What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that there is some strong language (one f-word), alcohol (including drinking as a response to a bad day), and sexual situations and references. But parents should also know that this movie comes down very strongly on the side of romance. It takes kissing very seriously. A couple who have a one-night stand are very unhappy with the outcome (for different reasons) and there is a character who sexually exploits women whose behavior is portrayed as reprehensible. The focus of this movie is on romance and lasting love. Another strength of the movie is its color-blind casting with diverse characters sharing friendships and romantic relationships.
What's the story?
This romantic comedy centers on date doctor Alex "Hitch" Hitchens (Will Smith), who advises men on how to appeal to the women of their dreams. He gives them tips on grooming and attire, reminds them to listen and respond, coaching them on just about everything. Hitch has it all figured out -- for other guys. His heart was broken once and he's never risked it again. Hitch's current assignment is a nebbishy accountant (Kevin James) who is in love with a beautiful heiress (Amber Valetta), whose love life is constantly documented by cynical, dubious gossip columnist Sarah (Eva Mendes). Meanwhile, unaware of Hitch's connection to the couple, Sarah goes on two dates with him, both of which develop serious, uh, hitches along the way.
Is it any good?
It's all familiar romantic comedy territory -- evasions, followed by complications, humiliations, the course of true love not running smoothly, and then...a bit more smoothly. And then not smoothly again. Kevin James is wonderfully sweet and funny. His uninhibited dance is sublime, but so is the look on his face when he hands the heiress a pen, almost overcome by the thrill of giving her something.
The movie's biggest asset is Smith, who has everything it takes to be a romantic comedy superstar. His timing is perfection and he masters all kinds of comedy -- physical and verbal, high and low. No one is better at talking to the camera than he is. Mendes' lackluster performance is the result of a faulty script that leaves promising set-ups unfinished to pursue less interesting ideas. If it does not knock it out of the park, it at least qualifies as a triple, a pleasant date movie with one great performer, several laughs, and a couple of smiles.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about how it can be nerve-wracking to try to make a good impression on the opposite sex, especially someone who seems very desirable. What do you think of Hitch's rules and advice? They could also talk about the idea that you should "begin each day as if it were on purpose." What does it mean to be "all about the short game?"