Hitch (12A)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner03/03/2005

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 118 mins

Enjoyable romantic comedy that is sharply written and frequently laugh-out-loud funny, thanks to a hilarious performance by supporting actor Kevin James.

It’s hard to believe that Hitch is Will Smith’s first proper romantic comedy, since his wise-cracking, super-cool persona is tailor-made for this sort of thing. Currently a huge, runaway hit in the States, Hitch is directed by Andy Tennant, who cut his romcom teeth on Sweet Home Alabama and Ever After (although the less said about Fools Rush In, the better). The film is actually a lot funnier than the trailers would have you believe, thanks to a witty script and good performances.

Date Doctor Risks Unwanted Exposure

Will Smith stars as Alex “Hitch” Hitchens, a legendary New York City “date doctor”, who helps shy and socially inadequate men woo the women of their dreams. However, while coaching Albert Brennaman (Kevin James, from TV’s The King of Queens), a meek accountant smitten with supermodel Allegra Cole (Amber Valletta), Hitch’s closely-guarded anonymity comes under threat when he falls for sexy gossip columnist Sara Melas (Eva Mendes). Things are complicated still further because Sara is mistakenly convinced that the “Date Doctor” set her best friend (Julie-Ann Emery) up with a sleazeball and is determined to expose him.

Smith makes an excellent romantic lead in a role that could have been insufferable in other hands. To that end, the script is very cleverly put together, because whenever Hitch is in danger of getting too cocky or smug, something really awful happens to him to ensure that he remains sympathetic. (Examples include the outbreak of an extra-virulent food allergy and a flashback of him getting his heart broken as a goofy-looking college-age nerd.).

There’s strong support from the likes of Adam Arkin and Julie-Ann Emery (who will hopefully go on to bigger and better parts after this and her role in TV’s Line of Fire) but the film is completely stolen by Kevin James, who is wonderful as Albert. An extended sequence in which Hitch tries to teach Albert how to rein in his elaborate dance moves is genuinely hilarious. The character is so well written and acted that you actually believe it when Allegra falls for him, despite the fact that they appear so mismatched, physically.

Eva Mendes Puts In Weak Performance

The weakest point of the film is Eva Mendes’s peformance - she may be gorgeous but she really isn’t much of a comedic actress and there’s very little chemistry between her and Smith.

To make matters worse, she’s consistently out-acted by Julie-Ann Emery in their scenes together - there’s a speed-dating scene where Hitch starts chatting to Emery and you end up wishing that he’d go for her instead.

Ultimately, then, the film runs out of steam towards the end and is at least 15 minutes too long, but it’s still an enjoyable, better-than-average, romcom with some genuinely funny scenes. Stick around for an amusing end-credits sequence in which everyone dances really badly. Worth seeing and a pretty good “date movie” to boot.

Film Trailer

Hitch (12A)
Be the first to review Hitch...
01 Focus (15)

Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Rodrigo Santoro

02 Selma (12A)

David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo, Tim Roth

03 Far from the Madding Crowd (tbc)

Carey Mulligan, Tom Sturridge, Matthias Schoenaert...

04 Chappie (tbc)

Hugh Jackman, Sigourney Weaver, Sharlto Copley

05 A Most Violent Year (15)

Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain, David Oyelowo

Content updated: 20/07/2018 04:02

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