Movie Review: Valentine’s Day (2010)

Jessica Alba and Ashton Kutcher in Valentine’s Day

Photo: New Line Cinema

There is really nothing positive to say about Valentine’s Day, a rom-com featuring a cast of recognizable TV stars with Julia Roberts (she was paid $500,000 a minute), Kathy Bates and Anne Hathaway slumming it to be amongst “stars” from “Alias,” “That ’70s Show” (x2), “Dark Angel,” “7th Heaven” and “Grey’s Anatomy” (x2). On top of that we have Twilight star of the moment Taylor Lautner, his headline-making girlfriend Taylor Swift and other names such as Jamie Foxx, Bradley Cooper and Queen Latifah not so much adding any kind of overwhelming talent, but certainly adding to the pool of names New Line can use in the film’s marketing in an attempt to make it look like they have an actual product, but it’s surface level at best.

Directing this mess of “OK! Magazine” cover models is Garry Marshall whose career has been declining at a rapid pace since Pretty Woman in 1990 and it has now hit rock bottom with a film Cupid’s arrow couldn’t even make attractive. In what is really nothing more than a fifth-rate Love Actually knock-off — all the way down to the cute little kid looking for love — Valentine’s Day can’t even hold a conversation with the far more entertaining predecessor of which I am embarrassed to even mention in the same sentence.

Set in the overused city of Los Angeles, Valentine’s Day introduces us to a myriad of relationships, some doomed from the outset, others set on a destructive path all while the story heads toward its redemptive conclusion with four times the endings Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King offered. You don’t know sorrow until you’ve suffered through what is essentially twelve endings to a movie I was ready to walk out of after losing all hope midway through.

We have denied love, looking for love, tired love, new love, young love, can’t find love, cheating love, forever in love, motherly love and even virgins looking to make love. Oh, and Valentine’s Day just wouldn’t be complete if screenwriter Katherine Fugate didn’t still believe that gay love was a source of surprise. Guess what Katherine, it’s no surprise people are gay in this world, although I’m not sure I believe anything coming out of the actor’s mouth when he claimed to be just that. To that complaint, this film reeks with some of the worst acting I have seen in a very long time.

The worst of the bunch is easily Taylor Swift whom I thought may have just been nervous in her “Saturday Night Live” appearance, but no, she’s really that bad. Eric Dane breaks into some kind of macho teleprompter speak that’s as stunted as his character arc and if movies are going to rely on Ashton Kutcher and George Lopez to reveal the moral of the story you may as well just give up.

Poorly edited sequences had me guess whether Jennifer Garner was in Los Angeles or San Francisco and if Topher Grace and Anne Hathaway are on the verge of a relationship ever-lasting I certainly wasn’t convinced. Finally, a scene with George Lopez swinging on a swing set with his wife is almost as laugh out loud hilarious as the Bella and Edward dream sequence in New Moon. Get a padded room you two!

I felt no emotion other than boredom and hatred while watching this film. The only laugh comes in the final moments courtesy of Jamie Foxx, which is just sad considering Marshall had two hours before that to deliver some humor. And I wouldn’t be surprised if Foxx’s line was improvised.

If you’re dating one of those people that already hates Valentine’s Day certainly stay clear of this one as it won’t brighten their mood. All Valentine’s Day does is give the naysayers more to complain about while such obviously female-driven fare once again proves to dupe unsuspecting ladies into a film even they will have a hard time enjoying. As one woman sitting next to me whispered with about an hour left in the film, “This movie is awful.” If you can’t take it from me, take it from her, what she says is true.



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