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Valentine's Day

A 2010 comedy movie directed by Garry Marshall.

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Eye Candy Corn

  • Feb 17, 2010
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This soulless slick piece of sickly-sweet cinematic candy somehow manages to embody everything that’s wrong with Hollywood, and America. Like the average American boob, it is a bloated corn-fed monstrosity obsessed with appearances and celebrity, devoid of introspection, and in search of anything—love, alcohol, chocolate, you name it—that will fill the hole where the soul used to be and stave off the negative feelings for a few more hours.
I saw it the other night on a date; the girl I went with, whom I met on eHarmony, is a girl-movie kind of girl, and it was the only thing with a start time that worked for us, so I went for it. And, I have to admit, I was entertained, but mostly in a sick Plan-9-From-Outer-Space-How-Bad-Can-It-Be? way. (And in an Oh-my-God-how-much-eye-candy-can-I-eat-in-one-sitting? way.) But it feels ridiculous even making the former comparison, because there are far too many reasonably talented people involved to have any excuse for making a movie this bad.
It seems less like a movie than an exercise in moviemaking, like someone in Hollywood wanted to find out how many A-list stars they could cram into one movie while giving everyone an equal amount of screen time and tying all their stories together. (Of course, this is not done by creating interactions with real emotional heft and weight, but by throwing in a few lines of dialogue here and there, so you find yourself saying, “Oh, she’s the babysitter” and “She’s the mom,” and so on and so forth as the barely-sketched and paper-thin characters shuffle listlessly past one another.) It’s as if they were trying to make Magnolia with three times the star power but 1/100th of the brain power. Or, better yet, trying to Americanize Love Actually, but at the expense of making it—unbelievably—even more ridiculous and absurd, with characters that are even less nuanced. (Actually, on second thought, calling these characters paper-thin implies that they have some shape. In actuality, they’re more like pipe cleaners; they only approach two-dimensionality because this plot and this movie bend them every which way and then project their images onto a flat screen.)
In some ways, this is what we, as a nation, deserve. There’s so little on which we can agree that many spheres of human activity are practically off-limits for anyone trying to make mass-market entertainment. (For a few brief months after 9/11, we were in agreement on the whole War-on-Terror thing, but the Bush Administration’s general idiocy and incompetence pissed that away; for a few months in 2008—basically from the first moment Sarah Palin opened her mouth onward—a lot of us agreed about the whole Obama thing, but that consensus is falling apart, too.) Even earning money seems a little passe these days, what with the mortgage meltdown and all. So politics and war are pretty much untouchable (aside from movies like The Hurt Locker that depoliticize the political), and we’ve woken up from the American Dream, so all we really have as a source of national identity is this overblown notion of the importance of romantic love.
Still, do the characters in this movie pursue that in a reasonable way? No. They chase after it like cracked-out Black Friday shoppers elbowing each other to grab the last PS3 at Target. They do ridiculous things like flying to San Francisco to pursue one romance and then, when the target is found to be a cheating scumbag, flying back, pretending to be a waitress to publicly humiliate him in front of his wife, and then ending up in the arms of a best friend who had THAT VERY SAME DAY proposed to a long-term girlfriend who had subsequently rejected him. That may seem like a lot of plot to give away in a review, but it isn’t, really; this movie telegraphs more punches than Samuel Morse doing a play-by-play of a Jack Dempsey fight. (Author’s aside: I like that sentence so much I’m not even going to do a cursory Wikipedia search to find out if it’s historically plausible.)
At any rate, I—a moviegoer who normally respects the sanctity of the theater—found myself shouting at the screen here and there, as if trying to yell back in time and alert the “screenwriters” to their own absurdity; my date, who professed to love rom-coms, charitably rated it a 5 out of 10; and someone in the seat behind me fell asleep and actually snored through much of the latter half of the film—an action which would have ruined many other movies, but could not possibly degrade this piece of eye candy corn any more than it had already degraded itself.

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February 17, 2010
Great review!! Now I HAVE to go see this movie. ha ha ha
February 17, 2010
Bahahahaha, I love your cynicism in this review!  Letting it all out, in a constructive way.  This sounds like something that I might actually like though, considering my affinity for Chick Flicks ;P

By the way, how's eHarmony going for you?  I don't know if you've read @dalydose's review of it, but he's got me super interested in other people's experiences with it!
February 18, 2010
Hahaha. Thanks! eHarmony's OK, but I do find I often have a lot in common with people but then have little chemistry with them. It's been fun, but I might try some of the meet-real-live-people stuff again for a bit...
February 24, 2010
Hey...love the plug @devora! :) I would also be interested in @Alfonso_Manione's take on eHarmony, especially after THIS rant. I'm about to post something I wrote on this topic and I didn't hate it as much, but I found it a little bland. I *loved* how they used Los Angeles w/out using the same old cliche' locations.
More Valentine's Day (movie) reviews
review by . July 11, 2010
Leave it to Valentine's Day to get a movie filled with so many famous actors and actresses. The script is simple enough; numerous angelenos undergo a wide variety of experiences on the day of love, many of them tragic and revealing, some of them fulfilling, and all tangled together in ways unknown to the characters. Written as romance comedy, the movie is actually an interesting study of love and friendship, and what happens when people find out about things they were not meant to know. At first …
review by . June 18, 2010
This was a pretty good movie. I liked how the lives of the characters were woven together. I just wish it was a bit funnier.
review by . June 12, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
This movie is as advertised - a cute date movie, nothing more, nothing less. The acting, plots, and everything about the movie are shallow and mushy. That being said, it does work as something to watch with your significant other when you just want to feel good about your relationship. Recommended for that purpose alone - otherwise, this isn't anything special.
review by . April 12, 2010
"Valentine's Day"    Care for Diabetes with the Movie?    Amos Lassen    I do not know why anyone would want to see a movie that you know is going to be sweet to the point of syrup overload. I had a strong feeling that this was not going to be a good movie before I saw it but I watched it anyway. It seems as if half of Hollywood is in it but it still doesn't work. With all of the talent in the film, this should be a blockbuster but instead …
review by . February 24, 2010
Note: This is an experimental review that will intertwine the movie, the holiday and my own love life.  Let's just hope it makes sense.  Here goes...   ------------------------------------------------------------------      My review about Valentine’s Day, much like my paying of bills recently:  late but not forgotten.  I was on empty and had nothing to give, though my intent was always there.            …
review by . March 03, 2010
Gary Marshall's "Valentine's Day" is a romantic comedy with Attention Deficit Disorder, constantly shifting back and forth between stories, never staying on any one long enough for something meaningful to sink in. Just when we reach a genuinely charming moment, we cut to another subplot and find ourselves having to invest all over again before yet another cut to a different subplot, and it keeps going like this for just under two hours. It doesn't help that the film is essentially a showcase of …
About the reviewer

Ranked #241
Alfonso Mangione has a Clark Kent job that involves managing data for a small telecommunications company.At night, he's been spottedswooping through the blogosphere at www.alfonsomangione.blogspot.com. … more
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About this movie


Valentine's Day is a 2010  American romantic comedy film directed by Garry Marshall. The screenplay was written by Katherine Fugate.  Starring Jessica Alba, Kathy Bates, Jessica Biel. Intertwining couples and singles in Los Angeles break-up and make-up based on the pressures and expectations of Valentine's Day.
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Director: Garry Marshall
Genre: Comedy
DVD Release Date: May 18, 2010
Runtime: 125 minutes
Studio: New Line Cinema
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"Eye Candy Corn"
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