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First View Movie Review – Hitch

Will Smith stars in what I assumed would be a kind of ‘how-to dating primer’ for men. Isn’t that the premise? To take a man, any man, and show him how to use his natural personality to compete in today’s high stakes digital dating world, and get his confidence strong enough to get the girl. But not to just ‘get’ her, but to show her why you’re worth falling in love with and marrying.

I don’t think any of that is a bad thing. Will’s character Hitch is showing men how to be  better, more engaging people. I’d like to use his services myself. The opening scene of Hitch in action with his various clients is cool and amusing. Hitch even turns down a lucrative gig when he visits a potential client who’s a sleazeball, because homey don’t play that. Good on him.

But then the movie takes a sharp turn into idiocy:

1. With a Will Smith love story that’s entirely forced, not-sweet, and I don’t care.

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And then 2. There isn’t enough Kevin James in what I thought was going to be a buddy movie.

Then 3. All the wimmins get upset when they learn their guy used the Dating Doctor. Don’t they realize Hitch is using their own strengths to make them better at dating? Their guy is using a life coach to help them learn useful skills and become a better mate. It’s like taking a cooking class, or yoga. It’s about adulting. I’ll take a Date Doctor Graduate any day.

The movie treats these men like there’s some big dark secret to hide — mainly about getting the girl in bed, to which — and no, even as Hitch (the character) says, that’s not the point. Yet he has no business card and only operates in the shadows, via referral. This sends the audience mixed messages.

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Just, no. We already have apps for getting sex. Learning to be a better person isn’t like Tinder or speed dating, which the movie also references, showing why those modern dating devices don’t help. Hitch (the movie) opens with a neat concept, showing the usefulness of Will’s skills, then bows under the weight of society telling the viewer this is a ‘bad thing’ and letting poor, benighted Will see the error of his ways. To which I call bullshit.

No wonder you can only find this movie on the seat back of a plane. Premise: squandered.

Is there really a Dating Doctor out there?

I’d use his app! I’d send prospective dates to it or use one to improve myself. Unless someone holds up a mirror to our souls from time to time, we tend to forget the real person inside, the one that had dreams and goals and believed in ourselves. And thus I find myself a bit angry that Hitch (the movie) ended up going the boring, conventional route of focusing on Will Smith having dating problems of his own. Doctor, heal thyself.

Give me more Kevin James, please. Bored now.

That’s right: an B-lister is saving the A-lister’s baloney. James’ character pulls Hitch (the character) out of the mire, earnestly working his way up the dating food chain. His Omega male persona is very sweet, selling his relationship in a fresh way.

Yes, Hitch is baloney, and three ingredients shy of a sandwich. This could have been really creative and clever in the right hands. I don’t know if I should blame the writer or director, but I think a fresher take could have saved it. Watch the trailer above: it’s where the movie should have gone.

So disappointing. Will, you usually pick better scripts than this. Stick to your action flick strengths; leave the rom-coms behind.

Movie Grade: C-

Movie Review – Gemini Man

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2 responses to “First View Movie Review – Hitch”

  1. You’re so right. I loved the movie for its quotes, most of which involved Kevin James, but it seriously ticked me off how much the Sara character ruins Hitch’s career and life, just because she can’t control herself enough to have a simple conversation, and the end result is him, chasing after her, begging her to love him, and throwing himself on her car. She should’ve been the one that takes the big leap and begs for forgiveness.
    Unfortunately, I forget the ending every time I go to watch this movie… I laugh for the first 30-45 minutes, and then spend the remaining 45 thinking, “oh, yeah… son of a b*! Find someone better!!”

  2. Exactly, Li! Will Smith is usually what makes a movie work, but here I was like, “Be clever about dating, or get out of the way for Kevin.”

    I’m going to take this movie as a failed attempt to have Will Smith do a rom com. And a fail at giving women more credit.

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