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"What Women Want"; "The Family Man"; "The Emperor's New Groove"; "Dude, Where's My Car?" 

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!B! "What Women Want"!B! "The Family Man"!B! "The Emperor's New Groove"!B! "Dude, Where's My Car?"




"What Women Want"— Sparks of self-effacing charm and boyish humor have always been evident in even the most serious Mel Gibson movie roles. Now with "What Women Want," the matinee-idol/action-hero finally cuts loose, giving his female fans what they really want: a funny, cuddly, sensitive hunk. Although this one-joke romantic comedy unfolds with unerring predictability, Gibson and co-star Helen Hunt infuse their roles with heart and enthusiasm, making us believe. Gibson plays hotshot advertising executive Nick Marshall, who finds his world turned-upside down when he's passed over for a big promotion and he's semi-electrocuted in the bathtub. Stunned by both events, Nick finds himself with the uncanny ability to read women's minds. Turning this to his own advantage soon gets Nick in trouble as he falls for Hunt, the woman who got that big promotion. The chemistry between the two turns this into a snuggly date-movie women will want to see and men won't grumble about. Maybe. "The Family Man"— Touching in that predictable, synthetic TV-sitcom way, this umpteenth redo of Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" by way of Frank Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life" is yet another sticky-sweet holiday tale of "what if ... ." Nicolas Cage plays the latest twist on Scrooge and George Bailey, who wakes up one Christmas morn to find himself no longer a big-bucks venture capitalist. Instead, he's married to his college sweetie (the spunky and wonderful Tea Leoni), he's fathered two offspring, he's selling tires — retail! — and he's living in Teaneck, N.J. But instead of venturing into new comic territory, the filmmakers insist on giving us the same old hackneyed schtick. "The Emperor's New Groove"— Much like Robin Williams' manic turn as the Big Blue Genie in "Aladdin," David Spade's spoiled emperor-turned-llama character in Disney's latest animated feature is too hip for the room. Which means the adults will love him far more than the little ones. But hey, is that sooo wrong? I mean, who buys the tickets? Short and sweet, "The Emperor's New Groove" isn't a threat to Disney's more recent masterpieces "Beauty and The Beast" or "The Lion King," but it is a great deal of zippy fun. In this fractured remix of "The Prince and The Pauper" as well as "The Emperor's New Clothes," Spade voices Kuzco, the aforementioned selfish ruler, who learns a valuable lesson once he's turned into a beast of burden by once-trusted adviser Yzma (Eartha Kitt). With only kindly peasant Pacha (John Goodman) to help him, Kuzco has one hair-raising adventure after another on the journey to regain his throne. "Dude, Where's My Car?"— Mindless, boring and drastically inept, this is another sad example of putting the funniest movie moments into the trailer to assure putting paying posteriors into the seats. Starring "Road Trip's" Stiffler (Seann William Scott) and "That '70s Show's" Kelso (Ashton Kutcher), this tale of two stoner dudes who get so wasted they can't find their car the next morning is one lame, chuckle-free mess. This is full of half-baked idiocy and scenes ripped off other equally lame movies, and we sit in stunned silence watching as Scott and Kutcher try to figure out just what they did the night before. After about 10 minutes, you won't care.
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