Those who can't, teach
Before I get on with the rest of this post, let me first get done with the part I hate most...Finding fault with a rom-com...OK, as Ebert rightly points out, the movie is not a cinematic breakthrough, moves along in a very predictable fashion, offers very little in terms of novelty and is a good 15 mts longer than it should have been....And this is precisely where the wise critics and I will go our ways...
Technically speaking, a rom-com succeeds only when the director invests the audience in the plight of the lead characters and has us rooting for them to get together (which we definitely know they will) which in the case of Hitch definitely works. I am in no way denying that the plot and the sub plot are both derivatives of the beaten to death boy-meets-girl/boy-loses-girl/boy-gets-girl-back storyline but where the movie scores is in the subtleties of its characterisations. In Alex Hitchens (Will Smith) and Sara Melas (Eva Mendes), we have two people who are definitely flawed but in a very likeable sorta way, who seem so made-for-each-other that our heart goes out to them and we really wish for things to work out. On the other hand, in Albert Brennaman (Kevin James) and Allegra (Amber Valetta) we have the most unlikely combination for a couple who despite being in different leagues seem to have that magical something in common. So what happens in Hitch is a sometimes-comic, sometimes-romantic interplay amongst these 4 players leading to a lot of funny situations and the odd saccharine sweet tender moment.
Hitch offers a lot of smart dialogue for people who are careful not to miss the sudden shooter or the quick retort. The opening sequences of the movie and the first time Alex meets Sara in the bar are simply delightful for the sheer inventiveness of word play and wit in the scenes though some of the smart lines used might not work in real-life. My personal favorite is the scene when Hitch tries to teach Albert how to get close with Allegra on their first date
"Lean in, place your hand on the small of her back, say it in her ear like a secret. But watch your hand placement, too high says, “I just wanna be friends”, too low says, “I just wanna grab some ass”.
And as a particular dialogue in the movie itself goes
"Ninety percent of what you're saying isn't coming out of your mouth."
Ditto that for Will Smith's comic timing. He is awesome as Alex be it in the I'm-cool attitude he sports, the verbal sparring with Sara or in his patient attempts to teach Albert the tricks of the trade. Despite the fact that a lot of reviews mentioned that the best sequences in the movie involve Smith and James, I personally felt Eva Mendes was hot and there was tremendous screen chemistry between her and Will Smith. Though the movie released in the US during the Valentine weekend with a clear eye on cashing in on the lucrative chic-flick sentiments, let me assure you that Hitch is much more than that. I saw it twice, on consecutive days over the weekend, and I enjoyed it as much with the guys as I did with my buddy girls.
*start of snobbish attitude* And for a change, esp after my bitter experience with Bangalore audiences in Be Cool, the audience seemed to love the movie too and got almost all the funny lines. *end of snobbish attitude*
Besides not a lot of movies run houseful for a second week at Rex so that should settle it for the doubting Thomases. In case you still didn't get it, go for Hitch (4/5)
Continuing with matters of the heart, I've never claimed to be extremely well read but to feel as ignorant and ill-informed as I did yesterday when I heard about this Gretna Green is not funny. Has neone ever heard of this story before ? Please say NO.. Please...
OK...Lemme get it off my chest....What the hell is the matter with my darn mobile phone ? Never knew the alarm facility operated on a 00:00 to 24:00 basis..So when I set the alarm for 12:08 yesterday night and went to bed early I thought I'd wake up on time for Chelsea vs Liverpool..... &%$#@.... finally woke up at 3:45 am to realise that I should have set it as 00:08....I hate technology...and needless to say, Chelsea lost...Did neone see the match ? Was it a goal or not ? Neway post mortem on the season will happen in another post (Btw, apologies to someone I promised to call kal..mebbe we will jes meet up at Chennai.. easier that way...)
Currently reading: Godan - Premchand
Currently listening: Meatloaf - I'd do anything for love