Relationship Therapist Analyzes if Will Smith’s ‘Hitch’ Had Good Dating Advice
Will Smith continues to charm many audiences with his 2005 romantic comedy Hitch. However, some audiences wonder if his dating tips would still apply to more modern-day sensibilities. A relationship therapist and his filmmaker friend examine Smith in Hitch. They intend to determine if his dating advice is actually any good.
Will Smith’s Hitch said that women don’t want the ‘whole truth’
Cinema Therapy included the perspectives of licensed therapist Jonathan Decker and filmmaker Alan Seawright. The pair talked about their own experiences as they related to Smith’s actions in Hitch, but they also chatted about the quality of his dating advice from a professional perspective.
Hitch begins with Smith giving narration regarding some of his rules and tips for dating, including that women don’t really want “the whole truth.” The character explained that women create fake excuses for why they wouldn’t want to date someone. Decker immediately called this out.
“Well, so when he tells the guy she doesn’t want the whole truth, but she does want the real you, right?,” Decker said. “I think in a relationship, ultimately, you do want the whole truth. You want to see the whole person. That doesn’t mean you go in the first day and talk about your entire romantic history and all your exes.”
Decker continued: “No, but the whole, ‘You is a very fluid concept right now.’ Well, when he says, ‘She does want to see the real you,’ the fact is, if you are pretending to be something that you’re not to impress somebody, it’s absolutely going to collapse.”
Decker provided his professional insight to explain how Smith’s Hitch could provide better dating advice.
“The best lovers are the best listeners,” Decker said. “Guys, we get wrapped up in this idea that we have to be these casanovas who know exactly how to please a woman and we have to just knock it out of the park every single time.”
Decker continued: “All women are different. You want to be a great lover, it’s not about technique. It’s not about size, it’s not about any of this. What it’s about is do you listen? And that extends outside of the bedroom because the best foreplay is the relationship itself. Everything that you do, every time you listen, every time you show interest or concern, every time you meet a need, every time you are reliable, that is foreplay … Here’s where Hitch starts to cross the line a little bit. He relies too much on his own rule.”
The relationship therapist liked the idea of giving shy people guidance in dating
Cinema Therapy dug deeper into the conventions of romantic comedy storytelling. Decker explained how the film hints that Smith’s love interest, Sara (Eva Mendes), falls head over heels for the real Hitch. However, it takes time for that persona to fall off before he can truly be himself. Decker recalled a real-life client he spoke to, who didn’t believe he would get married because of his high standards.
“The next session, he comes in and he’s brought a whole list,” Decker said. “It’s basically Mary Poppins meets Wonder Woman. So, I took his list and I said, ‘OK, I have a question for you. This woman right here. What does her list look like?’ He looked like I just hit him in the face. It never occurred to him that this woman, if she even existed, which I don’t think she does, would have a list that looked very similar.”
As a result, Decker told his client that he needed to either find someone living similarly to him to “mutually love and accept each other” or “up your game.”
“I do like the idea of helping shy, reserved people, men and women and non-binary, to be able to put themselves out there with a little more confidence,” Decker said. “And show a little more open interest in other people so that they can get their attention. Because there are a lot of people who, if they’re in a relationship, they would be fantastic. They would take great care of their partners, but they have a hard time getting there.”
The relationship therapist said that he would ‘wipe the floor’ with Will Smith’s ‘Hitch’
Decker finished the video on Smith’s Hitch character with his overall thoughts on the movie. He loved the film and thought that it was a great rom-com, but he had some reservations. The initial character developed had substantial flaws in his dating advice, although he explained that the character ultimately grows for the better.
“If I were to go toe-to-toe with Hitch at the beginning of the movie, I would absolutely wipe the floor with him because for every great piece of advice he gives, he gives two pieces that are just like, ‘Ohhhh,'” Decker said. “He gets into this really wonderful place of you fall in love with people for who they are. Don’t pretend to be someone that you’re not. If the person you’re interested in is not interested in who you actually are, that means it’s not a fit.”
However, Decker explained that sometimes people need to become a better version of themself before they can put themselves out there. He used examples, such as “anger problems” and “ambition problems.” He then stated that if someone doesn’t want to date another person because they like Star Trek, it means that it just wasn’t the right fit.