Reviewed by: Jonathan Rodriguez
|Featuring||Will Smith, Eva Mendes, Amber Valletta, Julie Ann Emery, Robinne Lee, Michael Rapaport, Kevin James, Jeffrey Donovan|
How can I deal with temptations? Answer
Should I save sex for marriage? Answer
How far is too far? What are the guidelines for dating relationships? Answer
The cure for the common man.
Here’s what the distributor says about their film: “A professional matchmaker’s program is threatened by a female journalist who enrolls as a student and plans on publishing an exposé on his fraudulent methods. In the sophisticated romantic comedy, Will Smith stars as Alex “Hitch” Hitchens, a true urban myth—a legendary New York City “date doctor” who, for a fee has helped hundreds of men woo the women of their dreams. The ultimate professional bachelor, Hitch discovers that all of his tried and true tricks of the trade are no match for Sara (Eva Mendes), the one woman he truly loves.”
Will Smith has taken a break from his normal high-action comedies to deliver a romantic comedy, just in time for Valentines Day with Hitch. Smith plays Alex “Hitch” Hitchins, a legendary “Date Doctor” in New York City. He works on a referral basis only, and his job is to help men get noticed by the women they secretly love, and hopefully, get a date with them.
He isn’t out to help men who are only interested in a one night thing, or just want a physical relationship. He believes that any woman could be swept off her feet by any man, no matter the looks, and gives them advice on how to go about it.
He meets Albert (Kevin James), a heavyish loser who has his sights set on the most unattainable women in New York City, millionaire socialite Allegra Cole (Amber Valletta). Hitch knows he has his work cut out for him, comparing himself to Michelangelo and Albert to the Sistine Chapel. Albert is one of Allegra’s many accountants, which at least gives Hitch something to work with. So, he begins his training of Albert, from what to wear, to how to go about the first kiss. At the same time, Hitch has taken notice of a single, if very standoffish, gossip columnist named Sara (Eva Mendes). They trade flirtatious barbs in a night club, where Hitch has “rescued” her from the advances of a forward creep. She has a strong dislike for relationships and thinks men all want the same thing.
The movie sheds little light into why Sara feels this way, apparently assuming that it is quite normal for all women to think like that. The two begin “dating,” if you can call it that; more like an arranged meeting of two people who think they like each other. Hitch may have great advice for other guys, but isn’t exactly Senor Suave when it comes to dealing with his own desire for a relationship.
The film is carried by it’s two able stars. Smith is all charm and charisma throughout most of the film, and anyone who has liked him in anything else will respond to him here. The only time Smith isn’t all that convincing, oddly enough, is in the serious romantic scenes with Mendes. He is convincing when he is flirting, but when the two of them have their real moments, he looks more like a kid who just had his dog run over then he does like a guy in love. Kevin James (The King of Queens) is more convincing, relying on his more physical humor to carry him through the film. He is like a funnier version of Chris Farley, throwing his body around and contorting it every which way. We end up being more interested in his pursuit of Allegra, and cheer him on the whole time.
Having said this, the first two-thirds of the film is a light, enjoyable comedy that knows it is dabbling slightly into conventional romantic material and doesn’t care. But, the last third of the film gets so dreadfully conventional, concocting scenes that never happen in anyone’s reality, except that of bad romantic comedy writers. It doesn’t ruin the fun we have had through the first part of the movie, but does a decent job of trying.
The other problem that I had with the film is (as is typical with most romantic comedies nowadays) the two main stars, Smith and Mendes, have jobs and live in apartments that just don’t exist in the real world. The movie never tells us how much Hitch charges for his services, but the remote control to his CD player has to run $4,000, not to mention the rent to his monstrous pad. Sara is a gossip columnist, only because making her a dental assistant or librarian would mean the writers would have had to come up with a more creative ending.
The content of the film is rather typical for a romantic comedy. There is some needless language—one f-word, one Gd-word, and then a handful of others. The sexual content is minimal, although a couple Hitch assisted is seen in bed the morning after the third date. Women are seen in some revealing clothes throughout the film, and a picture in one of the tabloids shows a topless woman from behind. The whole aspect of the dating world of twenty-somethings may make parents hesitant to let kids see it, and I can’t blame them. If not for the presence of Will Smith, kids would probably steer clear, but if the theater I was in last night is any indication, kids will flock to it. Parents should do their research before letting them see it.
Hitch certainly isn’t the best romantic comedy you will ever see, but it is far from being one of the worst. It may be average romantic fare, but it is elevated by the stars enough to make it an enjoyable experience. Maybe next Valentines Day, we can get something a little less conventional from Will Smith, but that’s probably wishful thinking.
Violence: None / Profanity: Moderate / Sex/Nudity: Moderate