Titled Valentine’s Day, premièring two days before Valentine’s Day 2010 and with one great big wage bill caused by stars such as Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel, Anne Hathaway, Jamie Foxx and Ashton Kutcher (you will recognise more), this film was made for one thing – to make money. Valentine’s Day is an ensemble piece about the intertwining lives of singles and couples and their search for love. Actually that sounds familiar. Yes, changing the calendar event from the 25th of December to the 14th of February, Valentine’s Day is the American equivalent of the 2003 British film,
Love Actually. While Valentine’s Day is a ‘nice’, ‘warm’, film with moments of comedy, it will be unable to escape comparisons to Love Actually. And, maybe it’s because it’s British, maybe it’s because Mr Bean is in it, in my view, Love Actually will always come out on top.
Comparing the two films, Valentine’s Day fails where Love Actually succeeds. Watching It is very hard to engage with any of the characters in Valentine’s Day as there are simply too many stories, none of which are particularly appealing. I can only assume that the all-star cast were attracted by the opportunity to work with one another (or the great pay packet), I would refuse to believe any of them were captivated by the two dimensional characters they were asked to play.
Valentine’s Day must have impressed some people however, as director Gary Marshall and screenwriter Katherine Fugate are teaming up this year to work on a second ensemble piece, New Year’s Eve. Not only has New Year’s Eve retained the services of stars such as Ashton Kutcher and Jessica Biel, it has inherited names such as Michelle Pfeiffer, Zac Efron and, amazingly, Robert DeNiro. So, good luck with that.
Best performance: Corey Feldman as Teddy.
Best scene: Whichever scene made this film a box office smash hit.
Best line: ‘When I was a kid, most of the advice that my dad gave me was crap. But there’s one thing that he said that was pure genius… he said, if you’re ever with a girl that’s too good for you, marry her’.
Watch this if you liked: Love Actually.