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Movie Review: Valentine’s Day

February 12, 2010

Valentine’s Day – A Warner Bros. Release

http://www.valentinesdaymovie.com/

Release Date: February 12th, 2010

Rated PG-13 for some sexual material and brief partial nudity.

Running time: 105 minutes

Garry Marshall (dir.)

Katherine Fugate (screenwriter)

John Debney (music)

Jessica Alba as Morley Clarkson

Kathy Bates as Susan

Jessica Biel as Kara Monahan

Bradley Cooper as Holden

Eric Dane as Sean Jackson

Patrick Dempsey as Dr. Harrison Copeland

Hector Elizondo as Edgar

Jamie Foxx as Kelvin Moore

Jennifer Garner as Julia Fitzpatrick

Topher Grace as Jason

Anne Hathaway as Liz

Carter Jenkins as Alex

Ashton Kutcher as Reed Bennett

Queen Latifah as Paula Thomas

Taylor Lautner as Willy

George Lopez as Alphonso

Shirley MacLaine as Estelle

Emma Roberts as Grace

Julia Roberts as Captain Kate Hazeltine

Bryce Robinson as Edison

Taylor Swift as Felicia

JENNIFER GARNER as Julia Fitzpatrick and ASHTON KUTCHER as Reed Bennett in New Line Cinema’s romantic comedy “Valentine’s Day,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

Photo by Ron Batzdorff

© 2010 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Our reviews below:

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Valentine’s Day Review By John C.

♥1/2 (out of 4)

Last year, I was just not that into He’s Just That Into You. A big budget romantic-comedy starring everyone and their dog, with the kitchen sink thrown in for good luck. Valentine’s Day is the latest of these Love, Actually wannabe’s, and for me it was only marginally better than HJNTIY. There were a few things I liked about Valentine’s Day, 3/4 of a heart (star) worth to be exact, but there were also things that I just hated.

Admittedly, there were some sweet moments in this film, but there were also moments that had me cringing more than an old lady at The Hangover. In particular the scenes at an elementary school with a kid who wears his shirt over his face and gleefully tells the teacher about the Valentine’s day massacre. This was not cute. It was just creepy.

The film becomes dreadful every time Jessica Biel is on screen. Her character is obnoxious and annoying, and her line about having a “close” relationship with her Blackberry is just creepy and evokes an unpleasant mental image. The scenes at her anti-Valentine’s party are just terrible.

Ashton Kutcher and George Lopez are by far the best parts, and the only characters I actually cared about. Pretty much everyone else is kinda shallow, and at least three of the way too many story lines should have been removed completely.

The contrived story with Emma Roberts’ character trying to lose her virginity is just dumb and out of place. The overly precocious kid trying to get flowers delivered to his secret Valentine is only mildly sweet and clearly rehashing Love, Actually.

Valentine’s Day had more than enough scenes that should have been deleted, and was too long by about a half-an-hour. Despite a few genuinely good moments, (Kutcher and Lopez, a nice moment between Bradley Cooper and Julia Roberts, etc.), it ultimately just ended up feeling like a box of preselected chocolates. You always know what you’re gonna get. And you really just don’t want half of them.

Valentine’s Day is technically a better movie than something like He’s Just Not That Into You or, say, the recent I Hate Valentine’s Day, but what makes this film fail are the too many story lines, formulaic plot and hefty running time.

I’ve seen a lot of rom-com’s and the problem is, after you see one that’s average, the next average one, regardless if it actually is, just seems worse. Valentine’s Day is just too syrupy to have any substance or emotional depth.

I wanted to like this film. Love, Actually. Though it just feels like I could Say Anything about this picture and audiences will still go out in swarms to see it. There are worse romantic-comedies than this one, but there are also ones that are far better. And those are the ones you should see.

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Valentine’s Day Review By Erin V.

♥♥1/2 (out of 4)

There is something like 10 couples followed in this movie. For me, this was confusing namewise. Simply put, until I checked the billing block for the names, I didn’t know what the majority of the characters names were. It actually shocked me to see that Topher Grace’s character was called Jason, or Anne Hathaway’s called Liz. You see, during the movie to keep track of this particular couple, I made an odd mental note that Agent 99 (Hathaway in Get Smart) was with Eddie Brock (Grace in Spiderman 3). It happened like this for most of the cast in the film, since I could never really catch what they were actually called.

Aside from that, I actually liked the movie more than I had expected to. It’s not really going to have much of a run past this week, but I guess it really is meant for Valentine’s Day anyway. When I think back to a film like He’s Just Not That Into You, from last year, I can truthfully say that this is way better. I found HJNTIY to be extremely boring and was just waiting for it to be over, and while this one felt slightly long, it didn’t really feel boring like that. There were just too many characters in it. I think one teenage couple (the Taylor’s) would have been enough, and the thing with the kids should have been more in passing (e.g., the scene on the soccer field was unneeded).

I did like some of the characters better than others, such as Julia Robert’s character, and surprisingly, Ashton Kutcher’s character, since he’s not really one of my favorite actors. On the other hand, the whole thing with Jessica Biel’s character felt totally pointless to me, a feeling accentuated by the over 10 minutes it took for a real piñata to be smashed in the theatre before the film. Marketing plans should be something simple that takes under 2 minutes so that the movie can get started close to on time, and involves more than just 6 people smashing something. Like a random draw from all ticket holders that they often do. It’s not as hard to clean up, and it’s overall just easier for everyone.

If you’re looking for a date movie this weekend, this is certainly not a bad choice I don’t think. If you want to see it, this would be the time, since it is Valentine’s Day. Either that, or wait for next year on the DVD.

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Valentine’s Day Review By Nicole

♥♥1/2 (out of 4)

Valentine’s Day is an entertaining romantic comedy about one day in the lives of several different couples in a Los Angeles neighbourhood. The different couples span different ages. An older couple recounts over 50 years of marriage, while their “lovesick” grandson tries to get the perfect gift for his “Valentine”. A young florist, who is recently engaged, discusses what Valentines means to him with various customers, and with his friend, a truck driver from Mexico. (His story was one of my favorites). A soldier returns home for one day, to visit a very special person in her life. These are just some of the many stories told in this movie.

The stories are all loosely connected through the florist shop, through each other, or are part of a news interview on love. With so many different story lines, this movie is a bit confusing, and is a bit long at just over two hours. However, this one is nice to see as a seasonal film, either as a date movie in theatres, or as a rental. With a decent cast, a light plot, and a fun score, this movie is worth seeing for Valentine’s Day.

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Valentine’s Day DVD Review By Maureen

♥♥1/2 (out of 4)

Everybody loves a good love story. But what about several love stories all rolled up into one movie? Valentines Day goes through the love stories of various young couples, a senior couple, highschoolers, married couples, cheaters, unmarried couples, a gay couple and a elementary school crush.

While some of the love stories are sweet, others are shallow and annoying. There are so many different story lines going on at the same time, it gets tiring keeping track of who is who. What saves Valentine’s Day from being a very ordinary rom-com are all the talented, well known actors who add life and energy to this movie.

Ashton Kutcher plays a florist whose floral deliveries serve as a link between each of the stories. Reed Bennett (Kutcher) is the sweetest character in the whole movie. Also really likable is his business partner, Alphonso, played wonderfully by George Lopez.

There are also funny cameos by Queen Latifah and Shirley MacLaine. There are a lot of funny moments in Valentine’s Day. Watch for the restaurant scene with Jennifer Garner’s character pretending to be a waitress. There are also some scenes that fall flat. I found Jessica Biel’s character, Kara, to be particularly annoying with the whole Valentine’s Day is awful storyline.

Overall, this is what it is, a movie about Valentine’s Day. If a lighthearted romantic-comedy is what will make your Valentine’s Day, then this is the movie for you. Happy Valentine’s Day.

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Valentine’s Day DVD Review By Tony

♥♥1/2 (out of 4)

Valentines Day is a romantic comedy dealing with the lives of numerous characters, in and out of relationships, over the course of one Valentine’s day. They range from a ten year old’s schoolboy crush, through two teenage couples, numerous partners in their 20s-40s, to the 10 year old’s grandparents. To keep it simple, I will use the names of the actors rather than their characters.

As the film opens we meet several couples waking up together, some of whom will not make it through the day–Ashton Kutcher+Jessica Alba, Jennifer Garner+Patrick Dempsey, Anne Hathaway+Topher Grace. Kutcher is a sweet florist while Alba is into her career. Kutcher’s old friend Garner is a sweet schoolteacher, finding out during the day that heart surgeon Dempsey has a wife and kids. Grace discovers that Hathaway’s life is constantly being interrupted by moonlighting on her 1-900 phone line. You can guess who ends up with whom.

As for the teenagers, Emma Roberts+Carter Jenkins are forgettable, while the brief cameos of the “Taylors” (Swift+Lautner) are surprisingly funny examples of celebrity self-parody.

The older couple (Shirley MacLaine+Hector Elizondo) is touching, particularly at the end as they make out in front of an outdoor night time screening of a snogging scene featuring MacLaine half a century earlier.

A number of apparently unattached characters appear throughout the film. Jamie Foxx is a sportscaster assigned reluctantly by his boss Kathy Bates to do romantic streeters all day. Eric Dane is a quarterback agonizing over whether to become a free agent. His publicist Jessica Biel, easily the most obnoxious element in the film, tries her best to trash the day with a heart piñata at her annual I Hate Valentine’s Day party in an Indian restaurant. I suppose her character was meant to serve as a foil, but leaving it out altogether would have been a real improvement. Her boss Queen Latifah has some amusing cameos. Kutcher’s driver George Lopez is an older family man, full of sage advice for his younger boss. Bradley Cooper and Julia Roberts are seatmates on a plane, their relationships only revealed at the very end.

Director Garry Marshall is an old hand at this type of film, and manages to keep all the plotlines going along parallel and intersecting lines. As expected, it is not uniformly good, and with too many characters and at just over two hours could have done with some trimming, but it hits more than it misses. Compared to other recent films, I enjoyed it much more than He’s Just Not That Into You (unlikeable, unbelievable & much too long) but not quite as much as Couples Retreat (tighter script & good cast).

___________________________________________________________________________BRADLEY COOPER as Holden and JULIA ROBERTS as Captain Kate Hazeltine in New Line Cinema’s romantic comedy “Valentine’s Day,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Photo by Ron Batzdorff

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Consensus: While it seems to serve it’s purpose for a rom-com for Valentine’s Day, this film just has too many characters to really work. With a tighter script and shorter cast list, this could have gone somewhere better. Made for this particular week though, if you’re planning on seeing it, now’s the time. ♥♥1/3 (Out of 4)

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(L-r) ERIC DANE as Sean Jackson and GEORGE LOPEZ as Alphonso in New Line Cinema’s romantic comedy “Valentine’s Day,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Photo by Ron Batzdorff

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One Comment leave one →
  1. February 14, 2011 6:52 pm

    It’s nothing amazing really but it’s entertaining for the most part. Other stories work more than others, but overall it’s a breezy piece of work. Good review, check out mine when you can!

    Like

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