How many movie stars does it take to make a bad film?
When using the template of having multiple independent storylines happening throughout a film, while at the same time intertwining them along the way to try to solidify the overall story, there’s one key piece that must be in place or it all crumbles to the ground: a strong script.
The film has to flow together perfectly, while also giving the audience a chance to meet and connect with all the various characters that will be introduced along the way. The immediate wall that must be broken down is making everyone interesting in the short amount of time they have on screen during their scenes. Looking at a movie in the same genre, Love, Actually was a film that got this right on every level. The characters were interesting from the start, we wanted to see how things came together, and the situations were relatable, and real. If you were to take all those positive qualities, and turn them into their negative counterparts, you’d end up with Valentine’s Day.
The main problem with this movie is there is nothing interesting about it. It all takes place on Valentine’s Day, and fills itself with stories and characters that are so bland, or unrealistic, that you could care less what happens to them almost instantaneously. One of the main reasons for this is the dialogue, which is cringe inducing at times. It’s not that it’s too mushy, or sappy, it’s that it’s horribly artificial.
At one point a little boy (Bryce Robinson), who happens to be the lead in one of the many mini-stories that feels forced and unnecessary, isn’t paying attention while playing soccer. The referee comes up to him as the other kids run by with the ball and asks him if everything is okay, to which the boy responds “I’m in love,” leading the referee to respond with “So am I, but I can still move my feet.” Even rewriting the scene makes me cringe, and that’s just one of many that appear over the two-hour movie.
The running-time of the film is another problem as I soon found myself wondering when the movie would end, not how. The pacing is incredibly long-winded, and poorly put together, and director Garry Marshall (Pretty Woman, Runaway Bride), falls flat in bringing this one together in a coherent manner.
The obvious draw in a film like this is the abundance of stars, which include Ashton Kutcher, Julia Roberts, Jamie Foxx, Jessica Biel, Jennifer Garner, Anne Hathaway, Bradley Cooper, Patrick Dempsey, Queen Latifah and many others. So many, in fact, that I wonder if this looked like a better idea on paper than it ended up being on screen.
Two that will likely bring in a lot of the younger crowd, Taylor Swift and Taylor Lautner, happen to have the most fruitless story (to the point where you almost can’t even call it a story) and it almost feels like Swift had a clause stating she’d write a song for the film as long as they wrote a part for her and jammed it in somewhere.
It’s been said that the worst thing about Valentine’s Day is how it makes those who are single really feel alone, while making those who are together spend money on cards, flowers or candy just to say how they feel. Well, those things can rest easy, as it can now be said that the worst thing about Valentine’s Day is Valentine’s Day.
Director: Garry Marshall Notable Cast: Ashton Kutcher, Jennifer Garner, Jamie Foxx, Jessica Biel, Julia Roberts, Bradley Cooper Writer(s): Katherine Fugate
Brendan Campbell was here when Inside Pulse Movies began, and he’ll be here when it finishes - in 2012, when a cataclysmic event wipes out the servers, as well as everyone else on the planet other than John Cusack and those close to him. Brendan’s the #1 supporter of Keanu Reeves, a huge fan of popcorn flicks and a firm believer that sheer entertainment can take a film a long way. He currently resides in Canada, where, for reasons stated above, he’s attempting to get closer to John Cusack.