Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.
USA, 2005. Columbia Pictures Corporation, Overbrook Entertainment. Screenplay by Kevin Bisch. Cinematography by Andrew Dunn. Produced by James Lassiter, Will Smith, Teddy Zee. Music by George Fenton. Production Design by Jane Musky. Costume Design by Marlene Stewart. Film Editing by Troy Takaki, Tracey Wadmore-Smith.
Will Smith plays a velvety-smooth romance consultant who helps less confident males date the women they dream of. He puts these men in situations where they can finally get noticed by the ladies they don’t have the guts to go after, teaches them how to behave, and before they know it, these guys are enjoying lifelong romantic bliss. His latest assignment is an insecure tax attorney (Kevin James) who is desperately in love with a Manhattan heiress (Amber Valletta), but is too terrified to ask her out. Meanwhile, Smith gets an opportunity to prove himself worthy of his own talents when he meets a career-oriented tabloid journalist (Eva Mendes) who is trying to find out the real identity of the mythical ‘date doctor’ she keeps hearing about. Having both been destroyed by romance in the past, neither is interested in breaking down their barriers for each other until they start to realize that they might be missing a great opportunity for happiness. As formulaic romantic comedies go, this one is a lot more pleasant than most, coming up with enough charming characters and enjoyable situations to distract you until the age-old predictable ending. The last third falls apart quite a bit, particularly since Smith and Mendes never really convince us that they’re stupid enough to not know a good thing when they see one in the first place, but the supporting romance between Valletta and James is so adorable you’ll want to like it anyway.