Love Actually 2… I mean, Valentine’s Day… gee, slip of the tongue. But seriously folks, this movie was like a bad sequel to Love Actually. Or a movie that was trying desperately to be what Love Actually was. The two movies are very much the same in the sense that they both follow the many stories of the star-studded cast. Everyone is falling into and out of love.
The difference between the two is that in Love Actually, the audience is given a chance to see the back story on the characters. We get to know them — and for the most part — love them. In Valentine’s Day, there are so many people crammed into this film that we barely learn their names before someone else is introduced.
Let’s get this out of the way… I am drawing in a deep breath… here is the list of characters for you: Jessica Alba as Morley Clarkson, Jessica Biel as Kara Monahan, Bradley Cooper as Holden Wilson, Eric Dane as Sean Jackson, Patrick Dempsey as Dr. Harrison Copeland, Hector Elizondo as Edgar, Jamie Foxx as Kelvin Moore, Jennifer Garner as Julia Fitzpatrick, Topher Grace as Jason, Anne Hathaway as Liz…
Carter Jenkins as Alex, Ashton Kutcher as Reed Bennet, Queen Latifah as Paula Thomas, Taylor Lautner as Willy, George Lopez as Alphonso, Shirley MacLaine as Estelle, Emma Roberts as Grace, Julia Roberts as Captain Kate Hazeltine, Taylor Swift as Felicia… enough!
Sheesh! Was it necessary to enlist the majority of the so-so actors in Hollywood? Throw in a couple of really big names and some eye candy for the boys and girls and you’ve got a hit, right? Wrong! Wrong. A thousand times wrong.
I find it completely unnecessary to delve deeply into the plot of this movie because, well, the “plot” was a rampageous mess. Most of the scenes are cut before they feel like they are finished. It would appear, most of the time, that a character in a given scene is just about to say something when we’re snapped to another scene with another mismatched pair.
Beware, below there are exorbitantly predictable spoilers. Dun dun dun…
Dr. Harrison Copeland (Dempsey) plays a two-timer who is messing around with Julia (Garner) but happens to be married. He leaves Julia to go do heart surgery on Valentine’s Day but actually goes to his palatial home where he greets his kid and wife. As he begins juggling for the youngin’ his wife says, and I quote: “Doesn’t daddy juggle well?” Barf. Later in the film, after Julia discovers the truth, she beats the candy out of heart-shaped pinata and then sits down huffing and puffing and says “Now that’s open heart surgery.” har har har.
Reed (Kutcher) proposes to his girlfriend, Morley (Alba) Valentine’s Day morn, and is dumped by his new fiance the same day. Kara (Biel) is planning her annual Valentine’s Day haters party. Taylor Swift shouldn’t quit her day job. Taylor Lautner shouldn’t open his mouth…
… Sorry, I fell out of my chair and knocked myself unconscious on the boring plot that is still lingering in the room.
Readers, please… if you take only one piece of advice from me, let it be this: skip this movie. Skip it. Leap over it with all of your might. When you hit the ground on the other side, run as fast as you can.
To be fair, there is one endearing moment in this hodge podge of plot that juts out every which way. The cute young boy in the movie who can’t help but be in love (did someone say Love Actually?) is in bed at the end of the film. After a 14-hour flight, his mother who has been away in the service, Captain Kate Hazeltine (Roberts), comes in. They share a warm embrace and this is the only one moment when I am actually feeling touched.What can I say? I’m a sucker for kids.
I am most thankful for the fact that Valentine’s Day was only 125 minutes long. Had it been 126 minutes long, I would write off romcoms from here to eternity. From Here to Eternity… now that’s a good movie.