Monday, February 15, 2010

Valentine's Day-Bring on the Velveeta


The thing I appreciate and respect about this movie is that it doesn't apologize for being exactly what it advertises. It's just a "love" story that's making a grab for frivolous Valentine's cash and it got it over the holiday weekend. What can I say, sometimes us women are just suckers for sap; it's in the genetic code, the same way that hating our hair, agonizing over our bodies and interrupting men while watching sports is coded into our DNA. It's something we've all learned to live with.
Valentine's Day is the story of, well, Valentine's Day, just another day in the life of the good folks of L.A. While it's clear that there are few angels left in that city, this movie isn't concerned with social commentary. It's a popcorn movie that succeeds fairly well at being a popcorn movie. Some of the writing is terrible, a lot of the plot lines are predictable, but that doesn't mean it can't be enjoyed. I mean I would rather see this again than shovel snow for two hours.
There have been a lot of similarities drawn between Valentine's Day and Love Actually, and as someone who loves Love Actually, I can't go along with that. Love Actually, wove a story with similar characters floating throughout, but it still managed to be a tight concise story line with fantastic performances. It also had the benefit of Richard Curtis' writing. Valentine's Day is far too concerned with getting every single person in an US Weekly magazine onscreen to worry too much about story. The audience is given vignettes, 3 to 4 scenes with each billed star, but never enough to be emotionally invested in it. It feels more like the celebrity equivalent of an avalanche, just consistently hurtling towards you with little warning. Slightly jarring, and laughable most of the time. I will give Valentine's Day the benefit of saying that it does seem to at least be AWARE of the concept of diversity, and it tries hard to include everyone.
I can guarantee that if you're someone who is easily persuaded by Bradley Cooper, Patrick Dempsey, etc., you'll like it. If you're someone who says "Bradley who?" you probably won't like this movie, but if you're romantically involved with someone in the first group and give in to accompanying them to a screening, it might turn out to be a good night after all, you never know!

Overall 2 candy hearts out of 5

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