Director Garry Marshall should have known better. He’s created Laverne and Shirley, Happy Days, Mork and Mindy, and given us such classic films as Pretty Woman, The Flamingo Kid, and Overboard. The only explanation for his involvement in Valentine’s Day was probably the same one for his involvement in Georgia Rule and Raising Helen: Payday.
The lives of many people living in Los Angeles are intertwined in Valentine’s Day, all of these people flawlessly beautiful and mercilessly shallow. Except for two: Anne Hathaway is not shallow and Julia Roberts is not flawlessly beautiful. It’s pretty much like Love, Actually, only about Valentine’s Day and not nearly as good.
The film could be broken up by age groups. An elementary school kid buys flowers for his sweetheart and whines incessantly when they aren’t delivered. And then we find out that his sweetheart isn’t who we think it is, it’s creepier. Two high school couples, one trying to have sex for the first time (Nancy Drew’s Emma Roberts and Aliens in the Attic’s Carter Jenkins) and another (Taylor Swift and Taylor Lautner) who annoyingly fawn all over each other and make out all the time. The older couple (Shirley MacClaine and Hector Elizondo) who discover troubles in their marriage.
Then there are the 20-30 somethings who make up the rest of the film. Ashton Kutcher proposes to girlfriend Jessica Alba, and then she leaves him. Jessica Biel is a sports publicist whose client is coming out of the closet, and who throws an annual “I Hate Valentine’s Day” party. Jennifer Garner is an elementary school teacher in love with a married man (Patrick Dempsey). They are all pretty much miserable through the entire film. Especially Biel who should be ashamed of herself for this role, and Jamie Foxx who should be ashamed of himself for being in scenes with Biel’s awful character.
There are very few moments in the film that are bright, like when we find out why Julia Roberts is flying home for Valentine’s Day, and every scene that Anne Hathaway’s phone sex operator character is onscreen. Otherwise, the script is contrived (Taylor Lautner actually utters the line, “I’m uncomfortable taking my shirt off in public.”) and the film is overstocked with actors led by a director who all could care less about making a good film as they do about their payday.
The film is presented in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio. I watched this film both on Blu-ray and the included DVD and there was really no difference between the two.
Blooper Reel – (5:47)
Deleted Scenes – There are 14 deleted scenes and can be viewed with or without introductions by Garry Marshall. What’s funny is in most of his intros, he emphasizes the importance of keeping a comedy film under two hours. “I had to cut this one because we had to keep it under two hours.” (For the record, the movie is two hours and five minutes long.) Nice. (22:28 total)
The Stars Confess Their Valentine’s Day Stories – The best ones are by George Lopez. He knows how to make his wife happy. (6:27)
The Garry Factor – The cast talks about their favorite Garry Marshall films, and how it was working with the director. They also do pretty funny impressions of him. (5:03)
“Stay Here Forever” Music Video by Jewel – Well at least it’s not by Taylor Swift.
Commentary with Garry Marshall
Sex and the City 2 Sneak Peek – Which just means it’s the trailer.
I really wanted to like Valentine’s Day, honestly I did. It’s nice to see a mindless romantic comedy every now and then. But when there are obvious plot holes (For example: Is Patrick Dempsey having dinner with his wife in LA? Because I thought Jennifer Garner just flew to San Francisco to surprise him. All of the Valentine’s flowers were dumped out of George Lopez’s truck, and they have another whole truckload of backup flower arrangements that they can deliver, just in case something like this happened?), it’s just hard to take it seriously enough to even enjoy it. And when a film ends with the line, “Every lover is waiting to hear those three little words: Let’s. Get. Naked.”, it’s not a romantic comedy. It’s just tasteless. (My two star rating may seem a little high given the rant, but Anne Hathaway and Julia Roberts really save the movie. One star for each of them.)
New Line Cinema presents Valentine’s Day. Directed by: Garry Marshall. Starring: Ashton Kutcher, Queen Latifah, Anne Hathaway, Julia Roberts, Jennifer Garner, Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel, Jamie Foxx, Bradley Cooper. Written by: Katherine Fugate. Running time: 125 minutes. Rating: PG-13. Released on DVD: May 18, 2010. Available at Amazon.com.
Jenny is proud to be the First Lady of Inside Pulse Movies. She gives female and mommy perspective, and has two kids who help with rating family movies. (If they don't like 'em, what's the point?) She prefers horror movies to chick flicks, and she can easily hang with the guys as long as there are several frou-frou girlie drinks to be had.