Review: How to Please a Woman


This amusing tale from Australia begins with a scene of women, six or seven, swimming through clear ocean waters toward the shore. They are members of a swim club and, later in the locker room we get a chance to overhear their friendly banter. One of them, Gina (Sally Phillips – “Bridget Jones’s Diary), is celebrating her fiftieth birthday and the others happily wish her the best. She tells them she thought she was getting the day off, but her boss reduced it to half a day.

Then it’s off to work. Gina works for a financial company that buys, analyzes, and, in some cases, disposes of other companies. She is responsible for the analyses, and gives them to her boss, Gary (Ben Mortley – “The Decadent and the Depraved”), who can best be described as a male pig. He is more interested in young and very well endowed Chloe (Asher Yasbincek – “The Heights”) than he is in any reports Gina may have prepared.

Gina gets her half-day, but later while at home, the doorbell rings. There stands a handsome man, Tom (Alexander England – “Alien: Covenant”). He turns on some music and begins to strip suggestively right in front of her! Getting him into the house and away from the eyes of neighbors, Gina gets him to stop and demands that he explain. He says that he’s been paid to go to her house and do “anything” she wants for two hours. Nonplussed, she asks him to clean her house. After some confusion he does, but in a provocative way, with his shirt off.

The next morning Gina discovers that her friends at the swim club had chipped in together to “buy” Tom for her. They are eager for every detail. She explains that she had him clean the house – something that no man had done for her before, including her emotionally distant lawyer husband.

So begins “How to Please a Woman.” Gina endures indignities at work and from her husband, but manages to start a company of her own from the pieces of a “redundant” moving company that just happens to employ Tom (his “day job”). With a variety of gently humorous characters and situations, we learn what women really do want, and while that includes help cleaning the house, there is so much more, both physical and emotional.

Director/writer Renee Webster (“The Heights”) shows us the camaraderie between women of various ages in the locker room scenes and the frank discussion of exactly what they want from the men they hire. The men, seemingly one-dimensional objects at first, develop into more complete people under the influence of Gina and the women they “serve.”

The film features excellent musical accompaniment and editing, and some gorgeous Australian photography.

Note: The movies does involve tasteful, story-driven nudity, implied sexual acts, and some coarse language. However, at heart it teaches us lessons on humanity and humility, as well as warmth and respect.

Highly recommended.

Director: Renee Webster
Writer: Renee Webster
Producers: Tania Chambers, Judi Levine
Cinematography: Ben Nott
Editing: Merlin Eden
Music: Guy Gross

Gina: Sally Phillips
Tom: Alexander England
Sandra: Caroline Brazier
Steve: Erik Thomson
Richard: Miles Pollard
Monique: Tasma Walton
Adrian: Cameron Daddo
Jane: Nina Young
Anthony: Ryan Johnson
Claudia: Roz Hammond
Chloe: Asher Yasbineek
Ben: Josh Thomson
Alice: Emily Rose Brennan
Gary: Ben Mortley

Runtime: One hour, 47 minutes
Release: July 22, 2022

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