The most dangerous thing about making a movie like "Valentine’s Day" is the cast. Ensembles are a tricky thing and that amount of star power in one film can prove disastrous if not handled properly (see: 2006’s "Bobby"). It can be done though, as proven by last year’s mega-hit "He’s Just Not That Into You". Luckily "Valentine’s Day", despite being filled to the brim with Hollywood A-listers, avoided egos and overcrowding. Everyone put forth a good performance, seemingly aware that they were a part of a bigger picture rather than trying to stand out for themselves. From the hysterically awkward (Topher Grace and Anne Hathaway, Taylor Swift and Taylor Lautner) to the heartbreaking (Shirley Maclaine and Hector Elizondo, Jennifer Garner and Patrick Dempsey) "Valentine’s Day" wields its all-star cast impeccably. Garry Marshall, director of "Pretty Woman" and "The Princess Diaries" series executed exactly what the trailers have been calling "Valentine’s Day" — the perfect date movie.
The second second most dangerous thing is providing a feasible plot. Am I really to believe that all of these people end up with a happy ending just because Hallmark overpriced their chocolate that day? Does someone actually think that I am going to buy Jessica Biel and Jessica Alba being alone on such an occasion? While Biel does play the stereotypical single, bitter "I hate V-day with a burning passion" workaholic, all other skepticisms were canceled with an unexpected dose of realism (not to say that no clich©s or cheesy gestures occurred, it is a romantic comedy after all). It was nice to see that a movie marketed as the ultimate ode to love didn’t try to market the emotion itself as perfect. Hearts were broken and not purely to realize that there were better pairings, but to show that sometimes love actually sucks and it can’t always conquer all — sometimes it takes a little of your own effort as well.
Starring:Basically all of Hollywood and Taylor Swift
(spoilers ahead, so stop reading if spoilers get you all bent out of shape!)
Case in point: When 18-year-old Grace (Emma Roberts) decides to lose her virginity to her high school boyfriend on Valentine’s Day, she is expecting the act to create a magical, almost spiritual, connection between the two to keep them together when they separate for college. What ensues is possibly the most humorous scene in the entire film and more accurately reflects the most common real life experience — the first time is more awkward than magical 99.9 percent of the time and no amount of planning is going to alleviate that. It would have been easier, and certainly more romantic, to give the young sweethearts a flawless, clich© union, but instead Grace develops a more realistic insight about the situation, which if all teens possessed, we might not have season two of "16 and Pregnant".
Grace and her boyfriend are amongst a series of couples and singles in Los Angeles that "Valentine’s Day" follows on the most romantic day of the year, each intricately threaded to each other via plotted social or occupational relationships. That kind of threading is vital in films of this nature so to give the plot some continuity rather than being jerked around between unrelated vignettes.
Trailers have been advertising Julia Roberts as the flagship storyline of the movie, but actually she’s just the most famous name. Punk’d creator/heartthrob Ashton Kutcher is actually the central line of the movie, playing Reed Bennett, a heart-prominently-on-sleeve florist. Kutcher and the workers in his shop serve as the springboard for the rest of the romantic tales and woes of the film. Most notably of the woes is 7-year-old Edison who desperately needs to tell his mystery valentine he loves her with only thirteen dollars to his name. Edison just goes to show that love can’t survive without perseverance, and that little kid romances will never fail to be absolutely adorable and completely endearing. The incurable romantic outlook works well for Kutcher while giving him the tools to act as glue for the plot’s interweaving storylines.
"Valentine’s Day" is a story about love, in all forms, shapes and sizes. There’s laughter, moments to get choked up over, unexpected twists, good guys and bad guys. With a killer cast and a creative, well organized script, "Valentine’s Day" is set to become this year’s ultimate romantic comedy — and what would go better with your overpriced chocolate this weekend?