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I was the classic husband dragged to see this on Valentine's Day weekend as a goodwill gesture. It was every bit as bad as could be possibly imagined. Half of Hollywood's A List star as vacuous stereotypes, moronically obsessed with the holiday in question. This despite the fact they are all living millionaire lifestyles, with perfect tans and the whitest of teeth. It's Love Actually, without a sense of humour or any depth whatsoever. No- one and nothing is remotely realistic - every storyline has a trite and convenient resolution and none is convincing or interesting. There is a perfect and unlikely ratio of ethnicities and sexualities. The sex trade is entirely trivialised and sanitised. No-one stays upset about relationship breakdowns for more than one scene. People break into spontaneous dance sequences in which everyone knows the pre-rehearsed moves but the film doesn't have the conviction to show it for more than 3 seconds... Just utter pointless and patronising bilge...
Did you read that cast list? Gives the term 'star-studded' a new
meaning. Imagine what kind of film you could make with all that talent.
Well, Valentine's Day is not that film. Far from it in fact. This who's
who of a cast hampers any chance of real emotion due to the need to
share screen time among them all. When you start getting interested in
a character you'll most likely not see them again for another 45
minutes, pretty annoying when there are so few likable characters in
the first place.
What is perhaps the scariest is that despite a plethora of plots, subplots and sub-subplots all intertwining somehow there isn't a shred of originality. Sure, you might be surprised who Bradley Cooper hooks up with at the end, but one small unforeseen twist barely counts. Bulge and fluff replace characterization and narrative development whilst the corny dialogue comes off as cutesy more than cute. It all goes back to the bloated cast: with over 20 stars that need their quota of jokes, sobs and happy endings filled, it's majorly difficult to dedicate any real time to exploring the unique intricacies of love and loss. See the far superior Love Actually for how it's done.
Saving it from complete dreadfulness is a handful of these big names probably not the ones you would suspect who manage to squeeze a laugh from their one-dimensional roles. The two Taylor's, Lautner and Swift, play their love-struck high school couple with a cheerful amount of tongue-in-cheek; Kutcher proves his charisma can go a long way as a heartbroken florist; and Cooper and Roberts (Julia, that is) are intriguing as plane passengers who don't know each other. Biel should hang her head in shame though, her standout woeful performance surely an early front runner for this year's Razzies.
Save your money and revisit its British counterpart on DVD instead.
1.5 out of 5 (1 - Rubbish, 2 - Ordinary, 3 - Good, 4 - Excellent, 5 - Classic)
All star cast, great premise and timely release unfortunately do not make up for poor script, tacky comedy and a general go nowhere film. Basically a Hollywood rip off of something that the UK has already done to glorious success. While each of the characters were stand alone acceptable the need for the script to somehow tie them all together in a Love Actually fashion became tiresome and somewhat irrelevant. After watching the film you'll find yourself counting how many of the stars and starlets on the poster were even necessary in the film and start realising that the number of 'name' actors in the film is directly proportionate to the number of dollars it cost you for the ticket. Had they dropped 8 of the major players out and actually investigated the remaining stories a little further, rather than jumping back and forward between around a dozen limp ones, it may have been two dollars well spent. Don't waste your money - $12 will buy cheap roses from the petrol station and will probably be a more memorable gift to your significant other.
Take 2 dozen stars. Mix in a dozen plots. Add a dash of horribly
unfunny and painfully unrealistic dialogue. NOw top it off with every
romantic comedy cliché in the book, clone it a few times and top it off
The end result is worse than it sounds.
It physically pains me to hear that people came out of this movie having enjoyed it . This is no doubt the biggest pile exploitive tripe that I have ever seen.
Not only is it poorly written and laugh-less, the abundance of different stories that are going on ( there is honestly about 9 or 10 main stories) leads to terribly underdeveloped characters and a choppy, dishevelled pacing that allows the movie to reach it's climaxing point 10 different times throughout the movie.
Not only are there too many stories but half of them are god awful and absolutely POINTLESS. Taylor Swift/Taylor Lautner's story for example, added NOTHING to the over all plot and it was just another way of cramming more familiar faces into the movie. Also half of the stars that are first billed appear in the movie for only minutes. It's pure exploitation and an obvious attempt to snare a huge audience. Unfortunately for the world and for the sake of film, it WILL snare that audience and most will come out liking it.
The movie had a few (only a few) nice tender moments and plot twists but the amount of bad overshadows this by a long shot.
A god-awful mess. Don't fall for it.
My wife wanted to see this movie because there were so many of her favorite stars in it. That's about all she got to see, her favorite stars on screen. There were just too many story lines and none of them were really developed fully. The movie was slow, the story lines predictable, and, for us, the movie didn't get interesting until the last 15 minutes, which is how I ended up giving it 2 stars. I originally was going to give it 1 star (awful). The movie was dragging and I kept looking at my watch and hoping the movie would end. I asked my wife several times if we could just leave. If you want to catch it, wait until it gets to Red Box and rent it for a dollar. It sure was not worth paying full admission for it.
I don't think I've ever seen a more shameless attempt to rid the
general public of some of there spare cash. This film is just awful
from start to finish! The plot is virtually non existent which works in
films where story is replaced with characterisation. Unfortunately for
this movie there are far too many stars trying to fill the screen time
that you never really care for a single one of them. Virtually none of
the characters are developed at all, Ashton Kutcher is about the only
person you really learn anything about.
The two Taylor's (Swift & Lautner) are blatantly just put in the film to attract the teenage girl fan base which has worked. Just look on any FaceBook group to read how many teens are falling over this film because Taylor Lautner is hot. This wouldn't be so annoying if it wasn't for the fact his part in the story is totally irrelevant and so short that if it was removed in a new edit nobody would notice.
I don't remember watching a comedy film that doesn't have a single funny moment within the entire film. Coupled with no plot, no character development, poor acting and a barrage of Rom-Com clichés you end up with one of the worst films in recent years And it was still a number 1 box office smash . God help us all
As a disgruntledly (not a word, shut up) unemployed film critic, I must
take drastic measures in concealing my opinion towards a movie you are
going to wind up seeing regardless. This time, I have taken my single
self to see Valentine's Day, to see if it can measure up to last year's
star-sprinkled surprise-surprise hit comedy He's Just Not That into
You. I wanted to see that if despite without the lovey-dovey person by
my side (which has been a vacant position for a while) the movie can
still deliver, entertain, and touch the soul.
Also, I wanted to see if people working at the theater would dedicate a bit of time from their ordinary day to point out that it's strange that I am watching a movie called Valentine's Day by myself. I approached the ticket counter and asked for my ticket. After momentary laughter the man at the counter presented me with my ticket. I then enter through the doors and approach the lady ripping the tickets and sending me in the right direction. After her laughter subdued, she pointed me to theater #1.
Valentine's Day works in the tradition of last year's February romantic success story, and Love Actually, a British dramatic rom-com that jump-started the technique of applying multiple love stories in a film. That way, if one story doesn't work, you have multiple other chances to still enjoy the movie. To spice things up, the movie contains one of the biggest casts of stars since the never-duplicated insanity of It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. What other movie can boast the collaboration of Jennifer Garner, Julia Roberts, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Biel, Jamie Foxx, and even Shirley MacLaine?
But of course, when you have this many stars, that means so many stories; and less time for character development. This is where the film mostly disappoints, very little developing or changing from anyone associated with the movie. Without revealing too much, there is literally 10 or 11 (lost count) plot lines mixing and intertwining together in a span of just two hours. This equals an average of 12 minutes per story. In actuality however, some stories are actually shorter than others. Katherine Fugate had the right idea when writing the screenplay, but the execution wasn't the best considering that some stories worked and some were just boring to the core. Poor Garry Marshall can only do so much, even though his best days (Pretty Woman, Happy Days) are long gone.
The limited time for acting also diminished the performances of almost every single star in the movie. However, the acting performances of the younger tots (Taylor Swift, Emma Roberts, Taylor Lautner, Carter Jenkins) were much weaker when compared to the veterans Julia Roberts, Jamie Foxx, Shirley MacLaine, and Héctor Elizondo. One other note: Ashton Kutcher, Topher Grace, and Bradley Cooper are three men that given the little time in this movie delivered swell performances that was undermined only by the writing. Their comic timing kept the movie afloat when the flick was threatening to totally flounder.
Like I said before, some stories worked, and other stories were absolutely dreadful to watch. The high school-based stories in Valentine's Day were the weakest, shortest, and the most pointless. In the meantime, the Anne Hathaway/Topher Grace story and the conflict involving Kutcher, Alba, Jennifer Garner, and Patrick Dempsey were the most entertaining to watch. Nearly all the stories had their share of clichés, with only one of them containing a surprise or two. The chemistry wasn't that intense, because there was no time for it to happen. The dialogue was never allowed to intensify or dwell deeper into the concept of love. A few good one-liners here and there, but nothing really worth remembering.
Bottom Line: The problem with Valentine's Day is very simple: we've seen it before and after 2009 being such a good year for romantic comedies, the expectations are higher. It takes more than just a bunch of big stars to propel a rom-com to quality heights; you need strong writing, good chemistry, strong direction, and a hintage of unpredictability. That's how The Proposal, He's Just Not That Into You, The Ugly Truth, and especially (500) Days of Summer made 2009 one of the greatest years for romance in a long time. This was also the issue with Couple's Retreat, the last blockbuster romantic comedy of 09. Valentine's Day has its moments indeed (Anne Hathaway is hilarious), but don't expect it to be anything better than mediocre. Simply there were too many stories and most of them with less depth than a puddle.
And none of this criticism has to do with the fact that I saw the movie by myself.
Ever sat through 120 minutes of Tasters Choice commercials in a row?
WE bought the VIP seating and dinner for this god-awful mess. Started at 7:18 and when I checked my watch at 8:30, my wife asked me how long it was. "2 hours, 23 minutes" I said. She was not amused... and neither were the couple of couples who existed at 9 pm in front of us.
Tepid, shop-worn cuts of lives that criss-cross each other, this worked for Altman much of the time but not here. Titles ran for way, way too long and cardboard direction (i.e. silent people holding conversations behind actors) was too dumb to be believed. The humor was lightweight when it happened at all, and we, the audience always felt like there's got to be a payoff somewhere. Editing was sloppy when not entirely flat. It was as if we'd just missed the direction: "aaaand walk," over and over again.
I have a rule that only a true piece of junk uses gag reels for end titles, and sadly, this did, too. In fact, the best line in the film wasn't really in the film at all, but out of Julia Roberts' mouth as reference to PRETTY WOMAN which was a gem. If anything, this stands as a mess worthy f $1 rental just to see how bad it can get.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
If you ever wondered what would happen if someone forced a 5th grader
to rewrite the script of Love Actually on a roll of wet paper towel
with a crayon, and then forced that same child, to act in the movie
without telling him how, then you should go see Valentine's Day. If you
did not wonder what would happen in the scenario above, that's great,
don't see this movie. If for some reason you did, read on so that you
can satisfy your curiosity without wasting $22 like I did. On a side
note, the kid in the movie should not be blamed for acting poorly; he
was just trying to keep up with the rest of the cast.
In order to jam all of the "stars" into this movie somehow, the kid who wrote it had to have 10 plot lines going on at once. Unfortunately, half way through the movie I realized that only 1 story line was remotely entertaining, and included actors that I wasn't completely annoyed by. By the end of the movie I realized that that one plot line was garbage as well, it just took longer than the others to get there.
It's impossible not to compare this movie to Love Actually, but you really have to feel bad for all of the people who were involved with Love actually who are still alive and have to see the comparisons being drawn. It would be the same as if when "Ninja Assassin" came out, reviewers all commented on how similar it was to Saving Private Ryan.
There is nothing to like about this movie. It contains every imaginable cliché that has ever been put into a movie, these have been listed below for your convenience: Stunning millionaire Jessica Biel can't find a date on Valentine's Day her whole life (sad face); Old people making out after they make up about something; Guy gets dumped by hot girl but finds he always loved his best friend Best; friend from previous line realizes she loves said guy when 9 year old boy asks her if she has ever fallen in love with her best friend; Small town guy has to overcome big city girl's "crazy" lifestyle to make 2 week relationship work; Kid (assumed writer of the screenplay) runs away from home to deliver flowers to the love of his life on a bike; Man runs through airport barefoot to chase a girl (of course)
You have been warned.
First of all, i'm a guy. I'm into movies of all kinds, so I didn't have to get dragged to see a romantic comedy by my girlfriend. I was in two minds about this movie before we watched it, having so many big name actors all in one movie I thought might detract from the story somewhat, but I thought it might work if they do it right. Well, they did. This movie had me feeling for, well, MOST of the main characters. Ashton Kutcher was very good in this movie, he also had one of the bigger roles and he pulled it off really well. The others were mostly good too, Taylor Swift's character was kind of annoying, but I think she was supposed to be. The story had me intrigued from beginning to end, seeing how all the different characters were connected and the chemistry between each couple was very believable also. If you watch this with your partner, it will make you feel closer. If you watch this without your partner, it will make you miss them. If you watch this while single, it will give you hope that there's someone out there for you. I'd recommend this to anyone who's looking for a good valentines day romance or even just a good movie. 8/10
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