As Valentine’s Day is in our recent memories, we recall the day as representing one of two things for most of us – either a time for a young couple in love to outwardly show their devotion through the purchase of heart-shaped candies, balloons and stuffed animals, or a day of loathing, when one realizes that he or she is terribly, utterly alone. But don’t fret, little guy! Turn that frown upside-down, babe! We’ve always got the movies to cheer us up.

Unfortunately – or perhaps not – the only new film that caters to our age group is “Hitch,” a romantic comedy released just in time for said holiday. Something tells me that appreciation for it may depend on your current relationship status.

Granted, “Hitch” is entertaining at times and funny in several parts, but there is something about this movie that makes me hesitant to recommend it.

Will Smith is Alex “Hitch” Hitchens, or, as he’s known on the street, the “Date Doctor.”

Through a flashback we learn that he was once a nerd who fell in love and got dumped. And so he decided to spend his life attempting to understand women, making a living in “consulting,” or helping guys meet and date the women of their dreams and giving them advice on how to be relaxed around the opposite sex. From there, his clients may or may not fall in love, but Hitch has resigned to have his heart broken never again.

The obligatory female role of the movie is played by Eva Mendes as Sara, a reporter for a prominent tabloid, who is always looking and listening for the flashiest and loudest gossip. Furthermore, because she’s so cynical, she too refuses to fall in love.

This is really all you need to know about the movie’s plot because if you can’t figure out who becomes the headline material for the gossip section, what the nature of Hitch’s and Sara’s inevitable relationship is and how he acts around her, you either haven’t seen enough movies or missed the trailer. And that is the problem.

The film is usually predictable and often heavy-handed, so we’re forced to look to the chemistry and charisma of the actors for our entertainment.

While Smith, Mendes, et al. give good performances, they’re not good enough to look past “Hitch’s” faults, hence my initial reservation to recommend it.

Then again, you might not want to trust me on this one. A quick glance around the theater and I realized that every single person at the movie was either in a group or one half of a couple, and I noticed that those in the latter were almost always holding hands or resting their heads on one another’s shoulders.

Maybe “Hitch” is a great date movie and I, sitting alone and taking notes during a movie about a guy who gives dating advice – think about that one – am not the best critic for this movie, especially at this time of year.

So, if you’re looking for a post-Valentine’s Day flick to see with your significant other, “Hitch” is a good bet.

However, if you’re anything like me – SWM, 22, enjoys movies, intelligent conversation, seeking F, 18-25, same, e-mail if interested – you might want to sit this one out or find someone who will go with you. Someone who took notes, perhaps?

Battenhausen can be reached at

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