Reviews, Reports + Comments

Monday, March 21, 2011

Review of film: “VALENTINE’S DAY”

2010, 03-05:


Review of film:  VALENTINE’S DAY


Director:

Garry Marshall


Writer:

Katherine Fugate


Starring:

Jessica Alba
Kathy Bates             
Jessica Biel
Bradley Cooper
Eric Dane
Patrick Dempsey
Hector Elizondo
Jamie Foxx
Jennifer Garner
Topher Grace
Anne Hathaway
Carter Jenkins
Ashton Kutcher
Queen Latifah
Taylor Lautner
George Lopez
Shirley MacLaine
Emma Roberts
Julia Roberts
Bryce Robinson
Taylor Swift


MPAA Rating:

PG-13 for some sexual material and brief partial nudity.


Quotes:

“Maybe you should try some tofu.”
“You’re the only man I ever loved.”
“I don’t love her.”
“A big mistake.”
“I’m gay!”


MY Rating:

7.5 of 10 stars (based on a regular screening of the 125–minute film).


Reasonably Enjoyable “Fluff”

To me, this movie was never meant to be anything “great” as a romantic comedy--  instead being designed to gather together a bunch of “Love, American Style” characters and stories and periodically “intertwine” them to play as innately “PLEASANT” during a well-known quasi-“Holiday”.  It succeeds at that:

…  Liz (ANNE HATHAWAY) is happily ensconced in a bedroom, taking Polaroid photos of her new boyfriend Josh Morris (TOPHER GRACE).  She at one point leaves to take a phone call--  & we learn that she “moonlights” as a “adult phone entertainer” (a/k/a PHONE SEX talker--  long a “traditional” Valentine’s Day staple!)…  Topher later is shown as quite surprised she seems to like him so much…

…  Reed Bennett (ASHTON KUTCHER) owns Siena Bouquet flowershop, & this is thus his busiest Holiday occurrence.  He’s happy to have an efficient worker / friend in the form of Alphonso (GEORGE LOPEZ), who often counsels him as a happily-married family man... 

…  Ashton is deeply in love with Morley Clarkson (JESSICA ALBA), & offers her a large diamond engagement ring, being thrilled at her “reception” to his gift.  He’s puzzled at the way all his co-workers & friends seem sort of “SURPRISED” when he tells them of Jessica’s acceptance of the ring…


…  Ashton’s best lady friend is schoolteacher Julia Fitzpatrick (JENNIFER GARNER), who’s thrilled at finding what she thinks is a trustworthy new boyfriend in Dr. Harrison Copeland (PATRICK DEMPSEY).  But we (in the audience) soon learn he’s very likely a serial “TWO-TIMER” at his core.  (Thus, you have a “drama” set-up there)…

...  Holden (BRADLEY COOPER) is on an airplane, & strikes up a conversation with his coincidental seatmate Captain Kate Hazeltine (JULIA ROBERTS), who’s returning home after a long period away in the Army.  (It’s not until the end of the movie that we realize her “connection” to others we meet in the film)...


… Kelvin Briggs (JAMIE FOXX) is the “# 2” sports anchor at a local TV station, & he’s quite upset when his boss (KATHY BATES) wants him to do “fluff” on-camera interviews concerning Valentine’s Day (a holiday he sort of hates)…

…  At a local high school, cheerleader Felicia (TAYLOR SWIFT) is thrilled to have a handsome track star named Tyler Harrinton (TAYLOR LAUTNER) for a boyfriend, & they are happily “smoochy” when together…


…  Lautner has a good friend named Alex (CARTER JENKINS) who’s very “taken” with his longtime girlfriend Grace (EMMA ROBERTS), who very openly talks about how they’re both eagerly planning to lose their virginity to each other on the holiday...

…  Emma is eventually shown to be a granddaughter of Estelle (SHIRLEY MACLAINE) & Edgar (HECTOR ELIZONDO).  They also have a cute grandson named Edison (BRYCE ROBINSON), who has Jennifer for a teacher & who goes to Ashton’s shop to order some flowers he wants delivered…

… Sean Jackson (ERIC DANE) is a longtime football star in the area who is considering possible retirement since his contract is up.  He consults with his spokesperson rep Kara Monahan (JESSICA BIEL), who happens to be the often-depressed loveless friend of Jennifer...        

…  Eric also confers at times with his hired publicity agent Erin Patusi (QUEEN LATIFAH), who’s very hardened at her job (& who happens to employ Anne as her assistant for Hathaway’s “day”-job work)… 

...  The movie covers the various “machinations” & tribulations of the numerous characters…  Will the characters learn the “SECRETS” of those they are deeply “involved” with?…  Will others in the group REVEAL some of those secrets to their friends (on purpose or accidentally)?… 

...  Will the seeming “lovers” actually “hook-up” with their “intendeds”?…  Will Valentine’s Day turn out to be “happy” for all of the people we’ve met?…

…  Considering how “involved” the stories are, & the near plethora of “stars”, the movie was actually surprisingly “SUCCESSFUL” & charming in its own small way...

...  You will see some unexpectedly good ACTING at times, particularly by Topher (who doesn’t get “enough” work in movies!), Ashton (who’s wisely “self-controlled” rather than his usual “bombastic” character), Taylor Swift (who was never known as an actress), Julia, Emma, Anne, Shirley & Hector, etc.

…  The movie is more witty in its “concoction” (set-up of situations) than it is in its words…  So, if you don’t go in with any “large” expectations for the film, I think you’ll enjoy it for what it “is”… 

....  ( And, if you look carefully, near the end, you’ll even see veteran director GARRY MARSHALL in a cameo role as a violinist in a scene with Topher & Anne)…



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