This paper will examine two romantic comedies from the years 1995 and 2005. The first film is The American President starring Michael Douglas (Andy Sheppard) and Annette Bening (Sydney Ellen Wade). The second film is Hitch starring Will Smith (Alex Hitchens), Eva Mendes (Sara Milas), Kevin James (Albert Brennaman). Both of these films are very entertaining and funny. This paper will attempt to list a few of the contrasts and comparison of each film while focusing on the cinematography and editing process.
Both films had good cast members however, The American President cast was able to provide more of an emotional connection to the audience, therefore making the story line more believable than that of Hitch. Michael Douglas and Annette Bening fall in love in the movie and the chemistry between them both is undeniable. In contrast, Will Smith and Eva Mendes never quite captured that emotional connection which would allow them to sell the characters to the audience.
With that being said, the film, Hitch, is still entertaining it just lacks the emotional impact that different casting or editing may have provided. The differences in the movies are plentiful. The American President was filmed a decade earlier and the lack of evolution in the filming process shows. Most of the shots were long shots with a static camera appearing at eye level. The consistency throughout the movie is noticeable as the camera follows the speaker. The editing in the film is clean and does not detract from the movie viewing experience.
In the 2005 film Hitch, the editing technique comes to the forefront of the film. The film opens with a series of parallel edits that are meant to condense time and save running time of the film while bringing the viewer up to speed as to what Hitch is about. The editor then goes on to use quick cuts and parallel cuts through out the film. In my opinion this technique is less effective than the long shots used in The American President. The emotional appeal is diminished in the film due to the editing.
Also, the movie lacked a powerful score that could have aided the emotional believability. The themes are also very different from one another. In the American President the tagline of the film describes the theme “Why can’t the most powerful man in the world have the one thing he wants most” (Reiner, 1995)? In the movie Hitch the theme is about a date doctor who by practicing his own advice finds that what he thought women wanted was not correct and truly being ones self is the way to any woman’s heart. Any fan of romantic comedies would find either of these movies entertaining.
However, my belief is that The American President edges Hitch out by a narrow margin. Both stories are told well in the films. The character development is portrayed a bit better in The American President due to a better final edit.
References Tennant, A. (Producer), & Bisch, K. (Writer). (2005) Hitch [Motion picture] United States: Columbia Pictures Reiner, R. (Producer), & Sorkin, A. (Writer). (1995) The American president [ Motion picture] United States: Castle Rock Entertainment and Universal Pictures