Cons: Last 20 minutes of the film play as very lazy.
The Bottom Line: A few glitches but an overall enjoyable film.
February is the time of year when thoughts turn to romance and the coming spring. It is also the time of year when Hollywood brings new romantic themed films to the theaters in an effort to open big thanks to the date movie crowd. Some of the efforts such as last weekends The Wedding Date never take off, while others such as Hitch provide a nice mix of romance and comedy which for the most part, work very well.
The film follows the exploits of Urban Legend Alex Hitch Hitchens (Will Smith), a self-styled date Doctor who specializes is helping men romance the lady of their dreams. Hitch does not provide a dating service but rather helps his clients with their confidence and instructs them on the true way to win and keep and ladies heart.
With his proven results and good rapport with his clients, Hitch is a man in demand, yet due to his policy of privacy and secrecy, to many the so called love doctor is little more than an Urban Myth which is just fine with Hitch, who would rather work in the shadows than bask in the limelight as the adoration of his clients is all he needs, well, that and a steady supply of ladies to charm at the days end.
Hitch is preparing for his toughest case yet, when kind but portly accountant named Albert (Kevin James) is desperate to win the heart of his wealthy socialite client Allegra (Amber Valletta). When Albert and Allegra start to be seen with one another in public, they catch the eye of celebrity snoop Sara (Eve Mendes), who becomes determined to see what is behind this unexpected couple which in turn leads her to believe that the so called Date Doctor is a reality.
If matters were not complicated enough, Hitch starts to see Sara on a social basis with each of them unaware of what the other really does. Sparks fly despite the unflappable and smooth Hitch having one thing after another go awry as Sara really seems to be effecting him, and the more pathetic and hopeless he seems, the more they are drawn to one another.
Instead of turning the film into a whimsical lark, Director Andy Tennant, who helmed the recent Sweet Home Alabama manages to balance comedy with romance, all the while keeping a little bit of drama involved.
Mendes and Smith have good chemistry with one another as do Smith and James. Smith is very solid and likeable as the charming Hitch. He plays him as a smooth and confident guy, who actually is sheltered and cautious on the inside. The duality of his character is clear without being overwhelming leaving him not only likeable, but as a character that is easy to root for. The biggest surprise of the film would be Kevin James as his portrayal of Albert is a solid mix of humor and decency. James gets many laughs with Alberts attempt at being suave yet portrays a very realistic and believable character who is struggling to find his inner confidence and let his body and voice convey what he has in his heart.
The film does lose momentum during the final twenty minutes as the film does become lazy resorting to many standard situations that have been done many times before. That being said hitch as a whole works and if you are willing to overlook a few blemishes, you may find yourself enjoying the warmth, humor and charm.
4 stars out of 5
Gareth Von Kallenbach
Movie Mood: Date Movie Viewing Method: Press Screening Film Completeness: Looked complete to me. Worst Part of this Film: Ending
Displaying that he can handle the lead role in a romantic comedy just as easily as he can handle every other genre in the field, Will Smith shines in HITCH as Alex Hitchens, aka "The Date Doctor." Hitch helps average guys gain the attention and win the hearts of the women of their dreams. He has a strict code that he follows and his identity has remained a secret. Hitch is hired by a tax accountant named Albert (Kevin James). Albert is an overweight, average-Joe who happens … more
My feelings are good not great on this one. Will Smith tries to play the dating doctor but it turns out that he needs some thereapy when he falls for a reporter. Its all a matter of practicing what you preach. Some good scenes where Smith's, knowledgeable but shy accountant speaks out especially when confronted with aristocratic snobs. The speedating scene is amusing as well. Howver, the movie is sluggish in spots. Nonetheless the good outweighs the bad.
The movie is one of the better comedys from the past year (along with Harold and Kumar go to White Castle). This movie has its bright moments and some of the film reminded me of Eddie Murphy's Nutty Professor and Boomerang. Will Smith is entertaining as the date doctor who secretly helps a lot of guys win girls that they would never have a chance with otherwise. His big assignment is to help a basically nice though "bumbling" guy win the heart of a Paris Hilton type heiress. Many of the training … more
Now and then movies with big name stars and expensive production budgets and PR hype that convince audiences that the Rapture is at hand hit the mat with a thud - and this HITCH is floored in the first half hour (of an overly long two hour movie!). Using a script that uses every cliché from the myriad other films that tell this same story gimmick using females in the Smith role of date doctor, this movie limps along with silly dialogue and pratfall type of comedy, all of which could be forgiven … more
I am a syndicated movie & game critic, writer, author and frequent radio guest. My work has appeared in over 60 publications worldwide and he is the creator of the rising entertainment site "Skewed … more
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Will Smith's easygoing charm makesHitchthe kind of pleasant, uplifting romantic comedy that you could recommend to almost anyone--especially if there's romance in the air. As suave Manhattan dating consultant Alex "Hitch" Hitchens, Smith plays up the smoother, sophisticated side of his established screen persona as he mentors a pudgy accountant (Kevin James) on the lessons of love. The joke, of course, is that Hitch's own love life is a mess, and as he coaches James toward romance with a rich, powerful, and seemingly inaccessible beauty named Allegra (Amber Valetta), he's trying too hard to impress a savvy gossip columnist (Eva Mendes) with whom he's fallen in love. Through mistaken identities and mismatched couples, director Andy Tennant brings the same light touch that made Drew Barrymore'sEver Afterso effortlessly engaging. As romantic comedies go,Hitchdoesn't offer any big surprises, but as a date movie it gets the job done with amiable ease and style.--Jeff Shannon