Hitch rises above a seemingly formulaic plot to ultimately become a funny and enjoyable film in the middle of Hollywood's dead season.

Will Smith plays Alex Hitchens, dating superhero, sworn to protect men from their own bad habits, poor taste and insecurity. Hitch's latest project, Albert (Kevin James), is a CPA longing for his beautiful heiress client who, in turn, is the subject of a string of articles written by a tabloid reporter, Sara (Eva Mendes). Coincidentally, Sara happens to be Hitch's own romantic interest.

For a romantic comedy, Hitch offers a better script than usual, taking the opportunity to point out that the games men play with love are not just a condition of their insecurity but a product of modern women's guarded nature. For guys today, a "Hitch"-personality may not be honest, but is at times necessary.

In addition, Smith and James deserve credit for making the film work by not falling into the trap of overacting. The suave Hitch and James' awkward Albert never become obnoxious caricatures, and their comical relationship is what keeps the film rolling.

The film's major flaw is that many of Hitch's schemes prove to be more creepy than romantic -- apparently, there's a fine line between true love and potential stalker. Fortunately, this plays only a minor role in the overall enjoyment of the film. Everyone, single or attached, male or female, will find something to like about Hitch.


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