Ali Davis is a woman working for a sports agency which is pretty much the premise for the entire film. She works what can be considered a “dream job” that some people would probably die for. But, it is not as easy for her as her male colleagues. This particular sports agency is directed towards basketball players. They are trying to gain top players for their agency. In this agency she experiences many hardships and harsh realities that she works hard to overcome. However, the fun twist in this film is that she attains the ability to read the minds of the men around her. This aspect of the film does a great job exposing what it is to work in the sports management field and the double standard that still exists for women in the industry.
The agency that Ali works for is clearly a male-dominated company. We are aware that she feels the burden of being a woman in a male-dominated industry very quickly in the film. She is constantly being attacked for acting too much like her male colleagues at work or even being too alpha while dating a man in the film. Throughout the movie, this is a common theme. People around her want her to take a step back from acting like such a leader type and being so driven as a person, but it is the key to her successful career.
Women in the sports industry is always a topic we like to go back to. Our protagonist in What Men Want constantly experiences being “too much” or “stepping on too many toes” while working at the sports agency. She works as hard as her male counterparts but seems to be the only one experiencing all the backlash. Gender inequality is a common issue in the sports field since it is more stereotypically a man’s industry. This is why it is so important for us to have a film up on the shelf like What Men Want to make sure this discussion never dies down and to keep the industry evolving.
A lesson we love in What Men Want is to always follow your own gut instincts. During the film, we are introduced to a basketball player looking for the right agency to trust his career with. Towards the end of the film, he feels compelled to go for a company advocated by his father even though that is not what he wants. But, by the end of the film, he goes with his heart and is very happy with his decision. Making the right choice for yourself means listening to your own instincts even when important people in your life are telling you to choose otherwise.
What Men Want demonstrates important issues that women face while working in the sports management industry. Although portrayed in a comedic way, it nonetheless still includes serious topics that need to be addressed. For that, we are keeping this film on our shelf.