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Entries in Valentine's Day [2010] (1)

Monday
Feb152010

Valentine's Day (2010)

No, I Won't Be Yours

Because Garry Marshall’s new movie Valentine’s Day made no effort to engage my mind or emotions, I present to you the thoughts that occurred to me while watching it (in no particular order).

Taylor Swift was pretty funny on Saturday Night Live a few months ago. What the Hell happened?

Did Garry Marshall throw the smart audience members a bone with his weird Six Degrees of Cast Separation game? Let’s play along:

Jamie Foxx and Jessica Biel also starred in Stealth.
Eric Dane and Patrick Dempsey also starred in Grey’s Anadomy.
Topher Grace and Ashton Kutcher also starred in That 70’s Show.

I’m really tired of this Hollywood bone chic. Half the women in Valentine's Day look like they do nothing but work out and nibble soy sausage, and it’s not attractive. Jessica Alba looks like a straight-up man, and I’m surprised her razor-sharp cheekbones didn’t hospitalize Ashton Kutcher during their on-screen kiss. And who thought it was a good idea to put Jessica Biel in a sleeveless dress? Jesus, I think she actually bench-pressed away her femininity. The only real woman under forty in this movie is Anne Hathaway. The rest are trying to appeal to some disgusting Maxim ideal of toned, hot, and vacant.

In the Movies in the Cemetery scene, Shirley MacLaine’s character shows up to win back her husband, played by Hector Elizondo. She plays an actress in the film, and when we see her standing against a large screen that’s projecting one of MacLaine’s very early roles, the moron behind me in the theatre kept saying to his wife/girlfriend/V-Day-hookup, “That’s really her!” “No, seriously, that’s really her! On the screen! That’s really her!”

In the same scene, Shirley MacLaine’s character yells at her husband—to whom she recently confessed that she’d had an affair—and informs him that he’s going to forgive her because that’s what people who are in love do. He then forgives her and they kiss. I didn’t realize relationships worked that way. So, guess what, kids: it’s now officially okay to cheat on your spouse, gamble away your life savings at the track, and even run over your pesky in-laws on Thanksgiving—because your spouse will instantly forgive you! That’s what people who are in love do.

Does the U.S. Army really allow their captains to fly 28 hours round-trip to see their loved ones on Valentine’s Day? Or is this just a bullshit conceit of the movie? If it’s true, I’m not sure how I feel about that. On the one hand, it’s touching; on the other hand, I hate to say that it sounds like a tremendous waste of taxpayers’ dollars. I mean, why let them come home for a day, especially if, like the character in this movie, they’ve been away from home for eleven months? Isn’t that kind of traumatizing for the soldier and the family?

At what point will Hollywood stop infusing every light, romantic comedy with the most offensive ethnic and cultural stereotypes? The flaming gay florist; the wisecracking Latino who talks about “immigrant intuition”; the really happy, unaware Asian who doesn’t speak English; all of these and more can be found in Valentine’s Day. Well, I guess we won’t be rid of them until people—like the ladies sitting next to me—no longer slap their knees and laugh so hard they need to catch their breath.

Valentine’s Day was the third movie I’d seen in a theatre in twenty-one hours, and it was easily the worst (keep in mind, the first of the three was The Room).

Are there people out there who can’t figure out how each of the intersecting storylines will be resolved the second the actors in them appear on screen? I guess so, ‘cause there were several gasps later on in the movie.

At the end of the film, two men are reunited after one of them returns from a long business trip. By the way they talk and look at each other, it’s easy to tell that they’ve been in love for a very long time. This tender moment was ruined for me by the ignorant squawk-box in the seat behind me squealing, “Eeew! Don’t kiss! Don’t kiss! Don’t kiss!” Fortunately for her, and for all the other scared heteroes out there, they didn’t kiss. This is a mass-appeal movie about Valentine’s Day, after all, and we don’t need the patrons thinking too hard about double standards and second-class citizenship.

I’m going to sue Fandango. The run-time, according to their Web site, lists Valentine’s Day at one hour and thirty-one minutes. Our movie started at 5pm and we didn’t get out until almost 7:15.

The new Taylor Swift single is pretty good. I wonder if it’s on iTunes yet? And would I have to buy the rest of this shitty soundtrack album?