🎥🍣 Movie Sushi — What Women Want

AdGridley
6 min readApr 15

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Nick Marshall was born and raised in Las Vegas by his showgirl mother. From a young age, Nick was the showgirls’ mascot. He didn’t have a father, so he was purposely surrounded by strong, often shady, male role models.

Nick’s maid, Stella, asks if he knows any women who don’t smell like candy. From bed, he asks her to toss him his lighter. She doesn’t like finding lacy underwear. He slaps her backside and asks her to toast him a bagel, ruffling open his newspaper.

Nick’s doorwoman, Flo, whistles loudly for a cab. She salutes and he salutes back. He asks barista, Lola, when she’s gonna let him buy her dinner. He takes her hand and arranges to meet her the next day.

At advertising agency, Sloane Curtis, Nick greets co-worker, Morgan Farwell. Bigshot, Darcy McGuire, left BBD & O. Everyone’s thrilled. As usual, Nick tells Dina a lewd joke. Personal assistant, Annie, tells Nick she put the Gillette storyboards on his desk, picked up his shoes and bought his cigarettes.

Boss, Dan Wanamaker, tells Nick the 80s were Sloane Curtis’s glory days — alcohol, tobacco and cars. Then, in the 90s, women between the ages of 16 and 24 became the fastest-growing consumer group in the country. Wanamaker just hired Darcy McGuire. He loves Nick, but it’s a woman’s world.

Nick learns ex-wife, Gigi, is honeymooning on a cruise with husband, Ted, for two weeks. Gigi says daughter Alex has a boyfriend, not wanting Nick to be surprised. Alex and Gigi negotiate a curfew. Alex embraces her Mum, then Ted, then ignores Nick.

Wanamaker introduces Darcy McGuire. At BBD & O, Darcy led a creative team that snagged $500m in new business wins in her last year alone. She’s learned that any success was a result of her team. Two heads are better than one and five are better than two.

When Sears went after women, their revenues shot up thirty percent. Female-driven advertising totalled $40bn the previous year. Darcy presents a kit. Every product is looking for new representation and they’re all for women.

Nick’s drinking wine watching sports where he’s losing money. He plays Alex’s CDs. He’s soon topless, applying hot wax to his leg. He tears off the cloth and shrieks with pain. He puts on black tights. Alex and Cameron arrive and Alex asks what Nick’s doing, upset he went through her stuff. She slams her bedroom door. Nick electrocutes himself in the bath.

In the morning, Nick hears Stella moaning about her working conditions. He explains the pantyhose were for work, although Stella hasn’t vocalised anything. Downstairs, Flo hails Nick a cab. He thanks her. She thinks animal noises and Nick’s almost run over.

Nick hears random women thinking personal things. A crowd of female joggers approaches him and he’s flooded with thoughts. He almost collides with Erin, who carries files. She thinks that she wants to die and smiles. Dina thinks Nick will tell another disgusting joke, thinking him a schmuck.

Annie tells Nick the Gillette budget’s on his desk and she got the merlot. She wonders if he realises she has an Ivy league education and that running his stupid errands has put her into therapy. He won’t give her real work because she has a vagina. Soon, Nick’s looking for an exorcist. He tells Farwell he got drunk, tried on the female products and electrocuted himself. Now, he can hear what women are thinking, even poodles.

Darcy wants everyone’s ideas. Nick tried to imagine he was a woman. Dina thinks insults. Nick’s first thought was a Tahitian beauty. Darcy hates the idea. Nick says it’s evolving, adding that he knows the Swedish bikini team personally. The women hate this. Darcy wishes she’d asked for more money.

Dina focussed on Advil. Sue Cranston takes it when she must fake a headache. Nick seizes upon this. “Advil, so mild and gentle, you can take it even when you’re faking a headache”. All the men laugh. Sue stamps on Nick’s foot.

Nick interrupts Alex and Cameron fooling around. Alex squeals and Cameron falls onto the floor. Nick finds Alex’s bra and she’s overwhelmed with embarrassment. Nick forbids them from going to the prom. He knows what eighteen year old boys want.

Nick goes to Dr Perkins and asks her to pick a number between one and a million. Nick guesses 644,998…99…90, then asking if she wants to make a decision. Something miraculous has happened to Nick. If Nick knows what women want, he can rule.

Nick approaches Lola, who thinks she hasn’t had sex in six months. Nick says he can’t take no for an answer. He says it’s hard to meet someone new. They should take it slow. She asks if he’s free that night.

Darcy wraps up a call with Nike, women’s division. She always feels like he’s checking her out. Nick adjusts his behaviour and asks how it’s going. She’s evaluating some staff. Wanamaker comes to the door with the storyboards for US Air. Darcy analyses while Nick listens. Then, Wanamaker asks what Nick thinks. Nick smoothly claims all Darcy’s ideas. She’s stunned. Outside, Nick says she won’t last a month.

Alex is with friends. Nick appears and the friends mentally offer abuse. Nick suggests they order pizza. He wanted to take Alex shopping for a prom dress. Alex thinks he’s stoned. Nick suggests they’ll get Alex new makeup, shoes, the works.

Lola thinks if she sleeps with Nick, he’ll think she’s a slut and never call her or call her all the time because he can get it whenever he wants. She then thinks he’s so incredible. Nick says he can wait and she pounces on him. Soon, Lola says Nick was more inside her than anybody ever. It was like he knew what she wanted and how she wanted it. Nick Marshall’s a sex god.

Nick eavesdrops on women’s thoughts at yoga class, at the library and getting his nails done. Darcy tells herself not to fall for a workmate, amazed she’s flirting with him. She looks at Nick’s crotch, hoping he didn’t see her. Nick swings his pants. She looks again and covers her face with her hands. She hurries out the door, praising his work.

Alex tries on a prom dresses with Nick. Finally, she tells herself that’s what she’ll be wearing the last night she’s a virgin. Nick falls off his chair. He then attempts to discuss sex. Alex thinks Nick never had a real relationship with anyone. She thanks him for the dress and leaves. The nearby females all offer dispiriting comments.

Nick likes the way Darcy speaks her mind, calling it a relief. Her ex-husband didn’t love that. They were married almost a year. It was great in the beginning, then it became competitive. She says Sloane Curtis is a tougher place to navigate than she thought and that Wanamaker’s wondering why he hired her. Darcy wonders if she kissed Nick, would it ruin everything. They kiss.

Nick has tortured Lola, not having called her for six days. They have unbelievable, life-altering sex and he disappears. She mentally urges him to admit to her he’s gay so she feels less rejected. Nick says he is. They hug and she raises a fist in solidarity. He begrudgingly reciprocates.

Nick tells Farwell he hates what he’s doing to Darcy. Then, Nick presents Darcy’s Nike ideas as his own. Everyone’s impressed. Afterwards, Darcy asks why Nick isn’t the happiest guy in Chicago. Nick says it was Darcy. She takes him to see her new house. Wanamaker says Nick saved the company. But, Nick credits Darcy with that. Wanamaker says she didn’t open her mouth. Wanamaker just fired her. Nick says every idea Nike loved was Darcy’s.

Nick goes to Chinatown to find depressed Erin. Lightning strikes electrical cables and Nick is showered with sparks. He finds Erin and asks if she’s not thinking anything. She says she’s thinking a million things. Nick hovers. She’s thinking he’s crazier than she is. Nick’s glad Erin didn’t hurt herself. She starts crying saying it’s terrible he sensed that. Nick offers her a job copywriting for him.

Gigi reminds Nick about the prom. He learns Alex is in the bathroom and asks her what happened. Cameron rented a $400 hotel suite for the big night, then Alex said she’s not ready. Cameron then made out with an old girlfriend and Alex ran off. Nick’s proud of Alex. He knows it’s not easy to be a woman and tells her she’s much smarter than he is. She smiles and calls him Dad.

At one in the morning, Nick visits Darcy and tells her she’s been rehired. He was sabotaging her career, then fell in love with her. She fires him, then tells him she loves him. He embraces her and calls her his hero.

Starring. Mel Gibson. Helen Hunt. Marisa Tomei. Rated 12. Dir Nancy Meyers. Released in the UK 2000. Runtime 2hrs 7mins

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AdGridley

Ad teaches & gives speeches on his MH struggle + recovery at institutions right across the world. (Movie Sushi pieces contain spoilers)