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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

Physician, heal thyself.

Hitch (2005) on IMDb

Plot Overview

dating / friendship
hierarchies“Hitch” starts with the Wonderful Life lyrics, “Don't know much about history” and moves on to, “Maybe by being an A–student, baby,/ I can win your love for me.” Indeed, on a tour of historic Ellis Island, we're told, “You can't really know where you're going until you know where you've been.” Briefly then: Long ago in rural life in the old country, marriages had been arranged by parents, based on land and inheritance. Then in small towns where every­body knew every­body else, couples made their own arrange­ments and were taken to be serious once they started stepping out together. As transportation improved we find the honorable profession of match­maker, but the beneficiaries still had to consent. In early America the frontier abolished class distinctions, so any eligible person could theoretically marry anybody else. Here dating came into its own where initial attractions led to playing the field to weed out the possibilities. A date is a proper social situation where one can spend some prearranged time one-on-one with the person of interest, and his other friends and relatives tolerate it though they have their own claims on his or her time otherwise.

Methodology is
important“Hitch” is set in modern NYC where a portion of the guys are shrinking violets who haven't mastered the dating scene. Instead, they'll develop a crush on some broad from afar and hire a consultant the “date doctor” Alex “Hitch” Hitchens (Will Smith) to guide them through three make-or-break dates (“Three dates is all I need”) with the object of their desire. These crushes are much more than an internal state of mind; they are a real thing justi­fying manipu­lation, which neither the woman nor her friends should stand in the way of for the sake of the girl's ultimate happiness. By way of compen­sating, the date itself takes on a sort of ethereal quality existing largely in the mind having no social substance unless it clicks with the couple so engaged. Here the awkward convention of the good-night kiss is post­poned until the third such date where futzing around with it makes it memorable. Okay.

at desk“Hitch” spotlights a lowly accountant Albert Brennaman (Kevin James) who does the books for heiress & philan­thro­pist Allegra Cole (Amber Valletta.) He loves her from a distance reading about her breakup in a tabloid the New York Standard. He hires Hitch to show him how to get her. Hitch to keep his own hand in the game hits on gossip columnist Sara Melas (Eva Mendes) who had coinci­dentally written that exposé on Allegra's latest breakup. Now Sara is interested in Allegra's latest beau who's an improbable nerd, leading her to suspect there might be some truth to the “urban myth” of a date doctor. It's her job to dig up dirt. But Hitch can only do his job if he flies below the radar. This could get interesting.


butcherSara and Hitch's first date included a tour of Ellis Island where many immigrants had first landed in America. As a treat he sets up a viewing of the register holding her great-great-grand­father's signature. Unfortunately (“I'm really sorry”) this disavowed relative was last seen on wanted posters (“When I saw him on the computer, it said ‘The Butcher of Cadiz’”) being “a horrible family legacy we're trying hard to forget” (“I thought it was a profession, not a headline.”)

The special tour was courtesy of “My man Larry here” a black security guard. One notices that none of the group- or individual- photos of immigrants includes any black faces. Here it helps to know a little history; the Negro slaves were landed in a different spot. And Sara's bff Casey (Julie Ann Emery) being a southern gal might have even more of an inkling about it from her exposure in the Bible Belt. Writer Bodie Hodge (134) quotes “Bible Questions and Answers,” The Golden Age (July 24, 1929): p. 702.

Question: Is there anything in the Bible that reveals the origin of the Negro?

Answer: It is generally believed that the curse which Noah pronounced upon Canaan was the origin of the Black race. Certain it is that when Noah said, “Cursed be Canaan, a servant of servants shall he be to his brethren,” he pictured the future of the Colored race.

plowingNoah's father Lamech had (Gen. 5:29) “called his name Noah, saying, This same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the LORD hath cursed.” (Gen. 9:18-19) “And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan. These are the three sons of Noah: and of them was the whole earth over­spread.” After the flood one day, Noah took some leisure time, stripped down, and got drunk in his tent where he was discovered by his youngest son Ham who complained about it to his two older brothers (Gen. 9:20-23). Ham was perturbed that his father had gotten naked with­out setting about to procreate as God commanded—Yes, Noah sired no more children after the flood. Ham also didn't like his father taking a recess from rebuilding the wrecked world. Noah's rejoinder was along the lines of, “Oy vey! You want we should have children and work harder? Okay, your descendants (Canaan) can be slaves to your brothers. Oy vey!” (Gen. 9:24-27). For the record Cush was one son of Ham (Gen. 10:6), settling in Africa. Cush is Hebrew for black.

Uncle SamThese are grandfather issues to Hitch, as were Sara's to her. Lamech had wanted his son Noah to establish a precedent of a work break to give us all rest. It was accepted by two of Lamech's grand­sons Shem and Japheth whose descendants were pictured as arrivals on Ellis Island, entering a land of opportunity. A third grandson Ham complained about it, so Noah let his grandsons in Ham's line and their future generations become a slave class. If we limit our under­standing to Yankee ignorance à la Uncle Sam, we won't get that A in history or fathom this movie so well.

Production Values

” (2005) was directed by Andy Tennant. Its screenplay was written by Kevin Bisch. It stars Will Smith, Eva Mendes, Kevin James, Amber Valletta, and Julie Ann Emery. The acting held its own against a some­what confusing plot but won't win any awards. Valletta, though, winningly portrayed a rich girl in need of love.

Being set in New York City and featuring the beautiful people, “Hitch” displays the cream of the crop in hand­some men. Allegra's dapper friend Magnus was dressed to the nines for the art show, evoking compliments from Albert. Allegra's ex is a Swede seen in a blurb in the rag Albert's reading. He is indeed “gorgeous” even by Swedish standards. And Casey's dance partner at an event is a tall heart­throb who has to bend low to talk to his “grandmother.” Even the nerd Albert is described as, “cute in a sheep­dog kind of way.” So when the script calls for the date doctor to be revealed as “tall, dark, and handsome,” as he was getting him­self into a biracial relation­ship with a white girl, casting could not have improved on Will Smith.

Unfortunately, by comparison to the other men in view, he is more dark than tall and hand­some. Cinema­tog­raphy can, of course, rehabilitate him by eschewing closeups and using favorable angles. Yet the camera gives us a closeup near the start depicting his Negroid features in an unfavorable light. Then later when he suffers sea food allergies, his face swells up making those features even more pronounced. And near the end we share a view through a peep­hole in the door doing a disservice to all Negroes, he's so ballooned out.

Not to worry. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, right? So the script can rehabilitate him. Hitch's (White) best friend, his ex college roommate, is married to his sister Kate. Assuming Kate is as good looking as her brother, then the friend's “long game” that he so vehemently espouses would include gazing at Kate's mug long after they run out of witty (short game) things to say to each other. Then it's as Chris Pavone describes in a novel:

Chloe rearranges her hair, and replaces earrings, reties her scarf, all these tasks executed distractedly but deftly, the small competencies of being a woman, skills unknowable to him. The only thing men learn is how to shave. ¶“I love watching you,” he says. (11)

But in a bar scene where Hitch and his friend are playing pool, Hitch is continually ragging him about his turning to watch all the pretty women who come in. He doesn't want to sleep with them, or flirt with them, or even talk to them. He loves his wife. He just needs some­thing better to look at.

I think the journalists' failure to identify Hitch's race as his most salient feature is a case of ignoring the elephant in the room. It takes up a lot of space in the movie, but nobody talks about it.

MPAA rated it PG–13 for language and some strong sexual references. Also, when the couple fought and called each other “sea food” and “butcher,” these were coded racial and ethnic slurs. The movie is slow to get going because they all had to work around the “elephant,” and I don't mean the elephant painting one of Hitch's clients said he liked at the gallery.

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

“Hitch” starts off great, it would be hard to beat. After the doctor's exposure, various couples either make it or don't according to how genuine they've been. That's all fine for movie fare. It's when Hitch veers into a biracial relation­ship that the story loses its way; you can see it from various deleted scenes options. He ends up getting boxed in with no way out. With both work and race incom­pati­bilities, they are best off going their separate ways. They aren't so invested in each other that they can't handle it. But the audience is invested enough by this time that we'd like to see a last ditch effort, which might have worked in a Doris Day—Rock Hudson kind of way. Here, though, it's hopeless, or if the movie goes for it, unbelievable. All because of race, which isn't even mentioned. It's as Pavone put it:

It's fine to be a fool in love, everybody hears that again and again, in books and movies and poems and songs, it's even okay to be a fool in love with the wrong person, or be in impossible love, in unrequited love, there's a certain type of martyrdom to it, like a war wound. But this? This was just humiliating. (95)

cop writing ticketRegarding parental guidance, two of the guys lose it when the stuff hits the fan. One trashes the news­stand that sold the exposé and the other attacks the car of his fleeing woman. The former resulted in police inter­vention, for the latter the film didn't have time to involve the cops. It might not work out that way in real life. Just saying.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Decent action scenes. Special effects: Average special effects. Video Occasion: Good for gatherings of philistines. Suitability for Children: Suitable for children 13+ years with guidance. Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Overall movie rating: Two stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture quoted from the King James Version. Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Software, print.

Cooke, Sam. “What a Wonderful World.” Written by Sam Cooke, Herb Albert and Lou Adler. Published by ABKGO Music, Inc. Performed by Sam Cooke. Courtesy of the RCA Records Label. By arrangement with ABKGO Records for the movie.

Hodge, Bodie. Tower of Babel: The Cultural History of Our Ancestors. Green Forest, AR: New Leaf Pub., 2013. Print.

Pavone, Chris. The Travelers. Copyright © 2016 by Christopher Pavone. New York: Crown Publishers, First Edition. Print.