Cast: Will Smith, Kevin James, Eva Mendes, Amber Valletta, Julie Ann Emery, Robinne Lee, Nathan Lee Graham, Adam Arkin, Michael Rapaport
Director: Andy Tennant
Genre: Comedy
Rated: M sexual references, low level coarse language
Running Time: 118 Minutes

The cure for the common man.

In this sophisticated romantic comedy, 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 Valletta), 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 biggest scoop could very well be the unmasking of Manhattans most famous date doctor.

My Verdict:
Will Smith is a very likeable, bankable Hollywood movie star and in a change of direction for him he stars in this romantic comedy of a Manhattan date doctor known as "Hitch". Smith plays Alex "Hitch" Hitchens, the infamous, anonymous and successful date doctor who will advise those unsuccessful men how to secure the woman of their dreams. He has a set of guidelines that he teaches, the trouble with him being that he doesn't know how, or can't seem to apply them to himself when he meets Sara Melas (Eva Mendes), a tabloid newspaper gossip columnist. Hitch is himself smitten with Sara but has to overcome his own insecurities whilst tackling a forthright Sara who isn't particularly looking for a mate.

Much of the movie is taken with Hitch teaching Albert Brennerman - a fabulous Kevin James, who manages to upstage Smith on occasion. Albert is besotted with Allegra Cole (Amber Valletta), a client of the accounting firm where he works, and he enlists Hitch's help to get Allegra to even notice he is alive. It is when Hitch and Albert are working together that are the funniest and the most anticipated as they form a great comedic duo, including a memorable scene where Hitch tries to teach Albert about the all-important first kiss with a woman.

Will Smith is perfect as Hitch and proves his value with his comedic timing and general amiable nature. The various outdoor locations all add to the overall pleasant feeling this movie generates as it heads towards its natural predictable conclusion but not before Hitch almost comes unhitched with Sara over a misunderstanding about the true nature of his job. Perhaps the final act was a little overly long and could have been trimmed - we all know the speech Hitch is going to give Sara about love and its true meaning - and it could have come sooner. Other than that there are no hitches with this amusing and entertaining comedy.

Rating : B-

Christina Bruce


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