Updated: Monday, 15 Feb 2010, 12:36 PM EST
Published : Monday, 15 Feb 2010, 6:59 AM EST
By FOX43tv.com's Film Reviewer, Stephanie Cooke
The holiday of Valentine's Day doesn't really count as a holiday, but most people think of it as a good enough day to count as a quasi-holiday and they put up with it. the same could be said of Valentine's Day the movie. it doesn't really count as a movie, but you can consider it good enough and put up with it. It's certainly not a movie you'll remember for the art of it, but rather a movie you'll recall as fun enough.
Gary Marshall assembled an all-star cast of 18 stars whose on-screen storylines twist and turn and intermingle over the course of the 24 hours that make up Valentine's Day in Los Angeles. The key story line (if there is one) belongs to Ashton Kutcher as a flower shop owner who chose Valentine's Day to propose to co-star Jessica Biel who promptly agrees and then renigs on marriage. Kutcher's best friend is played by Jennifer Garner who is madly in love with a doctor (Patrick Dempsey), whom we soon learn is married, although her character has no idea. Shirley McLaine and Hector Elizondo play the older married and in love characters whose grandson has a crush on his fifth grade teacher (Jennifer Garner).
Then there's Topher Grace and Anne Hathaway as the couple who are in love but she's keeping a secret -- she is a phone sex operator. And you also have the acting debut of Taylor Swift as the high schooler first love character who adores Taylor Lautner's character. Julia Roberts and Bradley Cooper's characters are on a plane headed for L.A. and the flirting begins.
There are a few other stars whose characters drift along trying to tie it all together: Kathy Bates is a news producer who makes her sports reporter (Jamie Foxx) go out in search of a V-Day story. Jamie Foxx's character is determined to get the sports story of the day: washed up sports star's (Eric Dane) next move. Queen Latifah is the sports star's agent. George Lopez works for Kutcher and kind of plays his sidekick.
Not everyone ends up with who you think they will end up with from the start, but, isn't that the way love goes? The plot does wander and the performances are not all there. Wait, who am I kidding? I can't think of a performance that really was all there. I said at the beginning that this is not a movie overflowing with the art of movie making. There are some laugh-out-loud funny moments, but it's ultimately hokey and mushy and campy and cheesy. However it does remind us that there are many and varied kinds of love in the world, and that, sometimes, the love we are looking for is right in front of us or worth traveling around the world for.
It also teaches us that Taylor Swift cannot act. Something I wish Gary Marshall had learned from her stint on Saturday Night Live. But Eric Dance does take his shirt off and run on the beach. And let me tell you, aside from a tender moment Julia Roberts has at the end, those shirtless Eric Dane 7 seconds are the best 7 seconds in the movie for me.