Hitch (2005)

Genre(s): Comedy / Romance
Columbia, Sony || PG13 - 119 minutes - $19.98 || June 14, 2005
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2005-07-03


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

A U D I O &
.:: V I D E O ::.

Audio and Video

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Andy Tennant
Writer(s): Kevin Bisch (written by)
Cast: Will Smith, Eva Mendes, Kevin James, Amber Valletta, Michael Rapaport, Jeffrey Donovan


Theatrical Release Date: February 11, 2005


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Gag Reel
  • Behind-the-Scenes Featurettes
  • Music Video


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (2.40)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English, French

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.::THE FILM::.

IMAGE

lthough Hitch fills the same mold of the romantic comedy cookie cutter genre, it still manages to have an interesting plot and two charming lead actors in Will Smith (proving once again why he's an A-list celebrity) and Eva Mendes (a realistically beautiful actress). Seeing the film for only the second time, I still felt it was fresh and entertaining enough and never really lost any of the romance, charm and/or comedy it had back February. Romantic comedies have to be the most predictable genre out there. You know the basic plot, you know the "twists" and finally you know the end. Does Hitch grow out of the mold? Does this Valentine's Day romance flick surprise? Course not. However, what is there works well enough for me and for your date as well.

Will Smith (I, Robot) plays Alex Hitchens, a romancier who is hired by some of the more, shall we say, less-than smooth guys who either can't get a woman or just don't "get" women. We get to see Hitch work his magic with a pencil pusher finance geek Albert (James; "The King of Queens"), one of several men on the account of starlett Allegra Cole (Valletta; Raising Helen), who is going through her own crisis in a public break-up making the tabloid headlines. So, can the Date Doctor do the seemingly impossible as Albert is in love with Allegra?

Add into the mix gossip columnist Sara (Mendes; 2 Fast 2 Furious), a hot babe who has become cynical about romance over the years. One night at a bar, Hitch makes a move on Sara and alhough she resists his charm (and all that), she becomes intrigued in his style and soon agrees to go out with him. Meanwhile, she is also investigates Cole's breakup and her new love interest which makes no sense.

Of course, being this is a romantic comedy, there must be some conflict and this is where it's important to have two interesting leads. Will Smith has that personality to be able to handle this kind of role. One moment he has a certain "innocent" charm, then the next, he's your typical player (but still with style). Now, some absolutely just do not like him, and Hitch will not change their minds. This is a role that was seemingly made just for him so if you didn't like him in the action-adventure flicks, you will certainly dislike him here as the film relies almost solely on him rather than special effects.

Although the part of 'Hitch' was taylored for Smith, I have to admit that the lovely Eva Medes wasn't all that successful for me. Yes, she is beautiful and she has some acting skill, I just think that because Will Smith has such a presence with not only the part, but the story, that any beautiful actress probably could've made it work. That said, Mendes is solid enough to carry the film to its obvious conclusion and she has a good chemistry with Smith.

And making his (most high profile) debut on the silver screen, Kevin James plays up the pitiful love-struck puppy act very well. I've seen only a few episodes of "The Kind of Queens", but what I do remember is this seems to be just an extension of the same character. However, despite being trapped in the all too typical comedic sidekick, Kevin James may have an OK career just so long he stays in the shadows (versus starring in a lame-ass "comedy" as Ray Romano did with Welcome to Mooseport).

In the end, Hitch is, of course, your standard romantic comedy but is just good enough due to the charms of star Will Smith. And as a date movie, you can't really go wrong. Inexplicably, women in the audience awed at certain moments (I will never truly understand why). Because this is in an over-used (and predictable) genre, don't expect anything of substance, just a good and funny time.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

On the one hand, the amount of features on this disc makes me think that that's all there is as you are given a few featurettes and such, but the other part of me (while watching one of these featurettes, showing a scene not in the movie or in the deleted scenes section) makes me wonder if there's a double-dip in store for us come Valentine's Day 2006. But I digress...

The Hitch dvd has a whopping five featurettes covering different aspects regarding the movie, cast and other parts of the filming of this romantic comedy:

DANCE STEPS MADE EASY has eight minutes covering Kevin James' dance "moves" - some in the movie, others not. This goes into several of these dances such as the "Q-Tip" and "Slooow Thriller", to name a couple. This is a fun companion to the movie if you really enjoyed James' character and want to see many more of the steps, although, maybe you don't want to see them! LOVE IN NEW YORK is a gushing exposistion into why the filmmakers wanted to film in New York. They take us on location to (among other places) Ellis Island, a location that apparently has rarely been used to shoot on. If you're someone who is fascinted with the city or like to know what scenes were filmed where, then this is a good little featurette to check out. HITCH STYLE is merely a costume design featurette explaining why certain styles were used for the actors. This goes through each piece of clothing, which is mildly interesting, but pointless for me (maybe someone watching will get some dressing tips or something, I don't know). THE DATING EXPERTS is the longest of the featurettes with interviews from the "experts" in the dating field (dot com's, life coach, etc). It's actually something fun to watch and it might give you some pointers about things you haven't thought about before in your dating life. Lastly is a fluffy featurette called WILL SMITH'S RED CARPET RACE where the star sets out to go to as many red carpet premieres to get the Gunniess Book of World Record for "the most public appearances in 12 hours by a film star". It's a little fun, but kind of pointless...

There are two deleted scenes and an alternate musical opening. One scene, where Eva Mendes is on a date with Smith on Ellis Island but she has to go to the bathroom... of course, the guard can't find the key to open the bathroom door so she goes outside to do her dutie (where she's spotted by a passing ferry). Funny, but ultimately not needed as even without it, the date was as disastrous as it needed to be. The other scene is a subplot ultimately cut out where Smith runs into that cheating ex-girlfriend of his who, seeing the change in his style and looks, wants to make a reconnection. This scene occurs toward the end. Now, given that in a couple of the featurettes I saw a bowling scene not in the movie nor in these deleted scenes, brings me to question whether there'll be a "Valentine's Edition" coming next year (this bowling alley scene also has Michael Rappaport, a good supporting actor, who is only in one scene in the entire movie).

The last two features are a blooper reel with the usual funny gags that happen on a movie set (and particularly with someone like Will Smith) and a music video from R&B/Pop hottie Amerie in her original "1 Thing" video (there have been, I think, two others that have come out since).



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

IMAGE

Let's face it folks, this isn't going to be a loud movie; but it does have a nice, sugar-sweet score that'll make your teeth rot. I don't expect much with the Dolby Digital 5.1 surround, and indeed it doesn't disappoint. The video is presented in anamorphic widescreen (2.40:1); the sweet visuals come to the screen nicely.



.::OVERALL::.

Hitch is a cute and funny romantic comedy that I still found to be good on DVD. Unlike some action films, comedies usually make the better theater to home transition as they can be light-hearted and Will Smith's character of Hitch, is solid. Now, be warned, there could be a double-dip coming your way soon. If you don't care about special features and merely liked the film (and won't care if extra footage is added back in later), then pick this one up.