movie that made me laugh since Airplane, yes, the original. Ha. Ha. Passholes! Very funny! But not I’m not on IMDB but Instagram. I’m far meaner than you that’s why I’ll never go anywhere with my writing, luckily I only write for myself, and yeah I really do appreciate my own words, it’s actually the only way to communicate. I don’t consider myself ‘white’ but seeing me you just might.
    I do hope you continue with your website! You have Verve, which is rare indeed.

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