Hopeless, unrequited love is an unfortunately universal feeling. First the jitters, then it’s euphoria, and eventually comes the wrenching heartbreak that all tweens and teens feel at some point. As cheesy as it is, “Hitch” reminds its viewers of these simpler years and youthful crushes, and they find that place once full of misery is replaced with sentimental nostalgia and wise hindsight.
Will Smith’s character Alex Hitchins fell hard as all young lads do. He then bumbled and fumbled his way to heartbreak, as all young lads do. But the man on the other side of that turmoil became the notorious “date doctor” of New York, ensuring no man who purchased his services would repeat his very human mistakes.
He shows his clients why they are blowing their odds with their dream girl and what to do, wear and say instead. Hitch demonstrates a fundamental understanding of human nature and, while his lessons are obviously idealized in his fictional world, provides some insight that couldn’t hurt the general populace to hear.
The advice Hitch tells his clients amounts to displaying confident body language and employing one’s listening skills. He handles the circumstances (in some cases staging their first meeting with their target), creative dates and, most importantly for many men, wardrobe.
Hitch teaches them to stay true to themselves; he just shows them how to send the right signals while doing so. While the moral ambiguity is not lost on his clients and women that find out about his profession, Hitch sees his job as a service to mankind … with a little emphasis on the man.
Half of the enjoyment of “Hitch” is watching Will Smith be the smoothest walking and talking individual alive. The other half is watching Will Smith attempt to teach Kevin James’ adorably dorky character to perform basic courting rituals. His profession is based on one explicitly stated belief: “No matter what, no matter who, no matter when, any man has a chance to sweep any woman off her feet. He just needs the right broom.”
“Hitch” is a favorite rom com mainly for the com and unique premise. The love story between Hitch and Sara Melas is where the movie loses a star. While he employs his usual suave tactics which result in arguably the best date ever (on paper), Sara responds poorly.
She is a single gossip columnist with the stereotypical “no time for a boyfriend” gimmick, and she certainly gets that across. She also reacts vehemently and with poor communication skills when Hitch’s profession is thrown in the mix. Her best friend and another related character also only exist to serve purposes related to Hitch and are weakly developed.