Review published
March 24, 2005
A.J.'s Rating:  3 Romantic Stars

    Ever heard of Alex 'Hitch' Hitchens? Nah, I'd thought not. He doesn't advertise, and his business is through referral only. Even when he's working, Hitch prefers to stay well in the background, an anonymous guide to those who call upon his unique services.
   
    Will Smith is Hitch, and Hitch is a romantic comedy. That's right, it's a Will Smith movie with no gunfire, no car chases, no explosions, and no Armageddon. So, what then does Will Smith do in this movie? He helps socially inept men find dates. That's it, pure and simple. And none of those dates even end up being with a sexy drug informant, robotic murder suspect, or wacky alien; illegal or otherwise!
  
    Now, don't misunderstand. We're not talking Blind Date here. After all, anyone can throw a couple of horny people together and watch the sparks fly. What Hitch does is more subtle, and a lot more rewarding. His expertise lies in helping his clients connect with the women they truly love, and he's damn good at it. Why, you could call him the Jerry Maguire of romance, since, with a little help from Hitch, the sparks that fly between two new lovers are not simply due to hormones, but to heart.
   
   Uh, oh... 'Chick flick' alert! 'Chick flick' alert! All hands to battle stations! Sound the alarms! Snappy one-liners won't help us now! Whoa, wait a minute... okay, stand down fellas, the situation is not quite as bad as all that. Hitch is actually a thoroughly enjoyable bit of romantic amusement, and Will Smith is perfect as the title character. Hitch showcases Smith's natural charisma, and serves as a welcome reminder that he has great comic timing, even without everything blowing up around him. In fact, some of the funniest scenes in Hitch are due not to spoken dialogue, but to Smith's comic, yet believable reactions.
   
    As far as the story is concerned, it gets a bit cluttered about half way through, but not overly so. I especially enjoyed the fact that, when given the chance to exploit stereotypes for easy humor, Hitch takes the high road. Kudos to Kevin Bisch for writing a much smarter screenplay than Hollywood usually requires!
  
    So, a bit of advice to you guys out there looking to score some points on your next date. For a successful romantic night's movie viewing, don't wait for your date to suggest which 'chick flick' to watch. After all, if you're resigned to grin and bear your way through a 'chick flick' anyway, why not do more grinning than bearing? Suggest Hitch!
Directed By: Andy Tennant
Written By: Kevin Bisch
Starring: Will Smith, Eva Mendes, Kevin James, Amber Valletta,
Julie Ann Emery,Robinne Lee, Nathan Lee Graham, Adam Arkin,
Michael Rapaport

MPAA: PG-13
Hitch
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