A Love Story. More or Less.
Running Time: 125 minutes
US Certificate: PG-13 UK Certificate: 12A
Country: United States
God Bless Garry Marshall. The kindly movie Director has been giving Barak Obama a helping hand by giving half of Hollywood a role in his new film and thereby alleviating the national unemployment figures.
Contrary to appearances, the movie Valentine’s Day, is not a commentary on the socio-economic state of Burma or a violent crime thriller, it’s a romantic comedy that follows the intertwining lovelives of, what seems to be, the whole of America over the Valentine’s period. There is excitable Florist Reed Bennett (Kutcher) who proposes to his girlfriend Morley (Alba). His best mate Julia (Garner) is having an affair with Doctor Harrison Copeland (Dempsey). Talent Agent Josh Morris (Grace) and receptionist/phone sex worker Liz (Hathaway) flirt a bit. There’s also a ten-year-old (Robinson) with a crush on his teacher, wrinkly-lovers Estelle (MacLaine) and Edgar (Elizondo), and an off-duty soldier (Roberts). Other romantic japery probably happens too but I can’t remember.
The story cuts from couple, to couple, to angsty singleton, back to couple… and as it does so, no one A-lister is onscreen enough to do anything memorable or of substance to add to their character’s personalities. The editing gives the impression of one of those public service announcements where a different celebrity speaks one word of a sentence warning about knife crime or something. Except this is superficial, mind-numbing and a lot less worthy. There is decent dialogue between Cooper and Roberts’ characters and some funny moments but certainly not enough to save the film. I’m not saying all this from a cynical man’s point of view at all. It is a poorly made rom-com which is no where near the calibre of Up in the Air, for example, which had a good structure and some substance. For the first time in my life I feel compelled to utter the words – go watch Love Actually instead.
It's Got: Everyone.
It Needs: Quality not quantity.
An exercise in how to waste a stellar cast. This vacuous piece of rom-com fluff is to be avoided like the plague.