Review by: Jack Foley | Rating:
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Commentary with director Andy Tennant.
Deleted scenes (30 mins). Outtakes. Six behind the scenes featurettes.
Music video '1 Thing' by Amerie.
WILL Smith may be a newcomer to romantic comedy but given the
feel-good factor surrounding his first attempt, it's fair to say
he pulls it off without a hitch!
What's more, he doesn't hog the limelight, allowing each member
of his emerging yet talented ensemble cast to bask in the glory
of Kevin Bisch's endearing screenplay.
Smith plays Alex 'Hitch' Hitchens, a legendary - and deliberately
anonymous - New York City 'date doctor' who, for a fee, has helped
countless men woo the women of their dreams - no matter how ridiculous
Hence, when Kevin James' meek accountant, Albert, becomes smitten
with glamorous celebrity heiress Allegra Cole (Amber Valletta),
Hitch takes on the challenge of turning the awkward romeo into
the man of Allegra's dreams.
And this doesn't involve a personality change or a facelift,
but rather enables Albert to relax and say the right things.
In between coaching Albert and performing his usual day-to-day
duties, however, Hitch finds himself falling for the beautiful
charms of Eva Mendes' cynical Sara Melas, a gossip columnist with
her own relationship issues, who is also privy to all the latest
When Eva resolves to uncover the relationship doctor responsible
for putting Allegra next to Albert, she inadvertently sets herself
on a course to expose and destroy the one man capable of allowing
her to drop her inhibitions about love.
The ensuing romantic comedy plays
out in fairly predictable fashion, throwing in plenty of slapstick
humour to offset some of the more sophisticated verbal courtships,
while counting down to its inevitably schmaltzy conclusion.
But it works far better than most recent entries into the genre
because of the charm of just about everyone involved.
Kevin James, especially, provides a wonderful comic foil for
Smith, as well as a suitably hapless singleton whose blooming
relationship with Valletta's heiress is skillfully developed and
really worth rooting for (he has previously starred in US TV comedy,
King of Queens).
While Smith, too, exudes an easy-going charm that is as vulnerable
when dealing with his own feelings as he is assured when sorting
out other people's. And he's not afraid to poke fun at himself.
But no one really feels left out, including Julie Ann Emery as
one of Mendes' shy best friends.
Director, Andy Tennant, also strikes a near perfect balance between
the differing types of humour he employs, allowing his actors
the space to breathe, while poking fun at all of them at different
And his use of music and New York location also keeps things
lively and viscerally engaging throughout.
Indeed, Hitch, the movie, proves as slick and alluring as Hitch,
the character, given its ability to put a big sloppy smile on
your face from the beginning and keep it there for pretty much
all of its two-hour running time.
And while the finale is typically overblown and syrupy, Smith,
Tennant, James and co still come right back at you with a genuinely
hilarious dance sequence that will have viewers rolling out of
the multiplex in fits of laughter.
Incurable romantics are therefore advised to take a double dose
of this particular date doctor.