Valentine’s Day (2010)

Valentine’s Day is the newest movie by Garry Marshall, starring (and it’s almost easier to list who is not in this movie) Jessica Alba, Kathy Bates, Jessica Biel, Bradley Cooper, Eric Dane, Patrick Dempsey, Hector Elizondo, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Ganer, Topher Grace, Anne Hathaway, Carter Jenkins, Ashton Kutcher, Queen Latifah, Taylor Lautner, George Lopez, Shirley MacLaine, Emma Roberts, Julia Roberts, Bryce Robinson and Taylor Swift. *phew*

Valentine’s Day is an episodic film about various couples on Valentine’s Day (SURPRISE!). I can either go into very much detail right now or none at all and I choose none. :)

I went into the movie seriously expecting to cringe all the time. To my surprise, Valentine’s Day was not completely aweful. Yes, it’s a RomCom as full of kitsch as they come. There are hardly any surprises and there’s nothing that hasn’t been done yet (and probably better). There are so many people, the characters suffer. But it entertains and is definitely watchable (something that can not be said about other movies in this category).

Surprisingly, for me, most of the criticisms of this film I’ve read kind of complained that this movie was “supposed to be a universal representation of love” and that it failed pathetically at that. While I agree that this movie is far from being a universal representation, I wonder where they got the idea from that it was supposed to be? I mean, to start with, this all takes place in one town in the US… No matter what else, that’s already a fail for the universality concept.

But as I didn’t expect it to be that, I had no problems with it not being universal. In fact, they tried to be rather inclusive (even if the movie  is still – no doubt about it – white and hetero-centric with one very definite image of romantic love) and you gotta give credit for trying.

[That’s not to say that criticism in that direction is wrong. It might just be that people are expecting a little much…]

And even if you can’t say anything positive about the movie, it had the clear positive effect that I’ve now seen (finally) a movie where I did not want to hit Bradley Cooper, which bodes well for The A-Team.

Well, apart from that, the performances were good (excepting the two Jessicas who were really annoying. Taylor Swift was annoying, too, but she was supposed to be, so she’s excused), the soundtrack was nice and the stories, even though clichéd (save two surprises), were sweet.

Summarising: If you are looking for new RomCom material, you could do a lot worse than this.

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