‘Hitch’ yourself up to this new romantic comedy

Seth Roy

That look in her eyes means Eva Mendes has only one thing on her mind: Who really is Deep Throat?

Credit: Seth Roy

Predictable. Hokey. Clich‚.

Funny. Endearing. Cute.

Hitch, starring Will Smith, Eva Mendes (Training Day) and Kevin James (The King of Queens), fits into any one, and all, of these six categories.

Alex Hitchens (Smith) is a well-known “date doctor” who helps men without any dating skills discover their game. The beginning of the movie shows Hitchens, or “Hitch” for short, helping three different men win over their respective women. Of course, in typical movie fashion, each man, though inept and overly awkward, gets his girl.

The story really picks up when we get to the story of Albert Brennaman (James). Albert is an awkward accountant who is clumsy and can’t dance. He is also in love with a gorgeous woman who doesn’t know he exists.

This is where Hitch steps in.

Albert is in love with his client named Allegra Cole, played by Amber Valletta (The Family Man), who is an heiress to a fortune. We never find out what that fortune is exactly, but that doesn’t matter. Perhaps, given her name, it’s an allergy medicine… The point is: Allegra doesn’t know Albert is alive, but he is absolutely in love with her.

This storyline provides many funny moments, from the waxing of Albert’s back to Albert learning how to dance. He is the quintessential clumsy, guy-who-doesn’t-have-a-clue-can’t-get-a-date turned confident-suave guy, all thanks to Hitch. He’s the kind of guy the audience likes to root for.

The other storyline follows Sara Melas (Mendes), a gossip columnist for The New York Standard. She digs up the dirt on famous people around town, and is very cynical of men.

This is where Hitch steps in.

Hitch picks Sara up in a bar, but in an atypical manner. Of course, following predictable Hollywood storylines, the cynical Sara eventually falls for Hitch, who was smitten from day one. Smitten not just because Sara is pulchritudinous (aka: extremely hot), but because she is hard to get. So, they fall in love, yada yada yada.

Of course, conflict arises and everything falls apart. Hitch’s profession is a secret that gets uncovered by the gossip columnist. Why? Because women are snoopy and Hitch is predictable.

Hitch and Sara break up, as do Allegra and Albert. Then everyone is miserable until everyone gets happy.

The whole conflict is very emotional and well-acted. Each actor or actress fits his or her part perfectly. Smith shines in his role as Hitch, which is decidedly different from Del Spooner, Det. Mike Lowrey and Agent Jay. Yes, the Fresh Prince is still there, but in a grown up way.

There is no better choice for Sara than Mendes. In her younger days, Jennifer Lopez would have been a good fit, but Mendes is perfect now. And she’s a great substitute for Lopez in the industry; she looks better, and she acts better (thank goodness).

James plays the bumbling guy-trying-to-get-a-date in all of us to perfection. Watch for the scene where he goes in for the kiss with Valletta as proof of this.

As a whole, Hitch is funny, witty and believable. Sure, it follows the basic movie formula without a twist, but that is OK in this type of movie. I even had a few laugh-out- loud moments (and that doesn’t happen often). The two different stories intertwine and work together well.

Hitch may not make you think, but it makes for a good date. While it may be a little on the chick flick side (read: hokey), it is still very entertaining and the hokiness should not stop anyone from seeing it.

For guys who have trouble getting dates (or laid), Hitch might just be the handbook you need.

If you’re a girl, you’ll have fun laughing at the stereotypes of both men and women that are made fun of throughout the movie.

Contact pop arts reporter Seth Roy at [email protected].