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Ally Sims is a cynical, superficial, radio talk show hostess in Seattle who doesn't know the meaning of love despite the fact that she gives love advice over the airwaves, and has a loyal fiancée, named Matt, who is tolerant of her busy lifestyle. Two days before her wedding, Ally is visited by the ghost of Jackie Marley who shows Ally her past life boyfriends of the past, present, and future if she continues to live this stressful and shallow life. Written by
Ally Simms is a relationship advice talk show host on Seattle radio station 96 Kiss FM. She is a witch, or more accurately something that rhymes with witch. She treats her poor assistant Gillian like dirt--for example, Gillian is crying over a breakup with an abusive boyfriend, and Ally just doesn't care. Tim, who works in the office, has a crush on Gillian, and he too is sort of a loser, so they just might be right for each other. Ally does nothing to help.
Valentine's Day is coming up, and Ally is marrying Matt, a partner in one of the city's top law firms. But that wedding may not happen; Ally is hearing the voice of her mentor Jackie Marley. Then she receives dead flowers from someone. Finally, Jackie appears as a ghost no one else can see. She explains that Ally needs to change her life, and although Jackie has been dead several years, she can't get into heaven until she makes Ally see what is wrong in her life.
The title of the movie made it sort of obvious, but yes, Jackie Marley sounds like Jacob Marley. There is a Tim. Alastair Sim (who played Scrooge in a memorable version of "A Christmas Carol") sounds like Ally Sims. So we are going to see Valentine Past, Valentine Present and Valentine Future.
Everything important in Ally's life happens on Valentine's Day. She became engaged to Ben but got a call from Jackie to come to Seattle and be her assistant at Kiss radio. The relationship with Ben did not survive. And then there was the Valentine's Day that Ally hoped to become co-host to the radio host who was an even bigger witch (or something that rhymes) than she ended up being. She got more than that--she got a promotion! And she met Paul, but he and Ally later broke up as well. And Ally's first date with Matt reveals something about him that may become important later.
And then there is Valentine Present. Ally's ex-boyfriends mysteriously show up give her reasons to come back to them. Ally also finds out something about Matt she didn't know--something that could make them both miserable later on.
Finally, Valentine Future. Not just one, but several. Not just miserable for Ally, but for others she has affected. Can all of this be changed? Will Ally get married? If so, to whom?
This is not a classic on the order of the movies directly based on Charles Dickens. It is entertaining enough and has plenty of feel-good moments. Barbara Niven is just edgy enough, while Emma Caulfield is not easy to like--this makes sense when you realize she's supposed to be the Scrooge.
I like the music in nice restaurants and bars. That's something I agree with Matt about.
I would question the plain TV-PG V-chip rating. Despite the font (one with which the rating is usually accurate), it deserves more--at least a D, and probably an L because the B-word gets a lot of use. And macho morning host Joe Biggs is even nastier than Ally.
It's worth seeing.
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