PG-13 for some sexual material and brief partial nudity
Feb. 12, 2010
Jessica Alba, Kathy Bates, Jessica Biel, Bradley Cooper, Eric Dane, Patrick Dempsey, Hector Elizondo, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, Topher Grace, Anne Hathaway, Ashton Kutcher, Queen Latifah, Taylor Lautner, George Lopez, Shirley MacLaine, Emma Roberts, Julia Roberts, Taylor Swift
New Line Cinema, Warner Bros. Pictures
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By Hannah Goodwyn
- Marketed as a romantic comedy about the day we celebrate our sweethearts, Valentine’s Day shows the truly sad state of our understanding of love. The two-hour movie tells the stories of a multitude of multigenerational characters: a boy with his first crush, teenagers who want to consummate their "true love", thirty-something’s trying to find love, and a very much in love older married couple.
Although Director Garry Marshall and his all-star cast offer a few funny, heartwarming moments in the film, their attempt at delighting audiences this holiday weekend fails. The film's last words are a shock to the system, but effectively sum up its overall tone. Just before the credits roll, the narrator says "those three little words we all want to hear..." and instead of saying “I love you”, he says, “Let’s get naked!” It's the perfect ending for this disappointing film that leaves you shaking your head in disbelief.
The Movie in a Minute
(With too many characters to introduce in a two-hour movie – let alone a paragraph of text, here’s a brief description of the film’s plot.)
The day in the life of couples and singles living in Los Angeles as they navigate the unpredictable situations Valentine’s Day presents them.
No Love for Valentine's Day
Director Garry Marshall is known for his endearing romantic comedies. He’s famous for some of the most popular chick flicks, such as Pretty Woman, Runaway Bride, and The Princess Diaries. His new movie, Valentine’s Day reunites the director with his previous leading ladies Julia Roberts and Anne Hathaway - along with an ensemble cast featuring Ashton Kutcher, Jennifer Garner, Jessica Alba, Taylor Swift, Taylor Lautner, Bradley Cooper, and too many more to list. While this ensemble is impressive, no amount of star power could revive this movie, which was written by screenwriters who brought us last year's forgettable flick, He’s Just Not That Into You.
Story. Set in Los Angeles, the film focuses on Ashton Kutcher’s character, Reed, as he’s just proposed to his girlfriend. Owning a florist puts Reed in the midst of the Valentine’s Day mayhem. We meet his best friend, Julia (played by Jennifer Garner), who is finally in love and relishing the day – unlike her workaholic friend Kara (Jessica Biel), who celebrates the holiday with her annual “I Hate Valentine’s Day” party. A dozen or so characters and relationships later, you’ve got the gist of this new film. Don’t be surprised if you forget a character’s name. They are introduced so frequently and briefly that you may find yourself unable to really connect with them.
Acting.The film’s weaknesses aren’t in its cast. Despite the fact that there are so many characters and plotlines constantly being introduced, the actors did their best. All seem to fit their roles rather well, with no glaring chemistry problems amongst the various couples. Two performances worth mentioning are from Bryce Robinson, an adorable child actor who plays the 11-year-old with his first crush, and Grammy winner Taylor Swift, who does a good job of portraying a scatterbrained teenager in this her first feature film.
Offensive content. As you may have guessed from the last line of the movie’s dialogue (addressed above), Valentine's Day is loaded with questionable content. One of the characters is a closeted homosexual, and another moonlights as an "adult phone entertainer", whose salacious conversations are heard throughout the film. Most of the non-married adult couples are living together, with a few scenes of their morning afters. The PG-13 rating is in part due to a partially nude scene involving one of the teenage characters, who strips down for his girlfriend after they’ve decided to lose their virginity during their lunch break. Besides the sex-related dialogue, the film also contains a bit of foul language, including a sarcastic comment made about Jesus Christ.
In the End
If you’re looking for a movie to watch with your love this weekend, choose another one. In fact, you’re best bet is to find a classic romantic film and watch it at home, since the options at the theater right now are slim pickins’.
Hannah Goodwyn is CBN.com's Family and Entertainment producer. For more articles and information, visit Hannah's bio page.
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