Review: Valentines Day

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Do you like safe, and by-the numbers romantic comedies? If the answer is yes – then boy, Valentines Day is the movie for you! If not, then you may want to avoid this movie, because it is basically 10 mini rom-coms all rolled into one.

The movie follows the romantic exploits of several couples over the course of Valentines Day, each tale intertwining with the next. Kind of like a sweet and cuddly version of Pulp Fiction – just without the male rape and excessive violence. The movie has a pretty impressive cast – Julia Roberts, Bradley Cooper, Kathy Bates, Jamie Fox and Ann Hathaway are just some of the big names in the movie. Surprisingly, the biggest stars in the movie have the smallest parts. Julia Roberts and Kathy Bates are barely in the movie at all, and if you played their parts out in one stretch (as opposed to being broken up) would literally only take up 10-15 minutes of the overall run time. The actors with the most screen time are Ashton Kutcher and Jennifer Garner. It is their story that is followed the closest . Both are perfectly likeable, and fun to watch. Yes, even Ashton Kutcher.In fact, the entire cast do a good job with very little, and there are no weak performances.

The stories themselves are short and pretty predictable, but this is part of its charm. The movie knows exactly what it is, and does it well.  Some of tales have a twist, some don’t. Some of the characters find love and romance, some don’t. Thats pretty much it. None of it is at all original, and every romantic cliché in the book pops up at some stage. Some of the stories dont even have any kind of arch. The Taylor Swift and were-boy (Taylor Lautner) segment springs to mind. Even so, they are enjoyable non the less. The one exception to the rule is Bradley Coopers story- whose conclusion did produce a very minor, but audible gasp from the audience I was with. Good job screen writers!

So is the movie any good? Not really.

Is it terrible? Not at all. 

It is a cheesy, likeable chick flick that has absolutely no aspirations to be anything other than what it is.

My only minor quibble is that the movie is just too safe. There is not one story that has any edge to it. I makes the equally sappy- Hes Just Not That in to You – look like Godfellas . Ok – that is a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the idea.  Nothing particular bad ever happens to any of the characters here. Even the sadder tales still leaves you with the sense that everything is going to be ok in the end. Those looking for real drama, should seek it else where. The movie is also just too sweet! In fact, it is so sugary, it may induce diabetes.  The movie has this annoying habit of randomly cutting to something cute (like a teen handing a rose to his girlfriend or a cute puppy) just for the sake of it. Every scene is filled to the brim with Roses, chocolates and toy bears that it is almost surreal.  Oh, and be warned – this movie has one of the most annoying “cute kids in-love” ever put to screen. Remember the annoying cute kid from Love Actually? We`ll times him by a million and you’ll get the idea. Someone please smack this guy.

So in summary – The movie is well made, and full of entertaining performances. I am sure Valentines Day will make a hell of a lot of money this weekend. Its genius really. Release a romantic comedy, with a bunch of big names, set during Valentines Day on Valentines Day and you’ve got yourself a hit! Good or bad, people will go and see it. The movie is much better than it ever  needed to be to succeed. Which is appreciated. Guys, this is a completely bearable way to waste a few hours on a raining day. Girls, if romantic comedies are your thing – you`ll love it!

5.5/10

Check out the trailer below…

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