I hope this does not come as a surprise to you (especially you guys out there), but tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. In honour of this holiday I thought I would make my DVD review something related. The romantic comedy looks at Valentine’s Day and romantic relationships from many different viewpoints.
It is Valentine’s Day, directed by Garry Marshall (Pretty Woman, New Year’s Eve), and for about a dozen Californians it is a time to navigate the murky waters of romantic love. We follow around these people for a complete day in their lives and get a close up view of how tricky love can be. As the film goes on you see how all the stories are intertwined.
Reed Bennett (Ashton Kutcher – from television’s That 70s Show), the owner of a flower shop, decides upon waking up that Valentine’s Day is the perfect one to ask his long term girlfriend, Morley Clarkson (Jessica Alba – Sin City, Fantastic Four) to marry him. She says yes, but it is not going to be smooth sailing for the two. Primary school teacher Julia Fitzpatrick (Jennifer Garner – Juno, Dallas Buyers Club), Reed’s best friend, is in a new relationship with heart surgeon Dr. Harrison Copeland (Patrick Dempsey – from television’s Grey’s Anatomy) and things are going well. Soon she will find out that he is too good to be true. One of Julia’s friends, Kara (Jessica Biel – The A-Team – 2010, The Illusionist), is hosting her annual I Hate Valentine’s Day party while having to deal with a client who is an aging professional football player (Eric Dane – from television’s Grey’s Anatomy) dealing with his future. The football player and his future brings Kara in contact with television sports reporter and fellow hater of Valentine’s Day, Kelvin Moore (Jamie Foxx – Ray, Django Unchained). The football player’s agent Paula (Queen Latifah – Chicago, Bringing Down the House) is breaking in a new assistant, Liz (Anne Hathaway – The Devil Wears Prada, The Dark Knight Rises), who is trying to keep the fact that she works on the side as a phone sex worker from Paula and her new boyfriend, Jason (Topher Grace – from television’s That 70s Show). Edison (Bryce Robinson – Marley & Me, The Switch), a kid in Julia’s class, wants to send flowers to his Valentine first love and finds that is harder than he could have imagined. When Edison disappears his grandparents, Edgar (Hector Elizondo – Runaway Bride, The Princess Diaries) and Estelle (Shirley MacLaine – Terms of Endearment, The Apartment), are worried and in the course of trying to find him uncover something about their married that puts it in jeopardy. Grace (Emma Roberts – We’re the Millers, The Art of Getting By), Edison’s babysitter, is sent out looking for him, but has the fact that she and her boyfriend Alex (Carter Jenkins – Bad News Bears – 2005, Aliens in the Attic) have decided that today is the day they are going to have sex for the first time. On top of all that in air above Los Angeles two total strangers, Holden (Bradley Cooper – The Hangover, American Sniper) and Captain Kate Hazeltine (Julia Roberts – Notting Hill, Erin Brockovitch), meet and a spark flies…or does it? A busy day in Los Angeles.
Love is looked at from the perspective of first love, the newly engaged, new couples, and even long time relationships. Instead of being fresh and benefitting from being directed by a man who has made some of film’s best loved romantic comedies and the talent of this multi Oscar nominations and wins cast it falls into the trap of being completely formulaic. It is cute and involves a lot of likeable actors, but I wanted more. Too long, too formulaic and predictable. It is no Love Actually.
-The Stars Confess Their Valentine’s Day Stories
-The Garry Factor
-Stay Here Forever Music Video by Jewel
-Behind the Scenes
-Sneak Peek: Exclusive Sex and the City 2 Sneak Peek Trailer