So I watched Hitch…
I remember when this film first came out – a little over a decade ago – leaving the cinema with this boundless sense of hope. With respect to my parents and all those people involved in influencing my life; I feel that a great deal of who I am and what I want comes from something I’ve seen on a screen – whether one at a cinema or the TV. So even at the tender age of fourteen, I knew that I wanted to fall in love; but I wasn’t exactly a Casanova. So after watching this film, I thought I had the playbook for how to sweep a woman off her feet. Funny enough I did get into a long-term relationship shortly after watching this film; but I digress, let’s talk about Hitch.
Okay, basic plot: Alex “HItch” Hitchens is a professional dating consultant. He makes his living by helping men – who generally have no game – woo women that they wish to pursue relationships with. Albert Brenneman (Kevin James) is Hitch’s latest client and perhaps one of his biggest challenges. Albert is in love with Allegra Cole (Amber Valletta) – a celebrity who is clearly out of his league. As Hitch coaches Albert on how to woo Allegra, Hitch finds himself falling for Sara Melas (Eva Mendes) – a woman who seems immune to his brand of charm. With each failing attempt to woo Sara, HItch learns that he may not be the master of love that he thinks himself to be.
I think the best way to describe this movie is as a ‘romcom for guys’. I think most romcoms tend to view things from the female perspective, hence their moniker as ‘chick flicks’. Hitch takes a step back and places its focus on the build-up to the romance instead of the romance itself. It appealed to me as a man because it addresses the difficulties that come with approaching a woman and trying to generate a relationship out of nothing. Relationship dynamics may have changed and the idea of men approaching women is becoming more and more archaic; but the message of the fear that comes with making that first step rings eternal.
This film came out when Will Smith was probably at the height of his powers. Smith is smooth, charismatic, funny and everything that you’d want from a leading man. He’s the cornerstone of this film and everything great about it either begins with him or flows through him. Kevin James is a fantastic supporting character in this film. I’d long being a fan of James from his days on the TV sitcom King of Queens and while I do think he’s made some poor movies, I love his performance in this film. He’s extremely affable and has this dorky swagger to him which perfectly suited his character. I also have to praise Eva Mendes for her cool and entertaining performance in this film. Mendes is absolutely beautiful and I wish she’d had had more leading roles because I think she is an entertaining talent.
I enjoyed the majority of this movie because of its non-conventional approach and how it serves as a guide to dating – which I definitely needed in my youth and actually still do need now. The film loses me though in its final ten minutes or so. It regresses into a cliche romcom with cheesy lines and loses its slick and polished finish. That being said, perhaps that was the point. Without getting into spoilers, the character of Hitch works on polishing and presenting his clients at their best. By the time the film ends, he realises that it’s the imperfections that seal the relationship. So perhaps the film had to become soppy and messy to drive this point home. Or perhaps I’m giving it too much credit. Either way, I zone out during the last ten minutes.
Overall, Hitch is the ‘man’s’ romcom. It’s filled with great insights into the dating world and also has plenty of moments that will make you laugh. It avoids the cheese that you’d typically expect from a romcom but still manages to pull on the heartstrings. It’s definitely worth watching whether you have your love life figured out or not. 8/10