A cute romantic comedy that's at least 30 minutes too long, Hitch charms for the first hour but falls apart come the crunch. Will Smith stars as a hugely successful New York "date doctor" Alex 'Hitch' Hitchens. His latest gig is to set up no-hoper of an accountant Albert (Kevin James) with high-flying socialite Allegra (Amber Valletta). But then hot-looking gossip reporter Sara (Eva Mendes) sniffs a story and the date doctor is in need of his own advice...
That advice, doled out for a fee, includes looking at a woman's eyes when she's talking (not her lips and definitely not her breasts), avoiding freaky dancing and, um, actually listening to what your date is saying. It's sad but true: men do need this help. And Smith is just the bloke to give it - with his easy wit and charisma, he easily convinces as a man women would want to be with. The scenes where he's setting up bumbling bachelors with their dream gals are great and Kevin James is likeable as the chunky nobody in a Notting Hill-style relationship with a woman way out of his league.
"GO ALONG FEELING FORGIVING AND SLUSHY"
Mendes, too, is good (she and Smith make one helluva photogenic couple) particularly considering how dopey the script eventually makes her character. She isn't the only person let down by the join-the-dots final act, a tension and romance-free mess that undermines a lot of earlier good work. Go along feeling forgiving and slushy and it does the job, but Hitch isn't a memorable date.