Directed by Andy Tennant ("Anna and the King", "Sweet Home
Written by Kevin Bisch.
Starring Will Smith, Eva Mendes, Kevin James and Amber Valletta.
Release Year: 2005
Review Date: 2/16/05
My friend Derwin "Holla" Hylton (you know,
the one that rolled to
SoBe) sent me
an e-mail a couple of weeks ago after seeing a free preview of the
new romantic comedy "Hitch":
"[My girlfriend] Athena and I
got a chance to see an advance screening of that new movie HITCH
with Willie Smith and homeboy from the King of Queens. Hands down a
damn entertaining movie, that although cheesy at times…was the GOOD
CHEESE. The kind of cheese that when it drops on your plate or in
the paper wrapper it came in, you can't wait to let it congeal a
little bit, then you pick up the paper and lick it off. Kinda like
a leftover treat right before you eat the last bite of your sausage
egg and cheese McGriddle!!! I want to see your thoughts on this
movie, cuz I thought it had it all. One of the few movies where a
chick will want to see it cuz it's really a chick flick, but it's
aimed at the male audience for the most part."
I have to say, Derwin nailed it for me; this
is one of those rarities, a romantic comedy that actually was
written and designed to entertain men, but women will want to see it
too thanks to a smooth cast and some really funny stuff thrown into
I was choking on all of the formula bits in
"Hitch", but you suck it up thanks to a plot device that allows us
to focus on not one, but two couplings on the rise. "The Date
Doctor", aka Alex Hitchens (Will Smith), is a successful dating
consultant in New York that helps guys negotiate that tricky
first-three-date period with women (Hitch only seems to help
straight couples; I was surprised this wasn't addressed at any
point). Naturally, Hitch is the preacher but not a subscriber
to his own beliefs, so he himself has avoided the love bug...until
he meets Sara (Eva Mendes), a gossip columnist that is also a
big-time commitmentphobe. Meanwhile, Hitch is working with a
new client, a goofy butterball accountant named Albert (Kevin James,
from "The King of Queens"); Albert is hot for Allegra Cole (Amber
Valletta), a rich and beautiful heiress that is a client of Albert's
firm. With Hitch's help, Albert hopes to start a long-term
relationship...and both men learn from each other that blah blah
Normally films like this start off just fine
and devolve into sappy romantic movie bullshit for me; surprisingly,
"Hitch" is a pretty funny film throughout that happens to be
romantic at the appropriate times. Smith is great, but it's
James who keeps the truck hummin'...his Albert is naturally the
clumsiest, goofiest, most ineligible bachelor ever until he meets
Hitch, but even given his setup it's fun watching him land the
affections of Allegra as the film wears on. Even though you've
seen it a million times in the trailer, the sequence where Hitch
shows Albert what to do and what NOT to do while dancing at a club
is the movie's best sequence. By the time Albert is showing
Hitch his "Q-Tip" move, man, I was fuckin' losin' it. Smith's
versatility allows for him to mostly sit back and play a more
reserved lead than he normally does; most of the one-liners that
populate Smith's movies ("I,
Robot" had a ton of them, but they mostly worked out) are absent
here, which is perfect...as the smooth-talking Hitch, you have no
problem buying that Smith could be this guy were it not for the fact
that he's married with a kid or two in real life.
I was surprised about more than the fact
that I kinda liked this film--somehow, the filmmakers made Eva
Mendes look...well, not blazin', smokin', crazy-out-of-this-world
hot in "Hitch." She's attractive, and that will always be the
case, but if this is the first film you have seen with Mendes, I
think you might come away thinkin', "Shit, girl...what's all the
hype about with that one? She don't look that good to me!"
Whereas for me, I didn't think Mendes was looking as good as she has
Fast 2 Furious", or
"All About the Benjamins." Ahh, maybe it's just me.
I don't remember seeing Valletta in anything else, but I thought she
was a great foil to James' antics as he tried to make the moves all
As I said earlier, the film is beyond
predictable; it works from a tried-and-true blueprint for this
genre, so even as I sat through the near-ending I just sat around
waiting for the kiss-and-make-up bit that came two minutes later.
And, the film goes through a myriad of "we won't even bother to
explain this" scenes, like my favorite, where we get to see the
apartments of the two leads; apparently, gossip columnists and
dating consultants make six-figure incomes, because living in
beautiful apartments in New York City is quite easy for these two.
(I'll admit, you can't get caught up in the details in movies like
this, but still.) And, the soundtrack for "Hitch"--when it
wasn't doling out the hip-hop tracks--is flat-out awful...I kept
looking for a razor every time we went into feeling mode.
But, I have to say...I enjoyed myself while
watching "Hitch", thanks to a funny script and enough to keep you
busy between the two couples that you were never bogged down.
See, if more romantic comedies really did appeal to both men and
women, I might...MIGHT...like them more.
No I wouldn't.
Rating: $9.50 Show
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard