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Alex 'Hitch' Hitchens (Will Smith) is a professional ladies-man and matchmaker with an impressive track record. Known as the Date Doctor, Hitch uses unconventional means to coach his clients to make the all important first steps to get that first date with the woman of their dreams - no matter how far out of their reach the woman may be. Like accountant Albert (Kevin James) who's in love with his firm's big client, wealthy and beautiful heiress, Allegra (Amber Valletta). But when Hitch meets gossip columnist Sara (Eva Mendes), he finds himself in unfamiliar territory; genuine love.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
It begins like a black dude's version of Alfie, with Hitch (Will Smith) addressing us directly through the camera, talking about the art of getting a date with a beautiful woman. But the film's trajectory and its themes quickly take a different route. The comedy springs from a combination of recognisable characters and situations, but it's the deep seated seriousness of the subject - and its universality - that provides the fertile but solid grounding for the entertainment.

Will Smith, already a proven entertainer, delivers the goods as the bachelor with all the angles worked out: he has studied women and their public body language, and can coach lesser men how to avoid being dismissed without a fair go. Many of these observations are funny because they are in fact pretty accurate - and they rely as much on decency and common sense as on any special female understanding. Many of the clues are in fact good advice on how to behave intelligently and decently toward anyone.

This gets us firmly on Hitch's side as things deteriorate for him. But there are many plusses in following him on his 'Sistine Chapel' of a job: Albert the overweight accountant who is in love from afar with a client at his firm, the lovely heiress Allegra Cole, who hardly knows he exists. Until Hitch hatches a plan which Albert executes with bells on.

We're having fun along these lines when the film takes us on a bender with Hitch himself showing how it's done, as he pursues the resisting gossip columnist Sara (Eva Mendes). By the time Hitch has convinced her to a non-date 7am waterside breakfast followed by a surprise visit that has her weeping with emotion, we can see this guy is a pro - at getting dates.

What he then has to survive is a nasty smear campaign in which he is publicly named as the date doctor who engineers meetings that end in nasty one night stands.

Carefully controlled filmmaking navigates these dangerous waters with verve, and the cast help make it a highly engaging and entertaining movie with a few things to say, just quietly. Nothing frightfully original as the third act rolls around, but if you need a date movie or a feel good movie to wash away some blues, hitch a ride with Hitch.

There are a whole bunch of special features on the DVD including bloopers, deleted scenes, featurettes and music video.

Published August 18, 2005

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(US, 2005)

CAST: Will Smith, Eva Mendes, Kevin James, Amber Valletta, Julie Ann Emery, Robinne Lee

PRODUCER: James Lassiter, Will Smith, Teddy Zee

DIRECTOR: Andy Tennant

SCRIPT: Kevin Bisch


EDITOR: Troy Takaki, Tracey Wadmore-Smith

MUSIC: George Fenton


RUNNING TIME: 115 minutes



PRESENTATION: Widescreen 1.85:1/16:9

SPECIAL FEATURES: Bloopers; deleted scenes; dance steps made easy featurette; hitch style featurette; love in New York Featurette; The Dating Expert featurette; Will Smith's Red Carpet Dance featurette; Music Video

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

DVD RELEASE: August 17, 2005

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