Love is an intangible enigma; to capture the essence of such a phenomenon is next to impossible because it means something different to everyone. As Shakespeare once wrote, “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy”. To capture the essence of Valentine’s Day, you’ll need a shovel and a strong stomach to get to the bottom of this shit heap without vomiting. I avoid large ensemble movies for a reason. Not unlike too many cooks in the kitchen or cocks in the bedroom, I find that the result is generally more enjoyable with less to focus on.
Be grateful for this picture. You don’t want to know what happens when you google ‘too many cocks’.
Valentine’s Day follows an ensemble cast throughout the most “romantic” day of the year, interweaving storylines and relationships over the course of the film.
This movie has so much going on at any given time you’d need to be schizophrenic to follow it all. Valentine’s Day is built around a series of moments and the events that transpire to get us to those moments. A few of these wooden vignettes are mildly amusing and one or two may actually be genuinely touching. If you get all hot and bothered by sappy romantic gestures, declarations of undying devotion, and the intoxicating scent of true luuurrrve, then Valentine’s Day is the movie for you. This film is basically a cheap knockoff of Love, Actually. An emotionally constipated robot (yours truly) would ugly cry during Love, Actually. The best thing that I can say about Valentine’s Day is I think it gave me a slight case of gas.
Slap a nipple on this bitch and prepare to nurse, because Valentine’s Day is formulaic in the extreme. We have, at last count, no less than twenty-one big names attached to this film. There was enough star power fueling this behemoth to make five feature films without breaking a sweat. Instead this movie is jam-packed with a veritable “Where’s Waldo” of celebrities, each with their own part to play in this cinematic shart. There’s The Guy Who Thinks His Girl Loves Him (But She Doesn’t), The Girl Who Thinks He Loves Her (But He’s Married), The Best Friends Who Don’t Realize That They’re Actually Head Over Heels For Each Other, The Precocious Kid’s First Love, The Guy Who Screws Up A Good Thing Because Of A Trivial Misunderstanding, and to round it out, The Meet-Cute On A Plane With A Twist. If Valentine’s Day were any more paint-by-numbers, it would fucking star Bob Ross.
Rest in peace, my gangster.
Valentine’s Day is like that chiseled Adonis you pick up at the bar, take home, strip down, and then stop dead at the sight of his eensy, weensy, teeny, weeny… character development. I bought this movie for five dollars, and I’d have been better off giving Up a booty call. That film features romance at it’s finest and does more with five minutes than Valentine’s Day accomplishes in a hundred and thirty. This film was so busy juggling a million story arcs and plot points that it barely had time to flash a famous face at us before moving on to the next scene. I’ve watched movies with predictable characters pull that shit off due to stellar scripts, actors with depth, and dead-on direction. But if wishes were horses then beggars would ride (and this hobo barely limped along).
Ten minutes into this movie I wanted to cooter-punch Taylor Swift. That feeling never went away. Considering the number of actors cast in Valentine’s Day, they literally could have slotted in a half-dead ficus that would’ve emoted with more authenticity than Swift. I’ll give credit where credit’s due though. In a field of beige-y bland vanilla romance, Swift stood out (in the worst way). She drilled home an overblown, wildly exaggerated caricature of teenagers that makes me hope natural selection snatches her ass out the acting gene pool.
Valentine’s Day lacked fire, dramatic tension or anything resembling pathos. Even the lead storyline revolving around Ashton Kutcher getting his heart stomped on failed to impress. At the emotional nadir of the film when Kutcher gets his ass dumped, he doesn’t really look devastated; he mostly looks constipated. Johnny Cash sang that love was a burning thing, but Valentine’s Day fizzles out long before there was ever a hint of flame.
Valentine’s Day is the date movie from hell. If you’re trying to piss your other half off, dump them, or otherwise torture and abuse them, by all means make them watch this cinematic circle jerk with you. Other than that, I recommend giving Valentine’s Day about as wide a berth as you would that girl with the eternally oozy cold sore.
Take a Drink: anytime someone says “Valentine’s Day”, “Love”, or “Like”.
Take a Drink: every time you hear poems, verse, quotes, or clichés about love.
Do a Shot: whenever Emma Roberts blurts out she was supposed to have sex today.
Take a Drink: for every cast member from The Princess Diaries you spot.
Take a Drink: whenever you hear Taylor Swift on the soundtrack. Bonus Shot: If she’s onscreen at the same time.
Take a Drink: for each scene that has flowers in it.
Take a Drink: anytime you hear a cliché about love that turns out to be sage advice indirectly affecting another storyline.
Shotgun a Beer: if you catch the Pretty Woman reference. Hint: It’s somewhere in the outtakes.