Valentine’s Day: The Review

Except for Julia Roberts (and Taylor Lautner if we’ll enter a debate that he has been seen prominently only in the Twilight series), most of these actors are A-listers only on stature and not on their film’s box office figures (or for every one box-office win, they’ll probably have three movies that bombed).

The Valentine’s Day weekend gave me front row seats to catch two flicks. No, I didn’t see Percy Jackson because I don’t watch movies in the front row (unless you want to GO BLIND) and I don’t want to watch Dear John (although I would have watched it for the mere fact of telling if this is the correct movie to displace Avatar in the weekly ticket sales). I watched Valentine’s Day last Friday and then Love Happens last Saturday.

First up, Valentine’s Day!

This Garry Marshall flick stars a ton of stars headed by Julia Roberts, Anne Hathaway, Jennifer Garner, Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel, Jamie Foxx, That 70’s Show’s Topher Grace and Ashton Kutcher, Grey’s Anatomy’s Patrick Dempsey and Eric Dane, Bradley Cooper, Taylor Swift, Taylor Lautner, Queen Latifah, Shirley MacLaine, Hector Elizondo, George Lopez, and Emma Roberts.

What I liked:

The first thing you need to look at ensemble movies is character’s connection with one another. The film had that.

In terms of characters, the characters of Ashton Kutcher, Topher Grace, Anne Hathaway, George Lopez, Hector Elizondo, and Shirley MacLaine are endearing while the characters of Taylor Swift, the kid, Jennifer Garner, Jessica Biel, and Julia Roberts aren’t that far behind. There were funny and shocking scenes in this film and there were heartwarming moments as well.

Still, you have to know who connects with whom because this basically formulates the plot, the climax, and the ending.

Also, you have to love the scene where Anne Hathaway was shooting Topher Grace’s “after sex” look and she was just wearing a long-sleeved white polo shirt? She had a pretty sick Visual Access Angle!

So one might ask: what in the blue hell is a Visual Access Angle???

This term originated from the mouth of fictional character Jeff Murdock. This popular Coupling (UK) character coined this term for all women wearing skirts.

“All you have to do is tilt your head, change seats, or accidentally fall on the floor, and there is a clear line of sight between you and “base camp” – that is, the woman’s underwear or genitalia!”

For those folks that adored the car scene where Anne Hathaway was naked, then this scene’s for you!

It also didn’t hurt that Taylor Swift can awesomely act like a bratty teen with gusto.

What I hated:

You know why I hate ensemble movies? Because there is a part that stands out! In this case, the Ashton Kutcher-Jennifer Garner story could have been a good full-length love story. The Topher Grace-Anne Hathaway story could have been another full-length story which I can also say about the Jessica Biel-Jamie Foxx and the kid and his grandparents (MacLaine and Elizondo) story. Fact is, Ashton played the hopeless romantic well in this pic and his story stood out than everyone else. Hey, George Lopez was a great best friend for Kutcher’s character. The only connection the Topher-Anne story was that Anne’s boss played by Queen Latifah is Eric Dane’s character’s agent.

Imagine Anne Hathaway impersonating every cliché sex kitten for 90 minutes while Topher Grace acts nutty and nerdy a la his That 70’s Show days? That would have been cool! But instead we get something like this – like I said, this is the trouble of ensemble movies.

Compared to most of the cast playing the “good” parts, limited scenes from Jessica Alba, Queen Latifah, Eric Dane, and Julia Roberts hurts the whole “all-star cast” production. The female Indian kid had better character development than Jessica Alba. Hell, the actress that played George Lopez’ onscreen wife had a meatier role than Queen Latifah and she didn’t even said one word in the flick! Sure Eric Dane and Bradley Cooper had their “moment” but casting Julia Roberts as a cameo with a linear storyline is simply misusing her services. I am a huge Julia Roberts fan (just like I like Kate Winslet) so I was wishing her comeback wasn’t this “limited”…

Or maybe I was just wishing that Richard Gere had freed his schedule for this flick because if it was him and not Bradley Cooper, their “airplane” scenes would have gotten more meat!

The Verdict: This “chopsuey” romantic comedy should have been a “single dish filled with awesome”. While I am not saying I don’t like the film, the fact I wished that it could have been more means that I am not satisfied.

By the way, I was also looking for a Garry Marshall cameo… because that would have been something.

Game Over.


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