December 2, 2005
Starring: Will Smith, Eva Mendes, Kevin James, Amber Valletta, Julie Ann Emery, Robinne Lee, Nathan Lee Graham, Adam Arkin, Michael Rapaport, Jeffrey Donovan, Paula Patton, Philip Bosco, Kevin Sussman, Navia Nguyen, Matt Malloy, ,
After such pumped-up marathons like Ali and I, Robot perhaps it’s no big surprise that Will Smith decided to take it easy in a nice romantic comedy for a change as a New York cupid who spends his time getting unattractive men to know what women want so that they’ll fall in love with them. You can almost hear the focus groups rustle their notepads in excitement: Will Smith? Check. Female wish-fulfillment? Check. Predictable plot with occasional bursts of humour? Check. But at the same time, Hitch wears its heart on its sleeve and never pretends to be anything other than a forgettable date movie, which means you can just sit back and enjoy it.
Life is going swimmingly for our Hitch until cynical gossip columnist Sarah catches on to the mysterious date doctor and seeks him out, not realising he’s the same man she’s just agreed to date (a disastrous jet-ski incident which ends with Sarah in tears and a concussion – it seems Hitch isn’t so great at this love thing himself). Meanwhile, Hitch agrees to help shy accountant Albert (a scene stealing Kevin James) to woo the girl of his dreams: rich heiress Allegra…who just happens to be on the watch-list of Sarah’s paper.
Needless to say there are misunderstandings and a big fight before the Barbie-style ending but thanks to the presence of Will Smith it’s quite bearable. The guy has become like Tom Cruise in that simply his name on the poster means people will swarm in droves to the cinema. Hitch isn’t a bad rom-com but with a lesser leading man would it still have raked in $100 million? Mendes is an amiable match, nothing more, and Valetta as the poor little rich girl who would date a fat guy because he’s “nice” is frankly patronising, even in such a fluffy fantasy world as this.
The gag reel is mostly made up of people making faces before a take, while the deleted scenes offer an alternate opening title sequence. The featurettes include: “Dance Steps Made Easy”, “Love in New York”, “Hitch Style”, “The Dating Experts” and “Will Smith’s Red Carpet Race” where the Fresh Prince attempts to break the Guinness World Record for the number of public appearances in 12 hours.
To round things off there’s a music video by Amerie and some random trailers…which was nice.