Starring: Will Smith, Kevin James, Eva Mendes, Amber Valletta
Director: Andy Tennant
If you thought that Jude Law was the perfect replacement for the ultimate ladies’ man in the remake of “Alfie” at the end of last year, then you haven’t met Hitch (Will Smith), an ultra-suave player who can get pretty much any girl he wants with his step-by-step rulebook to dating. Both movies are very similar in many ways, featuring both actors in trendy designer clothes while they deliver sharp-witted narration to the camera, but the success of “Hitch” is ultimately more reliant on the entire cast. “Hitch” is the perfect date film and hits theaters just in time for Valentine’s Day. What do you know, those zany marketing guys really do know what they’re doing, don’t they?
Alex “Hitch” Hitchens (Smith) is New York City’s biggest urban myth, a freelance date doctor who can help any man win over the woman of his dreams in just three dates. He only works by referral as to keep his identity hidden, but we learn about his techniques in an introduction showing three different sets of circumstances that all end with success. Hitch is handed his most difficult client yet when the bumbling accountant Albert Brennenman (Kevin James of “King of Queens” fame) falls in love with paparazzi-friendly tycoon heiress Allegra Cole (supermodel Amber Valletta) – think of a smart and classy Paris Hilton. While Hitch helps Albert with the dos and don’ts of dating, he becomes entangled in his own dating skirmish with gossip columnist Sara Meles ( Eva Mendes) and quickly discovers that no one can be perfect when they’re in love.
Smith provides the most enjoyable character of the film and pours on the charm in his most refreshing role to date, but Mendes is unbelievably sexy in her first break from the usual tough chick act while James serves up enough laughs to keep any guy entertained. As Smith and Mendes surround themselves with a clever, acerbic familiarity of the dating world, James quickly proves that he may just be ready to make the jump from TV to the big screen. “Hitch” isn’t the kind of film you’ll be able to build a healthy conversation around for the water cooler the next day, but it is one more pleasant surprise to add to the growing list of early-bird movies this new year.
The widescreen release of "Hitch" doesn't offer any audio commentary tracks or behind-the-scenes documentaries, but it does include five production featurettes on various topics within the film, including "Dance Steps Made Easy" and "Love in New York City." Also a part of the special features section are featurettes on costume design, information on modern day date doctors, and a short blooper reel that unfortunately doesn't last very long. There really aren't enough extras on this single-disc release to warrant a purchase, but it's certainly one of the select few romantic comedies actually worth checking out.