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Overall Rating

Awesome: 17.78%
Worth A Look: 18.89%
Pretty Bad: 12.22%
Total Crap: 7.78%

7 reviews, 48 user ratings

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by Tom Ciorciari

"A perfectly innocuous Valentine for the whole family"
3 stars

A perfectly slight confection, just in time for Valentine’s Day, “Hitch” is the kind of formulaic romantic comedy that has no business working as well as it does, yet somehow manages to remain a notch above other similar films. The reasons for this are, quite simply, the presence of Will Smith, bringing his A game to the genre for the first time, and a scene-stealing turn by sitcom star Kevin James.

Hitch is actually something of a hybrid–part buddy flick, part romantic comedy. Smith plays Alex ‘Hitch’ Hitchins, a ‘Date Doctor’ in the modern mecca of romantic comedy, New York City. What Hitch does, specifically, is assist needy (read: nerdy) men in the pursuit of their loves, by arranging “cute meets”–i.e. a woman loves her dog, so Hitch arranges for her soon-to-be-intended to save said dog’s life. Hitch does not, however, help sleazy types just score with some hottie. This is relevant on two levels: a) it establishes Smith’s Hitch as an all-around goodish guy, and b) is a majorish, if somewhat fuzzy, plot point down the line. Hitch’s current client is Albert (James) a typically shlubby, mustard-spilling nebbish who is madly in love with the Paris Hilton-like Allegra Cole (played by the Paris Hilton-like Amber Valletta). That a woman like Allegra would, in the real world (as opposed to the reel world) never, I repeat never, give a goof like Albert a second look is one of those issues that movies like this rarely address, so it’s off to the races as Hitch advises Albert on the best way in which to win his desired’s heart. Of course, this includes scenes of Hitch tutoring Albert in the fine arts of how-not-to-dance-like-a-white-man-trying-to-be-hip and first kisses, which are the comic highlights of the film. Smith and James work well together, their combined sitcom experience (forget Fresh Prince Of Bel Air?) affording them a natural comic timing that the studios would be smart to mine again.

But the Hitch-Albert plotline is only half the story. On the other side of things is Sara (Eva Mendes in a role that smacks of being a J-Lo reject), a cynic-in-the-ways-of-love journalist who would just love to expose the alleged ‘Date Doctor’ (among women in the film this ‘Date Doctor’ is practically an urban legend). She and Hitch meet cute themselves and, with her unaware of his secret identity, he does his darndest to apply his own advise in his pursuit of her. Despite impressions to the contrary given in the film’s trailers, Hitch does not revert to Albert-esque clumsiness. He does inadvertently give her a kick in the head and, in one of the films laugh-out-loud moments is a victim of a food allergy, but for the most part his methods succeed.

This being a by-the-book romantic comedy, there is a third act misunderstanding that threatens the happiness of all involved (and which is based on Mendes’ Sara simply not listening to what she’s been told; and not in a ‘funny’, sitcomy, Three’s Company kind of way, either, but in an I-don’t-know-how-else-to-make-this-story-go-the-way-I-want-it-to screenwritery way). And if you think it’s a spoiler for me to say that everyone ends up in that happily-ever-after place by film’s end, then you simply don’t get out to the movies enough.

It would be nice to see Smith pursue this particular vein more often, his loose, charming persona fits quite pleasantly in the genre, although he and Mendes curiously generate very little chemistry–their screen kisses spawning as much heat as those Breen code era closed-mouth jobs from the ‘40s. Maybe a teaming with his real life wife Jada Pinkett would bring a touch of the Tracy-Hepburn to the proceedings. And besides, his “Aw hell no!” action flicks are being to feel like programmers, regardless of their mega-million dollar budgets.

With his Jackie Gleason meets Chris Farley physicality Kevin James earns the title of the film’s MVP, and it is my sincere hope that rather than molding him into another SNL-styled comedy star, the studios keep finding clever roles in which he can further develop his acting chops. As for Eva Mendes, considering her breezy, self-deprecating comic performance in the Farrely’s Stuck On You, she brings surprisingly little to her, admittedly, cookie cutter difficult-but-worth-it Female Lead role. She does, however, fill out her wardrobe quite nicely.

At the end of the day “Hitch” is a family-friendly romantic comedy (with the odd exception of a PG-13 earning F-bomb dropped for no apparent reason) that will leave the viewer satisfied until the next one comes along. Just so long as it's not TOO soon.

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originally posted: 02/17/05 05:46:30
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User Comments

3/25/18 morris campbell amusing flick 4 stars
10/21/15 pfovhcu USA 2 stars
8/04/14 Jamie Love this movie, fun and feel good, but what's with this review? 5 stars
2/26/14 Monday Morning Pretty good, but maybe 20 minutes too long. 3 stars
10/23/09 Rachel Laughed until I cried with this movie. Definitely worth a look. 4 stars
5/07/09 true Love Smith, hate when a director ruins a movie trying to make it "different" 1 stars
12/01/08 Shaun Wallner Well made. 3 stars
4/07/08 pineapple Didn't like it so much. I don't see why everyone has such high ratings. 1 stars
9/14/07 Tracy very funny movie, loved Will in this. 5 stars
12/15/06 Stanley Thai A good, funny comedy. It's a bit too long, I think... 3 stars
4/03/06 robbo once it settled down brilliant 5 stars
2/27/06 Steven Lewis An O.k. romantic comedy from action star will smith 3 stars
2/07/06 Anthony It was funny and good 4 stars
1/16/06 Frank Rountree Not bad, good story, and a good job by all the actors and actresses 3 stars
1/05/06 Barry Too bad the heroine is such an unethical bitch. 2 stars
1/02/06 Ry Also better than I though, good movie 5 stars
10/17/05 Josh Hitch rocked my socks off! 5 stars
9/22/05 Indrid Cold All I know is that I lauged a lot more than at "The 40 Year Old Virgin." 4 stars
9/13/05 bbbr funny and worth watching 5 stars
8/26/05 Brian Wilshire Funny, insightful script helps likeable stars present a film to recommend to everybody. 5 stars
8/13/05 ES Better than I thought it'd be= good for a date 4 stars
7/29/05 Nobody I thought it would be just another chick flick, but it's actually pretty funny 4 stars
7/25/05 Eric Rollins Apathy thy name is Hitch. 2 stars
7/14/05 Matthew Rudawsky Cute, but veeery predictable. A few nice ideas and mostly good acting. Worth a look... once 4 stars
7/04/05 Steven shit,fell asleep till the last 5 mniutes 1 stars
6/19/05 Brian It was pretty stupid, but Kevin James was funny as hell. 2 stars
6/17/05 ELI It was cute, just the ending wedding was REALLY retarded.... 4 stars
3/24/05 Kathy terPlugg Ridiculous stock characters, cliched situations. Groan!!!!! 1 stars
3/21/05 R.C.F. Kevin James saved most comedy-factor that's missing here overall, too slow towards the end 4 stars
3/14/05 Rebecca Great movie, had me in hysterics 5 stars
3/06/05 I.P.Freely Great!!! 5 stars
3/05/05 Leesha Lots of laughs amid the sappy (yet enjoyable) love stories. 4 stars
3/03/05 jeff funny but not that funny. kinda slow. 3 stars
2/28/05 Jim Amiable fluff 3 stars
2/27/05 Gray wow a black guy teachs a white guy how to be cool how original 1 stars
2/25/05 L.G. Best Romantic Comedy Ever, it's a Pick Me Up, Loved it, Great Cast and Script 5 stars
2/24/05 Mary JD Great movie... had me laughing most of the time! would recommend 5 stars
2/20/05 Jennifer Tower LOVED IT!! So cute! 5 stars
2/20/05 Steve Michaud Engaging, entertaining, and funny; for once, a romantic comedy done right 4 stars
2/19/05 Denise Duspiva funny 3 stars
2/18/05 Eileen Lammers I laughed all the way through this one! It is a joy! 5 stars
2/18/05 Fahad Pinto It was ok, not the best, but not bad either. 3 stars
2/15/05 Obi Wan Great Job by Will Smith! Very funny and definately a great date movie! 5 stars
2/14/05 Will Smith Aw, hell no! 1 stars
2/14/05 Kristina Williams when will people see that he acts the same in EVERY movie? Dammit. 1 stars
2/12/05 Kenneth Flickstein Will Smith shows off well in this chick flick for guys. 5 stars
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  11-Feb-2005 (PG-13)
  DVD: 14-Jun-2005



Directed by
  Andy Tennant

Written by
  Kevin Bisch

  Will Smith
  Eva Mendes
  Kevin James
  Michael Rapaport
  Adam Arkin
  Amber Valletta

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