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Movie Review: Valentine’s Day (February, 2010)

Director: Garry Marshall
Screenplay: Katherine Fugate
Release Date: February 12, hospital 2010
Actors: Jennifer Garner, clinic Ashton Kutcher, cheap Jessica Biel, Eric Dane, Bradley Cooper, George Lopez, Queen Latifah, Julia Roberts, Emma Roberts, Taylor Lautner, Taylor Swift, Patrick Dempsey, Hector Elizondo, Shirley Maclaine, Topher Grace, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Alba, Kathy Bates, Jamie Foxx, Carter Jenkins

I am not usually a fan of ensemble movies, especially as of late as most of them has failed miserably. Last year’s He’s Just Not That Into You was not high on my list of likes, and actually fell deep into my list of dislikes. Burn After Reading was also a disappointment (though many might disagree.)

I suppose I should have had more faith given Garry Marshall’s history of directing, with films I absolutely loved – Pretty Woman, Runaway Bride, The Princess Diaries – movies that guys of course don’t like very much. This movie has a list of popular actors that everyone will be able to name and that in itself made me turn off towards the film in the beginning, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. It is the kind of movie that would receive a whole bunch of rotten tomatoes given that most movie critics love to hate thee ensemble movies.

Well, surprise surprise, I really enjoyed the movie and liked it more than I had thought I would. I knew going into the movie that I should look for a romantic comedy, and a romantic comedy is what I got. It is USA’s Love Actually (though Love Actually in quality, is 10 times better than Valentine’s Day — how can it not be with Colin Firth?) and it is a funny, quirky and light hearted comedy. It garnered lots of laughter from the audience, and lots of laugh from this girl.

Valentine’s Day takes place .. on Valentine’s Day. Surprise! Ashton Kutcher plays florist Reed Bennett, who has just proposed to girlfriend Morley Clarkson (Jessica Alba). Reed goes about his day delivering and preparing flower arrangements with the help of his neighbour and best friends (Jennifer Garner and George Lopez). We are introduced to a character one by one and they are all related to each other in some way or another (as in most ensemble movies). Taylor Lautner and Taylor Swift do a hilarious job playing the high school couple. It even gave me pause wondering if Taylor Swift really was the airhead that she played. (I’m guessing not). I’m not a fan of either Taylor, so that’s saying a lot, coming from me. Standouts for me was Anne Hathaway’s character as an Adult Phone Entertainer, and Jessica Biel’s character as the one girl that hates Valentine’s Day was really amusing and adorable.

If I were going to outline the plot for the movie it would take forever. Like Love Actually, it deals with different themes of love, from a child standpoint, to seniors, the normal romantic love, and of course, friendship. There were plenty of laughs, due to the quirky funny nature of the characters. Though mostly predictable, Marshall and Fugate managed to throw in a few surprises as well.

All in all, an evening well spent laughing and getting some warm fuzzies. Many people are going to hate the film, as is evidenced from browsing the IMDB Valentine’s Day page. People have an indie movie complex (if it’s not an indie, it ain’t a good movie), and it makes me wonder if people can no longer sit back, laugh and just enjoy a film anymore. This movie is directed at girls, as this is mostly a romantic chick flick, not to say guys won’t enjoy it (yhe two guys I went with including my boyfriend sure did). And as I’ve mentioned before, I love chick flicks. I’m glad this one didn’t disappoint as I had expected it would.

If you like quirky comedies, go see it. If you have a thing for romantic comedies, go see it. You will undoubtedly enjoy it. Anyone else, stay home.

For this romantic comedy addict, it’s a solid 3 hearts / 5 hearts for me.

Trailer via Youtube

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