Aziz Ansari and Joe Mande discuss the importance of the cinematic classic Hitch, which celebrates its highly anticipated eighth anniversary this year. (This originally appeared in Issue #006 of The Occasional)
Joe: As you know, it's the eighth anniversary of the modern Will Smith classic Hitch. Seeing as you and I are probably the top two Hitch-heads in the game right now, I thought we should talk about it.
A lot of people assume my love for Hitch is ironic, which it most certainly is not. I am genuinely charmed by the film every time I see it, and I've seen it well over 50 times. How do you describe your relationship to Hitch?
Aziz: Aren't we all just Albert Brennemans trying to find our Allegra Cole? The story of Hitch is timeless. I agree my love is not ironic. I am very close with certain films that I've just seen a million times for whatever reason: Mrs. Doubtfire, Jurassic Park, Home Alone. I have that same closeness with Hitch now.
Joe: When was the first time you saw Hitch? Where were you?
Aziz: At the sake of embarrassing myself: Joe, you showed me Hitch a few years ago. Don't you remember? We were on a tour bus, and you brought the Hitch DVD! We all watched it together several times on the bus.
Joe: Oh, I remember. Just making sure you did, too. I constantly need credit for things.
One of the great comedic scenes in Hitch involves Will Smith going on a date with Eva Mendez. They're at a cooking class, he eats sushi, and has a very bad allergic reaction. What's the most Hitch-like disaster date you've ever been on?
Aziz: One time I took a girl jetskiing on the Hudson River, and we went to Ellis Island. Long story short: I kicked her off the jetski, and the family history we found out about was HORRIFYING. This is my most Hitch-like disaster because it's exactly like what happens to Hitch on his first date with Sara Melas.
Joe: We've both spent most of our adult lives in New York City. Have you ever seen another person jetski in the Hudson River ever?
Aziz: Sadly, I have not. Nor have I seen a guy send a walkie-talkie to a girl's office and ask her out on a date via walkie-talkie, but that's the charm of living in the cinematic world of Hitch.
Joe: Yeah, I like how Hitch keeps that walkie-talkie trick for himself. Like he can't even tell his clients about that move because it's so baller. That, and going to Ellis Island in a wetsuit.
In another eight years, it'll probably be time to reboot the Hitch franchise. Clearly, you'd be perfect for the role of Alex Hitchens. Who else do you think should be cast for the other parts (Albert Brennaman, Allegra Cole, Sara Melas, etc.)?
Aziz: I would be very interested in trying to double up and play both Hitch AND Albert Brennaman. I wouldn't use CGI though, I would gain weight for the role (something I'd love to do) and film the fat Aziz parts separately. Then lose weight and film my Hitch stuff.
Joe: As long as I can play the Michael Rapaport part, I think that sounds perfect. Unrelated to Hitch, how excited are you for The Rock's new movie, Snitch?