In Hitch, Alex "Hitch" Hitchens (Will Smith) is a legendary -- and deliberately anonymous -- New York City "date doctor" who, for a fee, has helped countless men woo the women of their dreams. While coaching Albert (Kevin James), a meek accountant who is smitten with a glamorous celebrity, Allegra Cole (Amber Valetta), Hitch finally meets his match in the person of the gorgeous, whip-smart Sara Melas (Eva Mendes), a gossip columnist who follows Allegra's every move. The ultimate professional bachelor, Hitch suddenly finds himself falling deliriously in love with Sara, a reporter whose big scoop could very well be the unmasking of Manhattan's most famous date doctor... (from Hitch.com)
Romantic comedies these days are often a gamble. They're either too crude, too serious, too sad, or just poorly made. It's a rarity when one comes along that's just the right mix of comedy and romance without wrenching one's heart from their chest in a desperate attempt to create a tear-jerker. Hitch manages to blend the two almost perfectly with an outcome that would be almost perfect save some truly unnecessary content.
While some films do fill their movies with crude content for the sake of crude content, Hitch crosses the line a few times in the dialog department with some of it having a purpose. Despite the fact that they use this as a way to paint lust and the selfishness of one-night stands as vulgar and offensive, it's done in a way that's anything but subtle and perhaps a little too blunt. Some of the dialog easily makes the film more adult-oriented, which is a real shame because the story and the characters presented are some of the best for a film of this genre.
Will Smith carries the film beautifully. With the charm and slickness that Smith brings to the role of Hitch, it's hard not to like him. Director Andy Tennant gives some comical insight to the background of how Hitch came to assuming the role of a date doctor which help flesh out Hitchens' character. We're given plenty of time to get to know the lead as well as the significant secondary characters of Albert and Sara, who share ample screen time with Hitch. Kevin James and Smith have a surprisingly solid chemistry that makes nearly every moment they're together on screen really fun. Eva Mendes makes a great match for Smith as well, with her smart and confident demeanor. Mendes carries herself believably and sensitively as she interacts with Smith's Hitch, making Sara almost just as likable.
I was concerned that some of the funnier parts were all in the previews, but I was pleasantly surprised that that wasn't the case. Tennant uses a healthy mix of slapstick and verbal comedy to keep the film alive and funny. Hitch has its sensitive and serious moments but knows when it's the right time to slip a laugh in to lighten the mood. Most films will let a serious tone burden the mood. Even when a fight breaks out in Hitch, it's often handled in a realistic, yet humorous, way.
Love is a strong theme of Hitch and possibly its most redeemable quality. While it doesn't get it a hundred percent right, an emphasis is placed on getting to know a person and just being who you are in a dating relationship. It's a refreshing concept to find coming from Hollywood. Unfortunately, sexual innuendo and the secular world of dating is still represented, but in the end, love does remain the victor.
Overall, Hitch one of the better romantic comedies available. Some language and
some sexual content are present enough to make this a film not suitable for the younger crowd.
In fact, your best bet may be to wait for a TV edit or to rent an edited DVD version from
a service like Clean Films.
It's really a shame it couldn't have been cleaned up more to reach a wider audience.
- John DiBiase, (reviewed: 2/12/05)
Disclaimer: All reviews are based solely on the opinions of the reviewer. Most reviews are rated on how the reviewer enjoyed the film overall, not exclusively on content. However, if the content really affects the reviewer's opinion and experience of the film, it will definitely affect the reviewer's overall rating.
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