Everyone has a handful of films which they can count on in their hour of need; that film which can always lift them out of a particularly rotten mood or that go-to film whenever they’re in need of some light entertainment. I have four such films: 10 Things I Hate About You, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Two Weeks Notice and Hitch.
Hitch ticks all of the rom-com boxes for me: a charismatic leading man (Will Smith), a relatable heroine (Eva Mendes’ Sara) and an interesting supporting cast (there are no two-dimensional characters here, as the supporting characters help drive the narrative). Plus Hitch has that added appeal for anyone who dreams of going to New York; Woody Allen would totally fall for this love letter to his city.
For those of you not in the know, this is not a biopic about the legendary filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock. Instead, it’s a rom-com about a date doctor (Alex “Hitch” Hitchens) who is able to make magic happen for the men who hire him to get dates but consistently fails spectacularly when he tries to sweep his ideal woman off her feet.
Personally, I have a real affinity with Sara, as a journalist who is “a realist masquerading as a cynic who is secretly an optimist”. Until I met my boyfriend, I was a rom-com addict who knew better than to think that that kind of thing happens in real life (although I secretly hoped that it might one day). I grew cynical watching friends fall in and out of love or get messed around by all kinds of assholes, then it turned out that there is a handful of good guys out there, and I’m lucky enough to live with one of them. If you wade through all that sentimental mush, you’ll see what I’m trying to say is that we all need a character we can relate to in order to truly connect with a film. Et voila!
At times, Hitch can be quite slapstick, which can seem quite out of place for a rom-com, but comedy heroes Will Smith (in true Fresh Prince style) and Kevin James (the loveable dope from sitcom King of Queens) manage to pull it off. They also have great chemistry and their blossoming bromance is one of the highlights of the film. For me, that’s the sign of a great rom-com. You don’t want it all to be about the romance – you need a decent secondary storyline rather than merely characters who are there just to ‘support’ the leads.
he best thing about Hitch is that it’s one of those rare rom-coms you can watch with your fella, which he can enjoy without feeling that his masculinity is being called into question. After his run of action flicks and Hollywood blockbusters, what bloke wouldn’t wanna be Will Smith, especially with the fabulous Eva Mendes by his side?
I can honestly say that I’ve seen Hitch at least a dozen times and with each viewing I still laugh out loud at the bigger set pieces (making the pizza, anti-allergy meds overdose) and get goosebumps during the romantic climax. For all the grand gestures and huge monologues which traditional romances hang on, it’s refreshing to see a guy stumble over his big declaration at the end of the film and still win the girl. We grow up watching the likes of Meg Ryan, Julia Roberts, Kate Hudson and Katherine Heigl get swept off their feet by Tom Hanks, Hugh Grant, Matthew McConaughey and Gerard Butler, but that is ridiculously unrealistic. And it makes the tiny but touching gestures that occur in real-life go unappreciated. I’d take this real life romance over make believe any day.