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BG Falcon Media

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BG Falcon Media

The BG News
BG24 Newscast
November 30, 2023

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Dating movies won’t sweep you off your feet this Valentine’s Day


Grade: C+

Will Smith produces and stars as Alex ‘Hitch’ Hitchens, a resourceful “date doctor,” who finds his own relationship with a beautiful gossip columnist named Sara (Eva Mendes) to be on life support.

The biggest problems with the film are the one-note characters and the story, written by Kevin Bisch, which runs a bit long at 115 minutes.

Most of the dialogue intensive scenes drown the audience in love advice, with Smith occasionally addressing the audience directly in scenes that show off his natural charm.

Perhaps a more interesting movie would be Hitch’s progression from college, shown in a short flashback scene, into his fail-safe “date doctor” status.

Talented actors like Michael Rapaport and Adam Arkin get wasted in small supporting roles, Smith doesn’t create a realistic bachelor and Amber Valletta’s role is too close to her real life (though I guess most people wouldn’t know that).

Kevin James, star of the television series “The King of Queens,” provides a huge boost of laughs and heart as Albert. His character tries to woo a celebrity, played by Valletta, with some help from Hitch.

Smith and James create some memorable comedy moments with an offbeat teacher/student relationship.

Hitch’s instructions are often weaved into the actual action, a great narrative technique because the audience gets to see the immediate dividends.

Director Andy Tennant (“Fools Rush In,” “Sweet Home Alabama”) knows the genre well and delivers great shots with soft cinematography.

“The Wedding Date”

Grade: D+

This disappointing romantic comedy “The Wedding Date” uses familiar love scenarios to tug at your emotions, and occasionally your funny bone.

Family dynamics, weddings, ex-lovers, great locations (London, England) and escort service ethics all pour into the mix, but the end result doesn’t taste so good.

The chemistry between Debra Messing (TV’s “Will ‘ Grace”) and Dermot Mulroney (“My Best Friend’s Wedding”) works fairly well, but their individual stories do not even have the backbone to sustain its tiny 90 minute running time.

Messing plays Kat, a nice airport service agent who can’t assert herself. She hires Nick even though she finds the idea of sex for money “morally repugnant” because she’s pressured by others to make a strong showing at her half-sister’s wedding.

Mulroney plays Nick, an escort expert who impresses and gets objectified by Kat’s friends and family. Kat eventually buys into the physical objectification, which creates the central conflict.

Director Clare Kilner (“How to Deal”) tries too hard to produce emotions from forced moments like Nick getting close with Kat by a car and a boat scene, which tries too hard to be a classic romantic moment.

The pop music soundtrack has several strong songs like the steamy “Secret” by Maroon 5 that match the story well, plus enjoyable classics by Air Supply and The Chiffons.

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