What I Learned From Will Smith in Hitch

Everyone has their favorite movie and actor. For me, younger actors don’t get any better than Will Smith. I’ve been a fan of Smith since he was The Fresh Prince rapping “Parents Just Don’t Understand.” It’s been wonderful watching him transition from funny rapper to highly demanded Hollywood leading man. Although I love and deeply admire just about every film Mr. Smith has appeared in, his 2005 film “Hitch” is by far my favorite. I love the quality balance of comedic acting with relevant romantic overtones. It is one of the few movies that actually seeks to engage the viewer in their perception of how a romance can be developed and nurtured until it blossoms into the happily ever after that is seemingly elusive to so many people including myself. Also according to the Internet Movie Database, Hitch was the first movie to feature an African-American male as the lead in a romantic comedy. Smith’s character gives hope to shy yet despairingly and hopelessly romantic single men such as me. He also provides the confidence to jump into the river of love with confidence but caution.

There are far too memorable scenes for me to discuss in this article, but there is one that stands out to me. In the scene where Smith’s character Hitch is in a bar playing a game of pool with his buddy Ben (actor Michael Rapaport). In the scene, Hitch and Ben view two beautiful walk into the bar, and both get distracted, yet Hitch is the only one who acts on the impulse to meet the women. Before Hitch makes his move, Ben tells Hitch that he is always taking the short shots instead of taking the long shots. The analogy is of course related to Ben’s reflection of Hitch’s choice to remain single and chase women instead of choosing to settle down in a monogamous relationship.
This made me think so hard about what I am looking for and expecting as a single man. What complicates my situation is the fact that I am also a pastor, teacher, author, and regular jack of all trades but master of none. I’ve found myself in the same situation as Hitch: short-sighted and settling for the easy shot instead of focusing and aiming for the long shot. Theoretically, it doesn’t take much to fall in love, but it takes a lot to nurture a relationship once it has begun. Hitch provides young, single Black men like me another angle to romance. I don’t have to be too suave to capture a woman’s heart, but it sure helps. I don’t have to overextend my priorities, habits, or intentions to make the woman fall head over heels for me. Hitch teaches a brother that the easiest thing to be is oneself. If I am myself when on a first date, then I should continue to be myself on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and every date following. I have learned to use my eccentricity to capture the heart of the woman I want without killing both of us in the process. Hitch has modeled for me the mistakes and miracles every man can use to stand out for the woman I want to attract.

Thanks Hitch for being my personal Date Doctor.


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Dr. Lorenzo T Neal

Advocate, Author, Coach, Counselor, Educator, and Servant of God