A light, entertaining ‘Hitch’ | PostIndependent.com

A light, entertaining ‘Hitch’

“Hitch” doesn’t just appeal to couples; on Valentine’s Day, at least one guy (not including Dan) sat alone in the theater, possibly hoping to pick up tips from the date doctor (Will Smith).Smith carries the movie with his strong and adorable acting, and Kevin James adds chemistry to his relationship with Smith by playing a clumsy, overweight accountant named Albert, who’s smitten with a rich celebrity named Allegra Cole (Amber Valletta).Albert consults the date doctor, who decides to take his case because Albert knows he’s crazy and in love, and he can’t help it.The funniest – and most painful – scenes occur between the date doctor and the lovesick patient. You can’t help but cringe as Hitch coaches Albert during a phone call to Allegra, and Albert ends up falling all over himself, literally. And you can’t help but laugh when Albert crosses the line and kisses Hitch while learning how to navigate that ever-so-important first kiss, upon which Hitch claims women judge the viability of the relationship (no pressure there).Meanwhile, the date doctor sets his own love scenario in motion. Once immune to such conditions, the date doctor finds himself falling in love for a sarcastic, independent gossip columnist (Eva Mendes).Of course, no romantic comedy seems complete without the usual threat of lost love, and “Hitch” has plenty. I thought the movie seemed a little disjointed – jumping from couple to individual to best-friend scenario to date doctor consultation – in the beginning, but when Hitch’s girlfriend unleashes her fury upon him, viewers really have to suspend their disbelief and go along for the ride.I admit, I’m biased about the particular turning point where the gossip columnist screws up and doesn’t make a public correction in the paper (if I told you more, Dan would yell at me, so forgive my vagueness). All I’m saying is that when I screw up in the paper, I hear about it and have to fix it, as does my editor; Hitch doesn’t swoop in to save the day.That said, overall, “Hitch” delivers a funny enough, satisfying, light romantic comedy. It runs about 30 minutes too long at almost two hours, but it’s worth some laughs and warm fuzzies.In my rating of director Andy Tennant’s love stories, it’s not as good as “Ever After” and better than “Sweet Home Alabama,” the latter mostly because of casting Smith as the date doctor.

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