Can’t live with him, can’t love without him

There’s no rest for Will Smith in “Hitch”

Claire Joseph

Good news for all you socially inept men out there: You can get the woman of your dreams after all.

Bad news for women: You’re only going to get one of these duds if you are notably good-looking. Oh yeah, and being rich and successful won’t hurt either.

“Hitch” stars Will Smith as Alex “Hitch” Hitchens, an outstandingly good-looking guy who, because he got his heart broken in college, is satisfied with one-night stands and empty relationships.

Known as the “date doctor,” Hitch runs a secretive, referral-only business helping unattractive, unsocial and unconfident men score the women of their dreams. No woman is out of reach for Hitch or his clients.

The movie concentrates on the relationship between Hitch and Albert (Kevin James), an accountant who is attracted to a beautiful woman named Allegra (Amber Valletta, a real-life supermodel).

Hitch says Allegra’s last boyfriend “like, owned Sweden, or something.” That’s OK, though, because with Hitch’s help, Albert, who can’t even complete a coherent sentence and whose shirts are always mustard-stained, can still get Allegra.

Even though Hitch is a handsome, suave, well-spoken “date doctor,” when he meets Sara (Eva Mendes), a woman he’s emotionally attracted to, he crumbles.

In a predictable series of events, Melas, who runs a gossip column, tries to uncover the secret identity of the “date doctor.”

When she finds out, and the story hits the press, she, Hitch and all of Hitch’s former clients have to decide just how beneficial his help really was.

The problem with the film is it suggests that while unsocial, unattractive men are worthy of successful, beautiful women, women still have to be great-looking and flawlessly dressed.

Although it might be a welcome trend in Hollywood that characters on the big screen are beginning to see one another as people and not just as sexual objects, the revolution seems to be one-sided. That is, “Hitch” tells men they don’t have to look just like Smith, go to the gym three times a day, know how to converse or eat well and wear contact lenses.

But what about the women?

If men don’t have to go to the gym, women shouldn’t have to either. And, if out-of-shape men can get in-shape women, nobody is left for the average woman.

The Farrelly Brothers’ “Shallow Hal,” touched on this issue. Jack Black’s character began to see women’s bodies as a reflection of who they were on the inside. So, even though Gwyneth Paltrow’s character was obese, she appeared to Hal as an attractive, shapely woman.

Instead of “Shallow Hal” enlightening audiences (or men) on the fact that what is important is that women might be beautiful on the inside, audiences ended up finding laughs in the fact that Hal was deluded into being with such a large woman.

And, on top of that, Black is no Valletta.

Additionally, as Hitch, Smith only helps rich white men whose problems seem to be as trivial and common as having trouble talking to supermodels.

“Hitch” makes it seem as if life’s biggest problem is that men are unappreciated and that attractive women look past them.

But, if there are deeper problems rooted in the plot of “Hitch,” they’re only getting deeper.