Movie Review by Neils Hesse
Starring: Will Smith, Eva Mendes, Kevin James, Amber Valletta, Julie Ann Emery
Director: Andy Tennant
Have any of you men out there ever met or seen a girl that you thought was the best thing since sliced bread, but at the same time realised that she was way out of your league? You probably wished that you had known what to say to her and how to say it, so that she would stop and take notice of you – well then maybe what you needed was Hitch (Will Smith).
Hitch is not just your average guy, he is gifted in a way that almost every man would wish to be, he understands women. When we first see Hitch he is coaching two hapless guys in the right way so they get the woman of their dreams and after several dates the guys get their girls and Hitch moves on to the next desperately lovesick guy, Albert (Kevin James). Albert is your basic guy, slightly overweight and prone to messing up anything around him or on him and he also happens to be head over heels with a beautiful girl called Allegra (Amber Valletta). Allegra isn’t just beautiful she is also the single heir to a fortune of millions. Hitch agrees to help Albert get the woman of his dreams, and so begins what could quite possibly be Hitch’s most challenging job ever.
On a night out at a club Hitch happens to notice an extremely beautiful girl, so he approaches her and very smoothly engages her in a conversation. It turns out that she is called Sara (Eva Mendes) and she is a very cynical and emotionally guarded gossip reporter for a daily tabloid. Hitch manages to get her to go on a date with him and shockingly it all goes very wrong. Even though he planned it perfectly his plans just turn out to be down right embarrassing. Could it be that the great Guru himself has finally fallen foul to that great human enigma commonly known as love?
Meanwhile just as Albert starts to make an impact on Allegra, Sara’s jilted best friend blames all her troubles on a mystery man known as the Love Doctor, and soon enough Sara’s reporter instincts lead her to Hitch who she readily proceeds to trash in the tabloids, and in the process ruins Albert’s chances with Allegra. Still as the saying goes, ‘the course of true love never did run smooth’ so maybe, just maybe, there may still be a chance for Albert, Allegra, Sara and Hitch.
Andy Tennant who recently directed SWEET HOME ALABAMA directs this excellent romantic comedy that works for both men and women on many levels. His main female lead is in many ways just as emotionally damaged as the male lead and this is something that many men and women can relate to in this day and age. He gets us to go on a journey with his two main characters as they slowly do away with their inhibitions to love and just accept their feelings along with all the risks that come with them. He also has a sub plot that shows that even the unlikeliest guy can get the prettiest girl if he really loves her. This may not happen all the time in the real world but it can happen and this movie happily exploits the appeal of the under dog by casting Kevin James of THE KING OF QUEENS fame as the unlikely guy.
Will Smith effortlessly exudes charm, humour and a very believable expression of mistrust in love because of a past affair that ruined his character’s belief in love. His chemistry with the equally entertaining Eva Mendes is spot on – they make a great onscreen couple.
A rarity for romantic comedies, HITCH isn’t strictly for the ladies as it is definitely aimed at men too.