Relax. Valentine’s Day is not just another hackneyed rom-com. It’s, well, EVERY hackneyed rom-com. It’s 8,000 different stories, all centered around the Big Day and set in Los Angeles. It’s the Crash of romantic comedy. But, as I recall, Crash had some genuine funny moments. Valentine’s Day is full of, “OMG, I can’t believe Queen Latifah did that!” and, “Wow! Jamie Foxx is doing that!” and; “Can you believe Julia Roberts said that?” and, “Holy shit, Bradley Cooper – uh uh!!!” moments. It’s the comedy version of People magazine.
As I mentioned, it’s the story of everyone in Los Angeles on Valentine’s Day. Most races are well-represented (what, Filipinos don’t enjoy the day? I suppose Portuguese sit this one out?) There are plenty of storylines, all capably threaded through by Ashton Kutcher. I’m going to go out on a limb here, but as a woman, I find him very attractive. His goofy charm and absurdly good looks make the film quite palatable. Even though he never took his shirt off. I accept this fact, but under protest.
Since it was all about romance, the stories were bittersweet. People who love the day, others who hate it, people who started out hating it, but ended up loving it, others who loved it until—okay, you could practically write it yourself. Bitter people find love, optimists get dumped – these are a few of the lessons we could glean.
The film does have some authentically sweet moments. I even cried. Mostly because I was alone and out of popcorn. But also because Garry Marshall (he’s who they mean when they say, “from the director of Pretty Woman”) is not afraid to tell a cute story about a cute kid. And there are other sweet elements. For example, Topher Grace plays a guy who works out more than you’d think, and he has a problem with a girl that’s not really a problem at all. Hector Elizondo reprises his role as “clearly a good friend of Garry Marshall.” Larry Miller tackles his role of “maybe as good a friend, but we couldn’t find a bigger place for him.”
But what really makes this film important is the premier of actress Taylor Swift. She took a break from swimming in money to make out with the guy from “Twilight.” Not that guy, but the Wolf, which is frankly better. It’s hard to say if she’s a good actress who took on a fun character, or is actually retarded. Either way, fun moments.
Is this a good date movie? Are you kidding? Are you dead inside? This is THE datiest movie of all time. While not technically in the cast, even the spirit of Sandra Bullock is present. Love rules and hurts and triumphs. Odds are, your favorite actor is in there somewhere, making out with a less favorite of yours. George Lopez quotes Rumi! And if you live in LA, you can enjoy specific street-name jokes. So guys, let your lady drag you to it, spring for the large popcorn and enjoy yourself. You’ll score points big time, and here’s my review in a nutshell: you won’t hate it.