“VALENTINE’S DAY” (Ashton Kutcher, Jennifer Garner, Bradley Cooper, Julia Roberts, Topher Grace, Anne Hathaway, Jamie Foxx, Jessica Biel, George Lopez, Jessica Alba, Patrick Dempsey, Shirley Maclaine, Hector Elizondo, Eric Dane, Queen Latifah, Emma Roberts, Kathy Bates & 2 Annoying Twits Named Taylor)
This movie tries to be the ‘chick flick’ version of “Crash” & if director Garry Marshall’s plan was to make a total mess out of a dozen or so relationships crashing together, then he succeeded. Problem is, ‘Crash’ worked because it was well written & the subjects were easily discernible due to the variety of ethnicities involved – you put a load of bland white people in your cast of thousands that no one can tell apart (Let’s see Jennifer Garner is the younger version of Julia Roberts & Biel is lighter skinned than Alba, right?) For a change, Foxx, Latifah & Lopez didn’t stand out because of their poor acting, they were the token blacks & Latino in the cast(Sorry, Hector, you’re too white to fit your last name)
If you cut the cast in half & worked harder on the stories that had at least a little promise, Marshall might have made a cute little romantic film here, but instead he piled it on with so much crap, this Valentine’s Day candy couldn’t fit in the box so it went bad in a hurry.
The plot tries to focus on a central location - Ashton Kutcher’s flower shop, & believe it or not, Kutcher gives one of the few solid performances. & though not everyone in the cast makes an appearance at the florists, they all know someone who did.
So with 12 stories all taking place at the same time, you’d think at least ONE of them would be interesting or entertaining... think again, remember we’re talking about a Garry Marshall-led chick flick here – ain’t nothin’ entertaining going on.
I could rattle off the pairings & how they correlate to ‘Siena Florist’ but that would just be a way to pad my review & since I don’t get paid by the word, why bother?
Instead, I’d just like to point out a major flaw which happens with the Jennifer Garner-Patrick Dempsey pairing; Garner (an elementary school teacher) thinks Dempsey (a doctor) is divorced & their relationship is going strong. Kutcher, Garner’s best friend, finds out he’s still married so when Garner announces she ‘flying’ to L.A. to pay Dempsey a surprise visit on Valentine’s Day, Kutcher decides to break the bad news. Even though she realizes he’s probably telling the truth, Garner boards the flight anyway, obviously to ‘see for herself’.
Dempsey is having dinner in a posh restaurant with his wife when Garner shows up at the table pretending to be their waitress. She spews a few innuendos while staying in character before spilling the beans to Mrs. Dr. Two-Timer. The major gaff comes when Garner hands the actual waiter his apron & he tells her, “My son loves your class.”
Okay, she had to take a flight to L. A. – how is this waiter’s son in her classroom?
Does the kid fly back & forth to school each day or does dad make the two-way daily flight for his wait-staff occupation?
The only couple I wished were in it more was the Topher Grace-Anne Hathaway match-up; although one of the dumbest scenes happens when Grace thinks Valentine’s Day always falls on a Thursday... Really? Are we supposed to believe anyone can be that much of an idiot? “You’re thinking of Thanksgiving, Holmes!” his co-worker tells him.
Really? Are we supposed to believe that this moron really can’t tell February from November?
Anyway, back to what I liked about them – both are in ‘ground floor’ jobs – Grace works in a mail room & Hathaway is a temporary secretary & they are just starting their relationship as well. The twist being Hathaway’s character, to help earn more money, moonlights as a phone sex operator; a potentially stupid sub-plot that actually works, providing a slight bit of comedy & sweetness.
In a movie with a cast of thousands, who’d a thunk that the most interesting & reliable actors were the ones that came from ‘That 70’s Show’?