Photo: ©2005 Columbia TriStar Pictures

Director(s): Andy Tennant

Writer(s): Kevin Bisch

Cast: , , Kevin James, Amber Valletta, Michael Rapaport and Adam Arkin

Release Date(s)

Feb 11, 2005 - Wide

In the romantic comedy Hitch, Will Smith plays Alex “Hitch” Hitchens, an anonymous date doctor who helps men land the women of their dreams. While coaching Albert (Kevin James), an accountant in love with a beautiful celebrity Allegra Cole (Amber Valetta), the doctor becomes the patient when he falls for Sara (Eva Mendes), a gossip columnist tailing Allegra.

Always popular with his female fans, Will Smith has actually never made a romantic comedy before.

“We’d been searching for the right romantic comedy project for Will for years,” admits James Lassiter, the producer of Hitch and Smith’s producing partner. “It’s not as easy at it looks. There aren’t many out there and even fewer that are any good.” The search ended when they came across Kevin Bisch’s screenplay.

“It’s the perfect urban legend,” says Lassiter, “about a guy who is very charismatic and confident around women, so much so that he is able to teach other men how to approach the women they’ve fallen for.”

Screenwriter Bisch says the idea came from his own awkward dating experiences. He found that date after date he’d end up sitting with the women looking at their photo albums. “How could I be so dense? They were just killing time waiting for me to kiss them. After that I became obsessed with the minutiae of dating.”

The character of Hitch immediately appealed to Smith. “He’s a kind of an alchemist,” says Smith. “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.” Smith was also attracted to Hitch’s inability to work his magic on his own life after a college heartbreak. “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. What makes Hitch so special is that he’s made it his life’s work to make sure other men are spared that fate.”

The film marks King of Queens star Kevin James’ first foray into features. Smith, who like James honed his acting chops on TV, said the transition for Kevin was easy. “When you work on television for years, you’re prepared for anything. The guys who are successful on TV are the ones who can turn it on in an instant,” Smith says. “The minute the director yells ‘Action!’ they can do something brilliant.”

Hitch opens February 11th, 2005.