Chris Gardner (Will Smith) is one of those downtrodden guys for whom better times are always just around the next corner. He's a salesman, hawking some over-priced and under-used equipment to hospitals around San Francisco. What Chris wants is a better life for his family, his angry and overworked wife Linda (Thandie Newton, unconvincing with her brittle, bottled up range) and his delectably cute five-year-old Christopher (played by Smith's real-life son Jaden -- or, as he's loftily billed in the credits, Jaden Christopher Syre Smith). And the idea he latches onto, because it does not require a college education, but could still pay off big time, is to become a stockbroker.
Continue reading: The Pursuit Of Happyness Review
Wil (Michelle Krusiec) is a young surgeon not feeling New York's liberal vibe. Her widowed mother (a long-lost Joan Chen) hounds Wil to find a husband, working her circuit of gossipy Chinese friends to find suitors. For Wil, a lesbian, it's a waste of time except that in her tradition-abiding family, she must do what is expected.
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Smith plays the titular hero, a guy who's so smooth he turned it into a career as a "date doctor," helping a succession of schlubby but good-hearted guys make it into the arms of gorgeous women who otherwise wouldn't have looked twice at them. But although he's like a consultant for romance, Hitch doesn't use his powers to find true love for himself, leaving marriage and lasting relationships for his clients. This leaves him with plenty of energy to devote to his newest project: Albert (Kevin James, very funny), a nervous, fumble-thumbed accountant desperately in love with one of his clients, the ridiculously wealthy and beautiful heiress Allegra (Amber Valletta, who comes closer to approximating an actual actress in each film she's in) and needs help getting her to notice him. A few quick lessons from Hitch, which include a nicely-played Cyrano scene (and a dancing tutorial that contains most of the film's few true laughs), and Albert begins to blossom into a confident, impressive romantic who looks sure to make Allegra fall for him. It's light stuff, to be sure, but often played with a disarmingly sweet touch by both James and Valletta and enjoyable enough. But then the film feels the need to add in a whole other storyline, and that's where the problems start.
Continue reading: Hitch Review
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