VALENTINE'S DAY – MOVIE REVIEW
By Bill Bonfanti
4 out of 10
Valentine's Day with its sprawling cast and characters is a bit too much and too little at the same time. There are way too many characters which in turn means way too little screen time for some of the more interesting characters and storylines. Although to be honest, each of the stories lead to a predictable cliché ending that you've seen countless times before. Each plot line feet formulaic and overly schmaltzy and almost sitcom like. Most of the talented cast is game (although some just phone it in) but they do not have all that much to work with. In fact the character development is so minimal that I never really got past the actor and into their fictional counterparts. It was more like there's Ashton Kutcher again or where's Julia Roberts?
The plot as it was centers on a plethora of couples, both young and old, and the myriad of pressures and stresses that the Valentine's Day holiday throws at them. Will Topher Grace still want to date Anne Hathaway after he finds out she moonlights as a phone sex operator? Will best friends Ashton Kutcher and Jennifer Garner finally realize that they are meant for each other? Can Jessica Biel look past her own cynicism and realize love is just around the corner? Can Taylor's Swift and Lautner be any cuter? These are the questions posed by Valentine's Day and not to ruin it for you, but you already know the answer to all of the above questions.
All of the actors (characters) are loosely connected and tied into one another and it all feels very forced. In the spirit of honesty, the film is so light and airy that I'm actually having trouble remembering the details. I can not even begin to tell you all the things that bothered me about this movie because I've already forgotten them. If that's not a strong argument as to how trivial and inconsequential this film really is, I do not know what is.
Most of the actors are fine, with the exception of Ashton Kutcher, who gives a performance that is more heartfelt and enjoyable than anyone else's. He truly deserved to be in a better movie.
There are a few positive things about the movie however. Valentine's Day is not nearly as awful as last year's atrocious He's Just Not That Into You. That movie had many similar elements such as the huge ensemble cast and loosely connected characters but was really painful to endure. After watching it I wanted to scrub my brain with a brillo-pad so that I could forget what I saw.
Valentine's Day will also serve as the perfect date movie over the romantic holiday. Sure as a guy you might be bored to tears, but your lady is going to love it and she'll love you even more when the movies over. You might even get lucky afterwards … I know I did. That should be worth the 90 minutes of torture. If you are bored during the film you could just think about what a cool guy Ashton Kutcher probably is in real life or marvel at the fact that Patrick Dempsey has great hair or that Anne Hathaway and Julia Roberts have the same exact smile.
To sum it up, Valentine's Day is like a heart shaped box of chocolates. You're excited to open it up and devour the sweet chocolates inside but as you are eating them, you realize you do not really like them all that much. The exception being the caramel one; That one is always delicious.