- ‘Welcome to the edge of freedom’: Biden’s boots touch down in DMZ
- Obama: Hole U.S. ‘digging out of’ requires billions more in unemployment benefits
- Obama’s regulatory agenda will cost U.S. economy $143B next year: report
- Patriot Act author on James Clapper: Fire, prosecute him
- Russia P.M. Medvedev: No amnesty for political prisoners
- Michigan GOP Senate hopeful reminds government is the ‘servant’
- Christmas, by Congress: Members mull a 15-cent tax on trees
- U.S. unemployment falls to five-year low of 7 percent; 203K jobs added
- World mourns Nelson Mandela and celebrates his life; burial set for Dec. 15
- Bill O’Reilly reminds: Nelson Mandela ‘was a communist’
Date with a dud
Question of the Day
There’s a big, ugly “Hitch” in the modern romantic comedy game. Films such as “Little Black Book,” “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” and last week’s “The Wedding Date” would have us believe people do the least believable things en route to romance. The formula reaches a new low in “Hitch,” an engineered calamity that wastes “The King of Queens’ ” Kevin James in his first meaty film role.
The “Hitch” in question is Alex “Hitch” Hitchens (Will Smith), a professional dating consultant who trains guys to woo their dream girls.
He has his hands full with Albert (Mr. James), a lumpy accountant who’s fallen hard for Allegra (Amber Valetta). She’s a beautiful and wealthy gossip page darling who, in the real world, wouldn’t so much as acknowledge her schlubby suitor.
The Date Doctor is in, however, and before you know it Albert has made a connection with Allegra.
Hitch himself lacks the romantic courage he stokes in his clients. He got badly burned by love years ago — a comically inept flashback featuring Mr. Smith in full Urkel regalia — and now keeps the ladies at arm’s length.
It’s not a bad strategy considering the film pairs him up with the ambitious, self-satisfied gossip columnist Sara (Eva Mendes). We’d sooner see Hitch curl up with a good book than waste his skills on her, but waste them he does in a series of exaggerated dates that would scream “stalker” to any rational female.
Rationality means nothing to “Hitch” and its ilk, so we trudge on, gritting our teeth as Mr. Smith’s boundless appeal gets ground down to a nub.
The romantic comedy fog lifts whenever Mr. Smith and Mr. James share the screen. Theirs is the chemistry “Hitch” meant for Mr. Smith and Miss Mendes, and the irony is that it’s Miss Mendes who strikes a stale sitcom note, not the current “King of Queens.”
First-time screenwriter Kevin Birsch begins “Hitch” on a comic high but doesn’t know how to let his characters fall in love. Like a schoolboy with a mad crush, he thinks shoving his characters translates into affection. Mr. Birsch’s limp comic set pieces, like Hitch suffering a food allergy attack or Sara getting clonked in the head mid-date, never make the case for their attraction.
Other stretches for comedy’s sake stagger and fall — does Sara’s great- grandfather really have to be a mass murderer? — but we’re rescued whenever Hitch and Albert plot their next moves.
Mr. Smith’s charisma, and he has tons of it in reserve, abandons him by the protracted finale.
It’s all a shame because lurking within this shell of a comedy lies a neat premise — that a professional dating expert doesn’t really know what makes a woman’s heart tick after all.
Instead, we get Mr. Smith wallowing in material beneath him and Mr. James showing he deserves a second chance at big screen comedy.
- Kill team: Obama war chiefs widen drone death zones
- Obama administration issues permits for wind farms to kill more eagles
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- Spike in battlefield deaths linked to restrictive rules of engagement
- Craigslist killers: Police say newlyweds stabbed man for thrills
- Obama: Hole U.S. 'digging out of' requires billions more in unemployment benefits
- Activists urge Obama to go rogue, sidestep Congress
- Rush Limbaugh: Obama trying to make Mandela death about himself
- NAPOLITANO: Pope Francis should be saving souls, not pocketbooks
- PRUDEN: British press horrified as London's new mayor dares to proclaim the truth
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Entertainment News and Reviews from Washington, D.C. and beyond.
Great discoveries in the world of restaurants and chefs fulfill the quest for delicious food and cooking.
Television commentary, reviews, news and nonstop DVR catch-up by Lisa King Dolloff and friends.
Red Alert focuses on the hottest political topics in the nation and calls Americans to action.
White House pets gone wild!