Intertwining couples and singles in Los Angeles break-up and make-up based on the pressures and expectations of Valentine's Day.Intertwining couples and singles in Los Angeles break-up and make-up based on the pressures and expectations of Valentine's Day.Intertwining couples and singles in Los Angeles break-up and make-up based on the pressures and expectations of Valentine's Day.
It assumes that the general movie-going public has neither imagination nor refinement. The overlapping stories lack the charm of say, "Love, Actually" and lack the wit of say, "Serendipity". Yes, Garry Marshall has assembled a diverse cast of comely characters, but who cares! Well. . .apparently plenty of people at tonight's screening did care because there was plenty of snickering going on. And sighing. And at one point, even a communal groan from a chorus of broken-hearted ladies. This crowd pleaser is clearly aimed for the "Must Love Dogs" types.
Ashton Kucher fared better that I expected. He held his own with a goofy swagger that was almost believable. Julia Roberts also surprised me by doing almost nothing and by doing it well. Her scenes with Bradley Cooper were actually sweet. Taylor Swift's debut demonstrated promise as she delivered a quirky adolescent innocence to her scenes. I enjoyed George Lopez as much as I was annoyed by the kid who played Edison. Yeah, "Valentines Day" was self-consciously and overtly multi-cultural, not because its audience is intended to be anything other than standard chick-flick patrons, but because, I suppose, its the cool thing to represent. Enough already.
Production qualities were gooey LA confections that made me think the City of Angels was nothing but clean little highways and byways leading in and out of quaint neighborhoods, beach front bungalows, opulent Hollywood mansions, and tidy apartments. Whoever thought it would be funny to include airport limo drivers holding placards seeking "Unger" and "Madison" was right.
I expect those people who worry about me because of my contempt for films like "Titanic" and "The Notebook", will continue to pray for me, but I can't recommend "Valentine's Day" to anyone who genuinely appreciates a good love story, or who also enjoys a clever comedy.
- Feb 12, 2010