Movie Review: Valentine's Day
Prinz Lee wrote this review 5 years ago
Before I start ripping into my review, I have to be honest. This might come as a “shock” – especially for my female readers – but I had no enthusiasm whatsoever in screening this film. Yes, I cannot lie; RomComs (Romantic Comedies) aren’t necessarily my cup-of-tea. The way I see it, these types of films to a guy are the flip-side… think super-hero flicks to women. We just don’t give a shit about it because, well – we (at least those in relationships) pretty much deal with living the cliche lifestyle and watching a film regarding experiences which involves lots of mushy drama isn’t too shabby or appealing. (Cough) However; being the open and responsible individual I am and having duties to fulfill (you’re reading it right now), I gladly accepted. Knowing this wouldn’t be any different than last year’s He’s Just Not Into You, only geared towards a specific day, there was some motivation… and that motivation goes by the name of Jessica Biel, who I think is the most GORGEOUS woman to be walking the face of this earth, blessing the sliver screen and soothing our optic-nerves. That woman’s so HOT; I’d drink her bath water! That’s how far I’d go!
“That’s right I said it! It had to be said!” – Chris Rock
February 14th, Valentines Day, is not a national holiday (although some believe it should be), but it is one of those days that “must” be celebrated. There are those with special people in their lives who expect to receive romantic gifts. Commercialism has put a tremendous amount of pressure on men to provide their lovers (including side gigs perhaps as well) with a romantic day full of all sorts of trimmings. Women on the other hand are under pressure to have a man, or they feel desperate and unloved (I know a ton of them). Some of you are reading this as we speak and will give me shit via email or text. *wink* However; before you do that, please continue the review of this film. I worked hard on it and deserves your undivided attention… more like Jessica Biel’s focus on making sure she did what she could to keep herself sane in the story.
Valentine’s Day follows the lives of several Los Angeles couples during this day. Their stories are told through the interconnections they have with each other. Some will find romance in their relationship, and others will feel the heartbreak of ending a relationship. In this Russian roulette world of finding love, everyone in the film is asking for advice on how to find and keep true LOVE in its simplest form. Question is… does that REALLY exist? How does one (generally) know the person you’re with (or had) was that so-called “one” we constantly hear about? We all offer different talents and traits, it’s impossible for someone to be that “right” person and deliver 100% perfection, right? If that’s the case, Ashley Madison wouldn’t exist.
(If you’re lost, GOOGLE Ashley Madison)
Director Garry Marshall (TV show’s Happy Days and The Odd Couple) seems so driven with the idea of making an ensemble film that somewhere down the line he himself loses track of how horribly cliched and generic his story thread is and looks like. And I seriously think this is what sometimes happens with films that have these connection stories as well as a cast of egos… (Except for Jessica ‘Porcelain Doll’ Biel) It’s not something that can be produced as easily as the connections must be swift and full of continuity, aside from the fact that these people ALL need screen time. If they signed on for it, it means their moment must be there… crisp and clear. If that doesn’t track well… then the formation becomes an artistic definition for a disaster and embellishes the reality of sticking with the less is more approach next time around.
The core of the film focused on the following… I hope you can follow… Reed (A. Kutcher), a florist who proposes to his career-oriented girlfriend Morley (J. Alba) on Valentine’s Day morning only to get dumped by her in the evening, steering him towards his ‘we-can-be-more-than-friends’ friend Julia (J. Garner) by night. Julia, a school teacher hopes to get proposed by her beau Dr. Copeland (P. Dempsey) on Valentine’s Day, but ends up finding out he is married with a family in the evening, steering her towards Reed in return by night! Workaholic and sexiest female character in any film I’ve seen my life, Kara (J. Biel) hosts a press conference for her professional athlete star client (E. Dane) on Valentine’s Day in the noon, hosts an anti-Valentine’s Day party in the evening (my girl!) and ends up smooching a sports journalist (J. Foxx) by night, Liz (A. Hathaway) hides her embarrassing side profession from her beau only to realize love conquers all problems. Barring the above couples, the rest of the cast is solely there to fill up tracks which needed people of different age groups, styles, race, and ethnicities. Outside of all the mumble jumble of this film, I also picked up it was the most politically-correct cast ever.
Being run of the mill is not the only problem with the film. An exceptional shallow writing, half baked characterization, predictable plot are other major flaws too… with the exception of Jessica Biel of course! The film runs for more than two hours making it too long for my liking. I really wouldn’t have mind the two hours say if Biel had played duel roles… as it would have enhanced the film a lot more, but please. I think there should be a congressional hearing about films only lasting no more than an hour and twenty minutes at most… especially when it’s drawn out on simulating real life drama. The filmmaker (who peaked in a brief cameo) too realizes the turtle pace of the film towards the end, therefore, trying to hurry things up making the climax a total let down. The dialogues are forgettable too making the film nothing more than empty calories. I chuckled a few times as there were some decent moments, however; with no surprise they were only when linked to Jessica Biel… especially during the anti-Valentine’s Day party… if you see the film, you’ll see what I’m talking about.
On a personal note, not only Jessica Biel’s, but strangely enough the only other performances that stood out are those by Julia Roberts who plays “Captain Kate” who engages in a subtle flirtatious conversation with her fellow passenger “Holden” played by Bradley Cooper and Taylor Swift who plays the juvenile blonde madly in love with that Twilight cat, Taylor Lautner. That’s it! Seriously… their chemistry on screen displayed pretty well and had this “It-factor” to it that kept me (at least) interested in wanting to follow through. It also left a pretty good feeling when a twist regarding Roberts’s character is unveiled towards the end. (The same for Cooper) A film-buff friend of mine who I ran into at the screening sort of called it, as we discussed it at the end, but it was like… wow – how did I not put that together? I normally find myself calling the outcome (as I did many in this film)… sort of like wrestling, but this time around I felt pleased I didn’t. It spiked a level of enjoyment… outside of Jessica Biel.
One thing I do when viewing a film, is also open myself up to those who surround me. All in the purpose to see how they’re being affected by the film. This time around… wow – It was pretty quiet. Well, not really… the girl (to no surprise) sitting next to me loved it. She was doing all the Ohoo’ng and Aww’ng and laughing and whispering to her friend about how cute so and so looked… I could have sworn she mentioned me at one point… but can’t confirm it. however; aside from her reactions… the film failed to establish connections with much of the audience. I mean there was an emotional prick within me whenever the hypnotizing presence of Jessica Biel was on display, but other than that… maybe Julia’s track! None of the rest touches your mind, body, soul or heart; therefore, making the film as corny as the so called concept of Valentine’s Day. (With no offence to those who believe love can be best expressed on this and this day only) Ironically, a soul is what is missing in this so called tale of soul-mates!
Fellas, there’s no doubt in my mind if you have a sweet-heart… rest assured this is the film you’ll be watching this weekend. If I had to sum this film up… it’s nothing you haven’t seen in any other RomCom before… and will also leave some openness for some serious discussions about shit that happened way back when in which s/he might want to clear out on the spot because LOVE conquers all obstacles. Well, except if s/he finds out you’ve been cheating or confess to herpes.