6. Hitch (2005)
Hitch was one of the ’00s many successful romantic comedies, with stars Will Smith, Eva Mendes and Kevin James all delivering solid performances. That doesn’t mean that the movie’s premise has aged well, though.
Hitch (Smith) is a “date doctor”, who coaches men to win the affections of women, with the specific goal of helping them attain long-term relationships.
It’s an admirable goal, and he refuses to help men that are clearly after satisfying more immediate needs, although the movie contains countless ideas and lines of dialogue that don’t ring so sweetly in modern ears.
First off, the idea that anyone needs “coaching” just to achieve a relationship is a little off. Hitch teaches men to be subtly deceitful, and this is most noticeable when he meets Albert Brennaman (Kevin James). Kevin James might have made a living off of his “lovable husky short guy with very little shame” image, but when Albert tells Hitch he’s in love with a celebrity, the “date doctor” simply laughs in his face.
Albert then goes through a rigorous coaching regime, which eventually leads to a relationship with the woman of his dreams, although it’s later revealed that she actually liked him for exactly the way he was without Hitch’s influence, meaning that all of the time spent pretending to be someone else was wasted.
It’s a movie in which the protagonist sends a pretty harmful message about the ways in which to seek a relationship, and while he’s proven wrong in the end, it’s all too-little-too-late.
Hitch tries to sell the idea that relationships are a realm in which women hold all the cards, and men must use any and every tool at their disposal (including deceit) just to even the playing field.