B-movie mogul Roger Corman once observed that any movie could be improved by editing out 15 minutes and inserting a shot of an exploding helicopter. “Valentine’s Day” would need to 115 minutes exorcised and the crash of the Hindenburg added.
Directed by Garry Marhsall (“Georgia Rule“), the film follows a group of typical Los Angelinos “ you know, middle-class, drug-free, nonsmoking typical Californians who look like Jessica Alba, Patrick Dempsey, Anne Hathaway, Ashton Kutcher, etc. “ as the courses of their true loves intertwine through 24 hours.
It’s all typical TV movie claptrap: Ashton loves Jessica, who thinks she loves him but dumps him anyway, while his best friend, Jennifer (Garner) loves Patrick, who is a heel with a wife and two kids, and when she finds out she realizes that she’s really been in love with Ashton all along.
Try sitting through six of these mush-a-thons all running at the same time. Better yet, don’t.
Also starring a dozen or so other big names and a handful of little ones, this “Valentine’s Day” is a total waste of time. We never get to know any of the characters and if we feel any compassion for them it’s only because of the particular actor in the role. The exceptions are pop-music starlet Taylor Swift as an airhead high schooler, in her feature-film debut, and journeyman Matthew Walker (“Stargate: The Ark of Truth“), who provides some much-needed cynicism.
If you prefer sex to romance, see this movie. Afterward, you’ll feel like you just got screwed out of $10.“Doug Bentin