The movie Hitch has been in heavy rotation on cable for the past two weeks on the Starz channel, and I think I’ve seen it every single time that it’s come on. It has become a part of my daily ritual: get up, brush teeth, feed dogs, wash ass, find Hitch. It might not come on that morning, but I at least locate when it will come on that day so that I can make sure I’m in front of the tv to see it. And make no mistake. It has been coming on every. damn. day.
I try not to cheat. How could I cheat, you ask? Well, thanks to the wonders of the ever-expanding cable horizon, I have something called Starz On Demand (tv is the devil, y’all), which means I don’t have to wait to see Hitch. I can conjure it up any time I want. I have Charter cable and Starz On Demand is on channel 988. All I have to do is turn to channel 988, select “Top Hits,” and scroll through the alphabetized list until I find it, in this case, sandwiched between Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle (the unrated version), and Hostage. All I’d have to do is push the blue select button on my remote—push it twice (once to select the movie, and one more time to actually view it)—and then it would be over.
Because just knowing I can see the movie with the push of no more than four or five buttons would trap me in a very sick pattern. I’d become that hamster on a wheel, the masturbating monkey, the creature that discovers the feel-good zone and spanks itself ad infinitum because it doesn’t possess the inate ability to turn away from the pleasant sensation. For some reason, my shut-off valve doesn’t work with this film. I’m an enormous fan of movies and tv…always have been. I have my favorites—When Harry Met Sally, Dr. Strangelove, Something’s Gotta Give, Lolita (of course), The Godfathers 1 & 2, North by Northwest, Shadow of a Doubt, Rebecca (pretty much anything by Hitchcock, Kubrick, or Frank Capra)—but I’ve always been able to say ‘enough’ and turn away. At some point, I get sick of a movie if I watch it too much, even if it’s a favorite. But for some inexplicable reason, I’m missing that ‘I’m-sick-of-you-now’ gene when it comes to Hitch, and it’s scaring me. I’m afraid that if I keep watching it, I’m going to lose touch with reality, as well as my ability to naturally relate. I won’t be able to leave my house for fear of being unable to function. These fictitious people—Hitch, Sara, Albert, and Allegra—have become my touchstones. How tragic is that?
I was in the grocery store the other day and a strange man said hi to me. My first thought? “What would Hitch do?”
I’m a big fan of Will Smith. I’ve got a tremendous amount of respect for him as an actor and a person, him and Jada both, actually. I don’t know them personally. I just watch how people lead, and they lead by example very well and seem to have solid values, as evidenced by their humanitarian involvement and willingness to be role models. Plus Will is a fellow Libran with the same birthday as mine (September 25th), and that’s a bonus. For the record, there are some pretty cool September 25thers out there (Barbara Walters, Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Heather Locklear, even the great William Faulkner was one of us), so it’s a nice club (that doesn’t know it’s a club) to belong to.
All that said, that still doesn’t explain why I’m bugging the f*ck out over this freaking movie. From the moment it opens with an animated record playing the Sam Cooke song “Wonderful World (Don’t Know Much)” and the record turns into the Overbrook logo (Will’s production company), I’m swooning. It’s like the first time, even though it’s the hundredth time. Even though, at this point, I can practically say the lines with Alex ‘Hitch’ Hitchens (Will) as he describes to us, the audience, the mechanics of the feminine psyche.
I don’t know why I’m telling you all this. Perhaps this is the first stage of what I hope won’t become a bonafide cry for help and I just wanted to give you guys a heads-up in case I’m unable to do so when the time calls. I’d like to think that Hitch has touched something hopeful in me, re-awakened that magical place that the hard knocks of life can sometimes beat into submission (or a coma). It’s not like I hadn’t seen the film months before, prior to its current cable run. I didn’t see it when it was released in the theater (I was under a writing crunch), but I did buy the DVD the day it came out. I watched it back then and loved it. But I hadn’t pulled the DVD out since. This time around, however, Hitch has hit a nerve. What does it all mean? Who knows?
And while Alex Hitchens’ lovely phrase Life is not the amount of breaths you take…it’s the moments that take your breath away is a great maxim for me to keep in mind as I’m about to enter a new year, the truth of the matter is this:
Somebody just needs to turn my f*cking tv off.