Rajeev Masand – movies that matter : from bollywood, hollywood and everywhere else

February 12, 2010

Mush ado about nothing

Filed under: Their Films — Rajeev @ 10:47 pm

February 12, 2009

Cast: Julia Roberts, Bradley Cooper, Ashton Kutcher, Jennifer Garner, Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel

Director: Garry Marshall

It must take a special kind of talent to make a film as bad as Valentine’s Day. This alleged romantic comedy from Pretty Woman director Garry Marshal features an all-star cast of Hollywood’s brightest actors, and yet manages to waste every single one of them in dull, thankless roles.

Opening on the morning of February 14 in Los Angeles, this film follows 21-or-so characters as they live out every romantic-movie cliché you can think of over the course of one full day. Ashton Kutcher plays a florist who proposes to his girlfriend Jessica Alba. He spends pretty much the entire day mooning over her to his co-worker George Lopez and his best friend Jennifer Garner.

The best-friend is all gooey-eyed for her own boyfriend, heart-surgeon Patrick Dempsey who seems to have hardly any time for her. Jamie Foxx is a TV sports reporter who’s been assigned to cover a fluffy romantic story, much to his chagrin, and Jessica Biel plays a publicist who throws “I Hate Valentine’s Day” parties with her single, cynical friends.

Queen Latifah stars as a celebrity agent, whose assistant Anne Hathaway discretely doubles up as a phone-sex operator even as her boyfriend Topher Grace wonders about those mysterious calls she always leaves the room to answer. Julia Roberts is a soldier making a 14-hour journey so she can spend her one-day-leave with her true love, while Bradley Cooper plays her curious co-passenger on the flight.

Shirley MacLaine and Hector Elizondo play a long-married couple raising their young grandson who’s dealing with his first crush, while his babysitter Emma Roberts is contemplating her ‘first-time’ with her boyfriend.

Bland, boring and frustratingly formulaic, Valentine’s Day is best described as a dumb distant cousin ofLove Actually, but without the sharp wit of that excellent British rom-com. It’s just a sickeningly sappy film with so much talk of flowers, gifts, cards and romantic dinners that by the end of those two long hours, the sight of a couple even holding hands is likely to make you vomit.

This Valentine’s Day, if you want to break up with your partner, this is the film to take her to. I’m going with one-and-a-half out of five and a thumbs-down for Garry Marshal’s Valentine’s Day; it’s contrived and predictable, and like an oversweet pastry it makes you sick to the stomach.

(This review first aired on CNN-IBN)

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