About Features Reviews Community Screenings Archives Home
February 2005

By Wilson Morales


Distributor: Columbia Pictures
Director: Andy Tenant
Producers: James Lassiter and Teddy Zee
Screenwriters: Jessica Bendinger & Kevin Bisch
Cast: Will Smith, Eva Mendes, Kevin James, Amber Valetta, and Julie Ann Emery




What do you get when you combine a big movie star and big TV star and add comedy and romance in a film that's slated to come out during Valentine's Day weekend? If the ingredients are put together properly and the chemistry works between the intended couple, then the results should be good for all and many hearts will filled with delight. Such is the case with "Hitch". Will Smith brings back his comedic chops that made him a hit on TV and brings in Kevin James, who basically steals the films in his first try at the big screen.

Smith plays Alex "Hitch" Hitchens, a date "doctor" for guys who can't get to first base with a girl. He's very successful and very expensive judging by the way his apartment looks and how he doesn't seem to have a day job to compliment his advisory skills. He coaches his clients on the how, when, and where their dates should be shaken, then stirred. He even has a motto about the first kiss of a date and how it defines the rest of the relationship. His next client happens to be in love with his boss. Albert (James) is an accountant who wants to step up and ask his heiress boss Allegra Cole (model Amber Valetta) for a date. He needs Hitch's help in teaching him to dance, talk, and smooth his way in her personal life. Meanwhile, gossip columnist Sara (Mendes) decided to use Allegra's life for her next pieces, and coincidently meets Hitch without knowing what he does for a living. Hitch is easily smitten with Sara when none of his moves work on her and he loves a challenge. Sara's not looking for romance but finds Hitch a bit hard to resist. When the work factor comes into play, someone's bound to get hurt, but is there enough love to overcome that?

Smith's at his best when he's funny and romantic. The camaraderie between Smith and James are genuine and heartfelt. James is absolutely hilarious in his first time out of "The King of Queens". He represents the corny guy we know of or think we know. Mendes is new lady in Hollywood having just starred Denzel Washington in "Out of Time" and Matt Damon in "Stuck on You". She's good in some areas, but for the most part, she's eye candy in this film. Her time will come when her role is filled with substance. The romantic portion of this film is really the backdrop of the film once Smith and James are on screen together. Mendes and Smith are cute but the chemistry doesn't always work given what's written for them. There's one scene that takes place on Ellis Island, NY that's a bit hard to swallow. Nevertheless, everybody seems to have a good time when all is said and done. Director Tenant was kind to let Smith chew most of the scenery, and gives some supporting roles a chance to make their mark, with the exception of Michael Rappaport, who never appears again on screen after one scene. Smith is the reason why this film is worth seeing. He's funny and romantic in a film that doesn't offer much but of heart of laughs.