Valentine’s Day

Year: 2010
Production Co: Karz Entertainment
Studio: New Line Cinema
Director: Garry Marshall
Writer: Katherine Fugate/Abby Kohn/Marc Silverstein
Cast: Ashton Kutcher, Jessica Alba, Jennifer Garner, Jessica Biel, Jamie Foxx, Hector Elizondo, Shirley Maclaine, Anne Hathaway, Topher Grace, Taylor Swift, Emma Roberts, Taylor Lautner, Kathy Bates, Queen Latifah, Eric Dane, Patrick Dempsey, Bradley Cooper, Julia Roberts, Larry Miller

Garry (Pretty Woman) Marshall is to romantic comedies what Roland Emmerich is to disaster films. They're his natural territory and critics be damned - he understands that sometimes a movie is about switching your brain to neutral and enjoying the visceral thrills of the medium without being intellectually taxed.

So Valentine's Day was never going to be anything other than a showcase for everything Hollywood wishes the world was like, where everyone's young and beautiful (or beautiful even in our old age) and love is blind and stupid and makes fools of us all but that we all spire to it even if we can't put our finger on exactly what makes it worth all the trouble it causes.

Trouble like the kind Reed (Kutcher) finds himself in when he asks Morley (Alba), the girl of his dreams to marry him. Reed's a starry eyed romantic who runs a florist, and nobody's ever told him Morley is the completely wrong girl for him.

Not his best friend Julia (Garner) who's having an affair with a married doctor and is also friends with a neurotic publicist (Biel) who develops a thing for suave TV reporter (Foxx) while he's covering the story of her footballer client. He's just come out of the closet to tell the world about his love for his boyfriend (Cooper), who's flying home sitting next to a returning soldier (Roberts) who's rushing home to see her son, who's in the care of her parents (Elizondo and Maclaine) and who's babysitter (Roberts) has decided to lose her virginity to her boyfriend much like her ditzy friend (Swift) did with her boyfriend (Lautner)... There's also a lovelorn phone sex worker (Hathaway) in there somehow but I'm lost already.

If you saw the poster, you probably wonder how Marshall got so many stars together. No doubt he has casting kudos in Hollywood after such a successful career, but it actually would have been comparatively easy to make - nobody's in more than a handful of scenes and it would have been a scheduling challenge more than anything.

It's sickly sweet, but if you have a soft streak sometimes you're in the mood for it. Don't listen too much to the snobby critics - it's nothing more than it promises to be.

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