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Will Smith’s premier venture into romantic comedy is good, clean fun

Every so often in the college student’s life (and I am sure in the lives of most other people as well) there comes a week that seems like it will never end.

Papers, projects, readings and all other forms of schoolwork are due, and for some reason these things are not getting done. Unexpected setbacks occur, everything is going wrong and nothing is coming together.

Students find themselves in need of a break during these busy weeks. Students search high and low for distractions to take their minds off the disasters around them. They need to get away. They need to step out of their lives for a little while.

It is for these situations that movies like Hitch were made. Hitch is the perfect way to quietly break up a stressful week.

In Hitch, Will Smith plays Alex “Hitch” Hitchens, a.k.a. “The Date Doctor.” His job is to help nice guys like Albert Brennaman (Kevin James) get the women they are in love with.

Hitch works anonymously and by referral only, and he will only help men who truly care for the women they are after. In one scene, Hitch refuses to help a stuck-up jerk who is just looking for sex.

The movie follows two budding relationships: the one between bumbling loser Brennaman (under Hitch’s guidance) and celebrity Allegra Cole (Amber Valletta); and the other one between Hitch himself and Sara Melas (Eva Mendes), a tabloid journalist who is pretty cynical when it comes to things like love and relationships.

Watching the relationships develop is fairly entertaining, although there are no real surprises. There are some twists and turns, but I think the audience probably knows how the movie will end.

Smith plays the smooth, cool Date Doctor perfectly, and James does an equally good job as the awkward Brennaman. There are some genuinely funny moments in the film, and many of those occur as a result of Brennaman trying to follow Hitch’s advice.

One minor drawback to the film is the pacing. Some points in the movie move a little bit too slow, and the movie lasted about 10 or 15 minutes longer than my attention span did.

Hitch is surpisingly free of inappropriate material. In fact, if it were not for one use of the f-word, the PG-13 movie could almost be PG. There are some sexual situations and dialogue, but nothing remotely explicit.

The movie is not uproariously funny, and there are no mind-boggling plot twists or moments of nail-biting suspense; nor is there a heavy-handed theme. The moral is basically the same that Hollywood’s romantic comedies have had for decades: love conquers all. Whether you buy that or not is up to you.

Hitch is, for lack of a better term, cute. And that is why Hitch is the perfect stress-reliever. It is harmless, mindless, escapist fun.

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