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February 17, 2010 > Movie Review: Valentine's Day

Movie Review: Valentine's Day

Movie Review by Jennifer Gau

Valentine's Day is a perfect date movie. Director, Garry Marshall, gives us a glimpse into the lives of numerous relationships in the City of Los Angeles on Valentine's Day. The variety of relationships displayed in the movie span from elementary school up to retirement age.

There's a long list of popular cast members. Alphonso (George Lopez) is a co-worker, friend, and older brother figure to Reed Bennett (Ashton Kutcher). Alphonso has good advice for Reed who is in a non-mutual relationship with Morley Clarkson (Jessica Alba). Julia Fitzpatrick (Jennifer Garner) feels she's finally in love with a real man, Dr. Harrison Copeland (Patrick Dempsey), but they're not going to be together on one of the most romantic days of the year. Kara Monahan (Jessica Biel) is football player, Sean Jackson's (Eric Dane) publicist. She feels inadequate for not having a man on Valentine's Day and displays that by throwing her annual "I Hate Valentine's Day" party.

Sports reporter, Kelvin Moore (Jamie Foxx), is given the assignment to report on various Valentine's Day events throughout the city. Captain Kate Hazeltine (Julia Roberts) is on a 14-hour flight back to Los Angeles with Edison (Bradley Cooper) as her new flight companion. Felicia (Taylor Swift) and Willy (Taylor Lautner) are seniors in high school in a foolish and silly relationship that just works because it's young love. Edgar (Hector Elizondo) and Estelle (Shirley MacLaine) have been together for over fifty years, and still have things to learn about love. Jason (Topher Grace) works in the same company with Liz (Anne Hathaway) and has been dating for two weeks. Queen Latifah is Liz's humorous boss.

The actors play their roles well and convincingly. This was not a movie about character development. It's a glimpse in moments we've all experienced either personally, or helped a friend through. The film relates to different generations and touches on how love is constantly changing, yet also stays the same. Valentine's Day gives the feeling similar to watching Love, Actually (Director Richard Curtis, 2003), but the American version rather than the British version.

It could have used a better soundtrack. The many different characters and scenes cause confusion of connections it was trying to create throughout. But that is how relationships are. They can be confusing, yet bring things that make us smile - cheesy bears, cards, and songs.

Overall, Valentine's Day is a very cute movie. Even though there were a lot of familiar faces, it represents the essence of Los Angeles; or more specifically, Hollywood. There is a famous face everywhere. It may be profound for some; however, it may be predictable for others. It is easy to relate to because we've all had our own experiences with Valentine's Day, and the mixed emotions that come with the day. All the pressure, expectations, and surprises that bring us to perform random acts of kindness are the traditions that we hold year after year to express to those that we care about how much they have affected our lives.

Runtime: 1 hour 57 minutes
Rated: PG-13

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