starring Will Smith, Eva Mendes, Kevin James, Amber Valletta
screenplay by Kevin Bisch
directed by Andy Tennant
by Walter Chaw Defying all odds by not being awful, what Andy Tennant's Hitch lacks in originality it makes up for in chemistry between Will Smith (true heir to Cary Grant's romantic comedy crown) and the lovely Eva Mendes, both of whom find their stride in what amounts to a 'Black Eye for the White Guy' take on screwball farce. Only occasionally, in other words, is it apparent that the dialogue is excrescent and that this is another one of those movies that ends with a long wedding sequence where people shimmy in front of the camera. Strike against it that it resists pairing Smith with a Caucasian actress because African sexuality is almost as threatening to white sexuality as homosexuality, but it does allow the erstwhile helper fairy to have a love life of his own parallel to the hopeless fat cracker fast becoming the most popular of the new reviled minorities. It's a good thing that, for the most part, they don't seem to mind--call it the CBS/Homer Simpson/Matthew Perry syndrome.