Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Film Yap: Valentine's Day

Don’t tell anyone, but Valentine’s Day is secretly a remake of Love Actually. They moved the location from stingy old London to beautiful…Los Angeles. December was too cold and yucky of a month so they moved it to…February. Also why have award-winning actors like Liam Neeson and Emma Thompson when you can have Ashton Kutcher and Jessica Alba.

Oh boy.

Exactly like Love Actually, this movie shows roughly a million stories about love around the city. There are people who have been in long relationships, new relationships, wrong relationships, no relationships, many relationships, and even phone sex relationships. There’s over a dozen A-list celebrities playing these parts and most of them do a lousy job. Julia Roberts plays one of the least convincing army captains I’ve seen in awhile. Emma Roberts is oddly blunt about talking about her sex life with her teachers. Patrick Dempsey is a surgeon who is romantically involved with various people...okay he was fine. He’s had practice in that role.

Ensemble movies have been done well before and another one on love isn’t a bad idea. The reason why this movie doesn’t work is because it doesn’t take itself seriously. Too many of the relationships in this movie are not see as credible. There is a subplot with the lovesick grandnephew (Bryce Robinson) that tries to buy roses for his crush and is too distracted to even play soccer. The movie never views his emotions as legitimate but instead as a punchline. The same goes for the storyline with Taylor Swift and Taylor Lautner. All of their dialog suggests they are stupid people who are fueled by physical attraction.

So clearly only older people can actually be in love. Except the movie never sold that well either. Assorted characters just spit out the occasional vague statement about love that is never insightful. Everyone is just going through the clichés. The heightened security after 9/11 should have put an end to any airport scene but no. Kutcher gives an inspiring(?) story and somehow gets a boarding pass to get into any gate. Then he jumps past security, which should put the whole place on lockdown but instead he was easily able to have his scene with Jennifer Garner.

The whole movie plays out like a lame fairy tale. There is no suspense in how everybody is going to end up or even how they are going to intersect. In order to fulfill some of their emotional arcs, major leaps of reason have to be given. The stories are never juggled properly and nothing is developed beyond a simple logline for each couple.

There is one line when a kid connected the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre and the luck of the Chicago Cubs. That was good.

The DVD extras include a contrived interview process asking the cast to talk about their Valentine’s Days and a featurette where they all praise the director Garry Marshall. There are also a ton of deleted scenes, a commentary by Marshall, a blooper reel, and a music video. However the feature that is highlighted the strongest is the trailer for Sex and the City 2. Seriously, it had its own sticker on the wrapper and on the back it’s blocked off with a pink background that immediately catches the eye. Isn’t this trailer easily accessible on the web right now? Again, over-thinking.

Film: 1 Yap

Extras: 2 Yaps


1 comment:

  1. I agree with your opinion. It took so long just for the film to finish establishing all the characters and connections there was hardly any time to believably develop the romantic stories.It had some amusing and cute moments here and there but not enough.