This year’s top-billed Valentine’s Day movie was named appropriately enough: “Valentine’s Day.”
Add in about 20 huge stars, a soundtrack that includes Taylor Swift’s “Today Was a Fairytale” (record-holder for highest first-week sales by a female artist), and the promise of a cutesy blend of several romantic stories, and you should have a winner.
This film almost fell flat. I say “almost” because there were redeeming moments that kept the movie afloat. And most people came out of the theater smiling pleasantly.
But I think the best thing you can say about this movie is “It gave me a good feeling.”
The storylines were needlessly intertwined, with each character having at least some relation to another character, that led you to all the others. By the end, I wondered if everyone in Los Angeles is on a first-name basis with each other. Maybe they are.
Jessica Alba is first-billed, but only because the stars were listed in alphabetical order; she actually has only about four scenes in the movie, and only one short one in the second half.
Ashton Kutcher turned out to be the heavy lifter in this star-studded cast. I was surprised by this, as well as surprised by how natural he felt in this role, because I don’t normally think of him as a qualified actor. He carried the movie.
Only one person is listed as the writer of this screenplay, but it felt like a collaborative effort. At points, the writing was brilliant and fresh, while at other times it seemed tired and clichéd.
Some critics were needlessly harsh, like Rotten Tomatoes: “Eager to please and stuffed with stars, Valentine’s Day squanders its promise with a frantic, episodic plot and an abundance of rom-com cliches.”
I think a more accurate summary came from the Philadelphia Inquirer: “It is a pleasant, undemanding movie that takes place over 18 hours on V-Day and considers Very Attractive People whose romantic destinies converge, diverge, and cloverleaf like the interstates threading through California’s Southland.”
(On a side note: Nothing in the ads for this film indicated that it would be a children’s movie, and it’s rated PG-13, but there were dozens of children in the theater. In case you were wondering, very little in this movie would be interesting for children.)
IMDb: Valentine’s Day
Wikipedia: Valentine’s Day
(for some sexual content and brief partial nudity)
Length: 125 min. (2:05)
Director: Garry Marshall
Genre: Comedy / Romance
My Rating: 6 of 10
Jessica Alba, Kathy Bates, Jessica Biel, Bradley Cooper, Eric Dane, Patrick Dempsey, Hector Elizondo, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, Topher Grace, Anne Hathaway, Ashton Kutcher, Queen Latifah, George Lopez, Shirley MacLaine, Julia Roberts, Taylor Swift