Sunday, February 14, 2016

Valentine's Day (2010)

Director: Garry Marshall
Writers: Katherine Furgate (luckily this was better than "The Prince & Me"), Marc Silverstein and Abby Kohn (both did "He's Just Not that into you" and "Never Been Kissed")
Composer: John Debney

[in no particular order]
Reed- Ashton Kutcher
Alphonso- George Lopez
Morley- Jessica Alba
Julie- Jennifer Garner
Dr. Harrison Copeland- Patrick Dempsey
Sean Jackson- Eric Dane
Paula- Queen Latifah
Edgar- Hector Elizondo
Estelle- Shirley McClaine
Alex- Carter Jenkins
Grace- Emma Roberts
Edison- Bryce Robinson
Holden- Bradley Cooper
Captain Kate- Julia Roberts
Kara- Jessica Biel
Kelvin- Jamie Foxx
Susan- Kathy Bates
Felicia- Taylor Swift
Willie- Taylor Lautner
Liz- Anne Hathaway
Jason- Topher Grace


There are so many people in this movie that I couldn't tag them all even if I wanted to :P

In a nutshell, this is "Love Actually," but instead of British Christmas, it focuses on Valentine's Day in Los Angeles. Lots of different stars getting together with their stories intersecting one another.
Other than "Love Actually," I haven't seen another movie (except for maybe "He's Just Not That Into You"... guilty pleasure of mine) handle this archetype better.
"New Year's Eve" was a classical disappointment. Not nearly as fun or funny. Not to mention certain plot lines didn't make sense- Michelle Pfieffer acting like New Year's Eve is Y2K because she had a list of things she wanted to do before midnight.

I went with my mom and sister to see this in theaters in 2010. It was a good fun time. We really enjoyed ourselves (obviously because I got the DVD- although I believe it was dirt cheap and/or used at FYE- excellent condition).
And it's become almost a tradition. Every year on Valentine's Day (or close to it), we have to watch this movie. Last year, we missed out because we were with family that day... and the day after, I was not well.

Where to start with storylines?

We open with a marriage proposal- Ashton Kutcher and Jessica Alba. He's a florist and a bunch of our characters go to his place for gifts.
Among them is his best friend [Jennifer Garner]'s boyfriend... Patrick Dempsey is such a cheating bastard. He's been together with his wife all this time and has a girlfriend on the side. He's a doctor yet he's not smart enough to go to two different places to get flowers for his two ladies. She finds out the hard way, but the way she gets him back is priceless.
McDreamy or not (never saw "Grey's Anatomy- except for when they killed him off- maybe it was karma for what his character did in this role, but still... that was infuriating to watch).

We have a storyline with an aging football player on the losing side of a SuperBowl and on the cusp between free agency and retirement. A stone-cold Queen Latifah (kinda like a Miranda Priestley but with a wicked sense of humor in her final scene) plays his agent and is Anne Hathaway's boss. Jessica Biel is his publicist and Valentine's Day is so depressing for her that every year she hosts an anti-Valentines Day party.
She's a neurotic hot mess, but she and Jamie Foxx (who goes to her to get into the Sean Jackson press conference) wind up hitting it off.

Apparently it is such a slow news day (I guess there's only so many times you can cover bad LA traffic) Jamie Foxx is being sent out to cover Valentine's Day.
And when the press conference thing happens, his camera man gets a chance to shine. Particularly at the local high school.

The one part I look forward to every year watching this: the scenes where the cameraman is interviewing Taylor Swift and her then-boyfriend Taylor Lautner. She plays your stereotypical LA valley girl, but does it so well. Her character's so over the top and freaking hilarious. Also cool that she gets a song on the soundtrack- "Today is a Fairytale"
Then Taylor Lautner, who is amidst his time as Jacob in the "Twilight" franchise," it's great seeing him in a normal role. And he makes a comment about not being comfortable taking his shirt off in public- an inside joke my mom and I laugh at every time.

Emma Roberts and her boyfriend are saying they're going to have sex for the first time. But when they go to do it, it doesn't quite work out. Mainly because he gets there first to set the mood but he's caught buck-naked by her mom (who's at his house for some reason...).
That's a complicated thing- especially for teenagers. But at least the script is smart enough where they recognize that it needs to happen at the right time and can't be forced.

Bradley Cooper and Julia Roberts meet on an overseas flight heading back to LA. The two of them bond quite a bit and they have connects to people we've already gotten to know. How that winds up working out... I'll just leave as a surprise for the end.
Both are playing against type quite a bit.
Julia Roberts is one of the reasons to stick through the credits because she pays homage to "Pretty Woman," the movie that launched her career that also happens to be directed by Garry Marshall.

We have young love- although Edison (Emma Robert's his babysitter) is in love with someone much older than him.
And we have old love with Hector Elizondo and Shirley McClaine. Great professionalism from those two. It is not without its hiccups, but there's a great payoff at the end.

Another of my favorite storylines- Anne Hathaway's character. She and Topher Grace (Eric from "That 70's Show"... he and Ashton Kutcher have zero screentime together, funny enough) have been together for only two weeks.
But she has a dirty little secret. Lots of hilarious dialogue on her part [thanks to "50 shades" I get more of the jokes now], although when Topher finds out, it's not quite as funny. It involves a huge dose of reality that almost ruins whatever relationship they have.

But this is a rom-com, so all the deserving parties get their happy endings.
Even Ashton Kutcher, whose girlfriend takes hours to realize she DOESN'T want to marry him...
Those that do the heartbreaking don't get off nearly that easy. We never do find out what happens to Jessica Alba. Last we see her, she's walking alone with luggage and her border collie, Carmine.

The soundtrack isn't too bad either. Aside from Taylor's one song (well, there's also one during the credits), we get some old classics like "For Once in my life" and "I'm in the mood for love" (that I just picked out this time around- part of the Jersey Boys soundtrack). And it opens with that song by Michael Franti and Spearhead that was a hit on the radio at the time.

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