BY PATRICIA DRAZNIN
Guys, want the confidence to meet the woman of your dreams? Want to get her to notice and appreciate you? Want to develop a meaningful relationship? The “date doctor” can show you how. “Three dates, gentlemen. After that, you’re on your own.” Fair enough.
Slang for “hooking up” with someone, Hitch is also the nickname of date-meister Alex Hitchens, played to perfection by the dashing Will Smith. The Valentine’s Day comedy features a much-needed coach who educates sincere men about connecting with the opposite sex and understanding the nuances of the female mind. Hitch’s instructions are rich with comedy but the intentions are pure, which scores a big bravo for the film.
Hitch coaches the less than suave Albert (Kevin James), who is madly in love with his firm’s gorgeous client, the celebrity heiress Allegra Cole (Amber Valletta). Watching the pudgy accountant winning over the major babe is pure romantic comedy. Meanwhile, Hitch gets to put his money where his mouth is when he meets Sara (Eva Mendes), a hot-looking, ruthless gossip columnist. Eyeing her in a bar, Hitch masterfully rescues her from an annoying wannabe suitor, wins her over, and slowly gets her to let down her guard. But even with all of his relationship savvy, the date doctor gets a serious run for his money.
So what’s wrong with this picture? Some of the scenes reek of amateur writing, and the resolution is clumsy. Above all, Hollywood missed a golden opportunity for a less attractive woman to win the affections of a dapper man. Yeah, right. But never mind. Hitch offers enough entertainment to keep you laughing through most of the movie. After that you’re on your own. B-