It's the stuff of legends. A mysterious "date doctor" who transforms hopeless, bumbling men, madly in love with beautiful women, into that woman's dream date. Well, Alex "Hitch" Hitchens is that man – a sort of alchemist. Hitch is smooth-talking, extraordinarily lucky with women (although not in a serious relationship himself), and exceedingly handsome. He researches all of the woman's weaknesses, preferences, and her modus operandi, and creates the program for the awkward man to woo her.
Take one of Hitch's clients, the hapless, overweight Albert. And take Albert's love interest – the beautiful socialite heiress Allegra Cole. Can they be "hitched"? Is that even possible? For Hitch, anything is possible.
Except, it seems, wooing Sara Melas. Hitch's smooth, practiced, glib approach doesn't seem to work so well with Sara, an attractive gossip columnist. In fact, every date that Hitch and Sara go on seems to turn into a spectacular catastrophe. Sara seems to bring out the inner geek in Hitch, transforming him into someone resembling his clients more than Hitch himself.
This movie, to my delightful surprise, is completely hilarious. It isn't fluffy and empty, as most romantic comedies are; it isn't flat and mediocre. It's honest-to-god, laugh-our-loud funny. There was hardly a moment when I wasn't laughing. Will Smith is flawless as the cool-as-a-cucumber Hitch, and Kevin James (from TV's "King of Queens") is uproariously funny as Albert. Smith and James have truly funny scenes together, such as when Hitch is teaching Albert to dance.
Eva Mendes, as Sara, is decidedly second-rate; the chemistry between her and Smith isn't exactly starting any fires, but the film is so funny that Mendes' performance hardly matters in the scheme of things. She's adequate, and Smith is funny enough for both of them.
The dialogue is smart and witty; there isn't a line that falls flat. I laughed throughout the entire movie. Even the dramatic scenes are sprinkled with enough humour that they didn't weigh down the funny tone of the movie. It doesn't resort to crass forms of humour to reach its destination. It stays smart, sharp, and funny the entire way through.
So, unlike the typical drippy, soggy pap of the romantic comedy genre, "Hitch" will REALLY make you laugh all the way through.
© 2005 - Natalie Johnson - Air Date: 2/16/05
USA, PG-13, 115 minutes