Alex "Hitch" Hitchens (Will Smith) is a professional "date doctor" who coaches other men in the art of wooing women, with a focus on long-term relationships. He is very successful at what he does. While coaching one of his clients, Albert Brennaman (Kevin James) - who is smitten with a client of his investment firm, celebrity Allegra Cole (Amber Valletta) - Hitch finds himself falling for Sara Melas (Eva Mendes). Sara is a gossip columnist and workaholic. While Albert and Allegra's relationship continues to progress, Hitch finds it difficult to initiate a dialogue with Sara, finding that none of his romantic methods is working on her. Throughout the entire process, he keeps his career secret, claiming to be a generic "consultant."
Hitch meets with Vance Munson (Jeffrey Donovan), a shallow chauvinist attempting to enlist Hitch to help him land a one-night stand with Casey Sedgewick (Julie Ann Emery), Sara's coworker and best friend. Although Hitch refuses to help, Vance misleads Sara into believing that he has used Hitch's services.
After finding out Hitch's true identity, Sara publishes an exposé, causing Allegra and Albert to break up and Hitch's reputation to suffer. At a speed dating cafe that Hitch sneaks into, Sara and Casey confront Hitch and cite Vance as their source. Hitch explains that not only did he refuse to work with him - Vance's personality type is why women protect themselves - but that same protection also unintentionally made establishing genuine relationships difficult enough to create a demand for Hitch's services.
Hitch then tries to salvage Albert and Allegra's relationship. He confronts Allegra, and realizes that he doesn't really do anything significant besides giving his clients confidence and allowing them to get the attention of the women, and that most of his customers, particularly Albert, really were successful just being themselves. Allegra reconciles with Albert. The film ends with Albert and Allegra getting married as well as Hitch and Sara resuming their relationship.Will Smith as Alex "Hitch" Hitchens
Eva Mendes as Sara Melas
Kevin James as Albert Brennaman
Amber Valletta as Allegra Cole
Julie Ann Emery as Casey Sedgewick
Adam Arkin as Max
Robinne Lee as Cressida Baylor
Nathan Lee Graham as Geoff
Michael Rapaport as Ben
Jeffrey Donovan as Vance Munson
Paula Patton as Mandy
Kevin Sussman as Neil
Ato Essandoh as Tanis
The production budget was $70,000,000. Smith said that actress Eva Mendes, a Latina, was offered the female lead because the producers were worried about the public's reaction if the part was played by a white actress (creating a potential interracial taboo) or a black actress (creating a studio fear that two black leads would alienate the white audiences). It was believed that a Latina and a black lead would sidestep the issue. Robinne Lee's character (Cressida) was originally offered to Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai, but she could not take it due to scheduling conflicts. The working title of the movie was The Last First Kiss, referring to a line that Hitch delivers to Albert: "This could be her last first kiss". Parts of the movie were filmed in Morningside Heights, Manhattan, at Columbia University, at Ellis Island, in the Fulton Fish Market, at the Wall Street Bull and the North Cove Marina.
The DVD and VHS release was released by Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment and was one of the first films to employ Sony's ARccOS Protection copy protection. The film is also available on UMD (Universal Media Disc) for the Sony PSP (PlayStation Portable).
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 69% based on 180 reviews, with an average review of 6.3/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Despite Hitch's predictability, Will Smith and Kevin James win praise for their solid, warmhearted performances." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 58 out of 100, based on 36 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale.
On October 22, 2014, Overbrook Entertainment and Sony Pictures Television started working on a TV show inspired by the movie for Fox.