In the interest of full disclosure, I am not big fan of Saint Valentine or the day named after that corny mofo. If I had my way, we’d skip the February 14th in the leap years. Then what would you suckas do who forget about your women 362.25 days of the year (assuming you remember her on Christmas and her birthday)? I put romantic comedies in the same category as musicals – the chances of me liking them are about as good as any normal person enjoying a two hour enema. Not freaking likely.
With Garry Marshall (Pretty Woman, The Flamingo Kid), directing Valentine’s Day, I decided to give it the benefit of the doubt. That was a significant benefit because by my calculations, I believe it comes out to roughly $3000 – that’s for 2 hours of my time in the theater, plus travel time, plus ticket price, plus carfare and my mandatory raisnettes and water – yes, the bulk of that amount is the ticket price and concessions, but my time is kinda important too).
Katherine Fugate (The Prince and Me, TV’s Army Wives) picks up the pen on this one.
This is one of those movies that, for people like me, we can’t completely castrate (if it had balls to begin with) because there wasn’t anything specifically wrong about it. The writing was okay, the direction was on point, and the cast was fine. And by fine, I mean the women are pretty good looking and, judging from the tweens reaction during the movie, the female audience will be pleased with the men cast.
Jessica Biel, Julia Roberts, Jessica Alba, Anne Hathaway, Jennifer Garner, Emma Roberts, Queen Latifah, Shirley MacLaine, Kathy Bates, Taylor Swift, are joined by Bradley Cooper, Jamie Foxx, Taylor Lautner, Patrick Dempsey, Eric Dane, Topher Grace, Carter Jenkins, Ashton Kutcher, and Hector Elizondo. That cast is entirely too big for me to bother writing what movies they were in. Honestly, it doesn’t even matter. This qualifies as an all-star cast (although the talent levels are all over the place like a Sarah Palin interview).
ASIDE: Jessica Biel is a bad woman. I can’t front. I felt that had to be said. Moving right along…
The actual story was pretty lame. If you can’t figure out what the twists are in the first 15 minutes, then it might behoove you to skip that appearance on “Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader?” because I can answer that question for you right now. No/Nyet/Iie/Nee/Mhai and for all my Hatian peoples out there: NON! You are not.
IF YOU MUST KNOW:
So it’s Valentine’s Day and we follow several couples at differing stages of love & booty-calling in an utterly predictable journey along the relationship road from burgeoning lust to break up and reconciliation.
The old couple (together for 50+ years) goes through something new that tests the relationship. The new couple (together 2 weeks) is tested as they find out more information about each other. The newly engaged couple (together 2 years) has post-engagement issues. The best friends have SURPRISING sexual tension (sarcasm in all caps). The athlete without a family has a relationship crisis at the same time he has a career crisis. The kids have the unrequited love issues going on until they learn to get over their issues (I have to admit that part was kinda cute – and arguably more interesting than anything going on with the adults). And the anti-Valentine’s Day un-tethered singles find themselves in denial.
The shining light (aside from the aforementioned “ASIDE”) is Julia Roberts. I’ve said this several times before – she is so much fun to look at onscreen (yes, I think she’s hot, but more importantly, she is a great actress). If only 1/3 of the actresses working today had her talent, movies would be remarkably better. I wish she had a much bigger role in the film, but alas... nope
Overall, if you are partial to flicks like Pretty Woman (and I do not - despite the high esteem in which I hold Garry Marshall), theoretically you will LOVE this movie. It is syrupy sweet at times and plenty sappy and everything works out for everybody you are supposed to like. I just wish I could tap into the part of me that cares about the subject matter. Fortunately (with respect to the movie-going experience), that part of me is long, long gone.
Let’s be clear, I am a romantic. Don’t believe me, ask about me. Hell, I’m even a good listener; but one thing I won’t do (not easily) is give-in to the Valentine’s Day hoopla. Watching a VD-love movie (pun very much intended) isn’t going to affect my philosophical disdain for VD and the crap associated with it. Faux-romance on February 14th - when you should show your woman you love her (or him, your business is your business) everyday - doesn’t appeal to me in the least bit and it shouldn’t appeal to the people it does appeal to.
So what? Maybe I am a little jaded. Maybe. But that doesn’t change the fact that this movie gives us nothing new or cool, and too little that we find intriguing. It is just as I anticipated, the movie is just long enough for us to understand who the characters are and where they are in their relationships, but the relationships are kinda boring. The good news is I laughed a few times during it. In fact I may have even guffawed. The bad news it wasn’t memorable. It was just BLAH.
It’s perfect for a date night. Sorry, playboys (and ladies who happen to think like me). You will probably be dragged out to see this movie, but there’s good news - it will not create any arguments or drama, so you might want to put up a little fight and then act like you’re making a huge concession. Use this opportunity to score a couple of points. I promise, you can sit this movie, pay no attention to it after the first 15-20 minutes and still have an intelligent conversation about it at dinner later. Zone out. Plan out how you want to use your freshly earned points, grin and bear it.
That Dude gives Valentine’s Day: 2
1. They make crap this pure?
2. Couldn’t be more under-whelmed.
3. Not too shabby, I won’t ask for my money back.
4. Pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty good./Worth the 12 bucks.
5. Why are you reading this and not seeing this movie? Jackass.