Sunday Premier Movie: Hitch: Sunday 8 July

Sunday Premier Movie: Hitch Sunday July 8, 8.30pm

Will Smith stars as Alex ‘Hitch’ Hitchens, a legendary — and deliberately anonymous — New York City ‘date doctor’ who, for a fee, has helped countless men woo the women of their dreams.

While coaching Albert (Kevin James), a meek accountant who is smitten with a glamorous celebrity, Allegra Cole (Amber Valletta), Hitch finally meets his match in the gorgeous, whip-smart Sara Melas (Eva Mendes), a gossip columnist who follows Allegra’s every move. The ultimate professional bachelor, Hitch suddenly finds himself falling deliriously in love with Sara, a reporter whose biggest scoop could very well be the unmasking of Manhattan’s most famous date doctor.
From the first page of the script, Smith knew he wanted to play Hitch. “He’s a kind of an alchemist,” says the actor. “He takes ‘what is’ and transforms it into ‘what could be’. All he needs is love. When he first meets the guys, he asks them if they’re truly in love with the woman they’re trying to win, because without that, Hitch can’t help them.”

Sadly, while Hitch himself has luck with women, he has no special relationship in his own life, because he’s still wounded from a heartbreak he suffered back in college and has vowed to never open himself up to love (and hurt) again. That sentiment struck a chord with Smith as well. “Every guy has that one girl he remembers from high school that he was in love with and she did something that tore his heart out,” Smith says. “What makes Hitch so special is that he’s made it his life’s work to make sure other men are spared that fate.”

His co-star Eva Mendes, who made her mark in comedy and drama in such films as Out of Time, Stuck on You, and 2 Fast 2 Furious, was also part of the attraction to the film. “She’s a brilliant actress,” says Smith. “She’s beautiful and funny — and a lot of woman. She totally kept me on my toes.”

The opportunity to work with Smith was a draw for Mendes, but it was also the appeal of Sara’s character. “Like Hitch, I fell in love with Sara, a woman who thinks she needs to keep her guard up so she can succeed as a career woman,” says Mendes. “But inside she is a hopeless romantic.”

Will Smith stars as New York’s greatest matchmaker in Hitch, Sunday 8.30pm on TV2.

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