February 17, 2010

Valentine’s Day (2010)

CLICHÉ (n): a hackneyed situation, characterization, or theme.

Example: For Valentine’s Day, FilmFather and his wife went to see the movie Valentine’s Day.

I guess that could also qualify as redundant. Anyway, I had almost convinced her to see Avatar, but ultimately she decided on a romantic comedy, rather than wear 3-D glasses for nearly three hours and watch what some naysayers have called Dancing with Smurfs.

Valentine’s Day follows about two dozen Los Angelinos on February 14th, many of whose lives intersect as the day progresses, including a florist (Ashton Kutcher), his girlfriend (Jessica Alba) whom he proposes to that morning, his family-man co-worker and neighbor (George Lopez), his co-worker (Jennifer Garner) who’s unknowingly dating a married man (Patrick Dempsey), a frustrated TV sports anchor (Jamie Foxx), an office worker (Anne Hathaway) who supplements her income as a phone sex operator, her hard-as-nails sports-agent boss (Queen Latifah), the office worker’s bumpkin boyfriend (Topher Grace), an over-the-hill quarterback (Eric Dane), his PR person (Jessica Biel) who hates Valentine’s Day, a businessman (Bradley Cooper) and a returning war veteran (Julia Roberts) sharing a 14-hour flight to LA, an older married couple (Hector Elizondo and Shirley MacLaine), and their lovelorn grandson (Bryce Robinson).


Despite my wariness and lack of enthusiasm entering the theater, I actually wound up liking Valentine’s Day. Don’t get me wrong, I won’t be busting it out on DVD months from now with buddies of mine, but it definitely made for a fun night out at the movies with my wife. I actually laughed out loud several times. And I’m not ashamed to admit it.

The cast does a commendable job of keeping up with Katherine Fugate’s script, which is smart, funny, and sensitive in all the right places. Kudos also to Fugate for keeping the many storylines tight and well-intertwined…and for being able to make phone sex sound PG-13-rated.

That being said, Valentine’s Day probably could have been just as entertaining with a few less characters to follow (the two teenage storylines, featuring couples Emma Roberts / Carter Jenkins and Taylor Swift / Taylor Lautner, are successfully played more for laughs than sentiment). And with a running time of two hours, my wife and I eventually started keeping score on whose storylines had to be closed before the movie could finally end.

Valentine’s Day is fun without being ridiculous, sweet without being schmaltzy. If you and your significant other had to push out your Valentine’s Day plans for some reason, or even if you’re just looking for a good date movie, this flick will fit the bill.


Is it appropriate for my kids?
Valentine’s Day is rated PG-13 for adult situations and language, including some brief partial male nudity and Hathaway’s skills as the aforementioned phone sex operator (which she performs at least a half dozen times during the film).

Will your FilmMother like it?
Yeah, no doubt. Don’t be surprised if you enjoy it, too. In fact, here’s your chance to proactively suggest a date movie that she may actually want to see. Earn points where you can, my fellow men.

He's got it bad, got it bad, got it baaad...
he's hot for Garner.

Valentine’s Day
* Director: Garry Marshall
* Screenwriter: Katherine Fugate
* Stars: Ashton Kutcher, Jessica Alba, Jennifer Garner, Patrick Dempsey, George Lopez, Jamie Foxx, Anne Hathaway, Queen Latifah, Topher Grace, Eric Dane, Jessica Biel, Bradley Cooper, Julia Roberts, Hector Elizondo, Shirley MacLaine, Bryce Robinson, Emma Roberts, Carter Jenkins, Taylor Swift, Taylor Lautner
* MPAA Rating: PG-13 (adult situations and language, some sexual material and brief partial nudity)


JLG said...

Nice review - not a bad movie overall. I thought it was ok. Good date movie for sure. I could have done without the teenagers for sure - their stories didn't intertwine with the other characters so they definitely could have been scrapped. I thought that little lovelorn boy needed a recast. He was awful and annoying.

Laura said...

I enjoyed your review. I've been on the fence about this film -- wondering in part how they could tell so many stories in such little time (grin) -- I'm more open to giving it a try now.

Best wishes,

Daddy Geek Boy said...

The fact that is has Jessicas Biel and Alba plus a Hathaway and a Garner makes it somewhat interesting. And while it's not my thing, I offered to fall on the grenade and take WonderWife™ for V-Day. Since the woman hated Love, Actually, she declined.

No skin off my nose.

JLG said...

Love Actually is 1,000 times better than V-day. So it's good your WonderWife didn't see it.

James (SeattleDad) said...

I need the points. Thanks for the review. This one is going up at the top of our list.

movie lists said...

Very interesting review. I just dropped the plan as my friends didn't like this movie at all. But after reading your review I am excited to watch this movie.

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