Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day


To a lesser extent, Valentine's Day the movie does to Valentine's Day the event what Love Actually does to Christmas Day. The two have the same premise, cashing in on the holiday by offering a star-studded movie. But there lies the problem: a film with a big cast usually suffers some backlash if the subplots are not interwoven smoothly. Love Actually does this better and even manages to preserve the spirit of the event it is celebrating which is Christmas. Valentine's Day is a little bit all over the place.

Having too many characters leaves little space for developmen, considering the limited time there is for them to evolve within a two-hour movie. Because of this, you are left to pick out favorites, hoping that some of the less crucial characters just got cut to give way for the more interesting ones. The roles portrayed by Taylor Swift and Anne Hathaway come to mind. You want to see more of them because they seem pretty interesting but then they just disappear and reappear without warning.

On the contrary, the loose connection among the characters seems to have helped in tossing in a few surprises along the way. There are at least two twists that you would not see coming because the plot development leads you somewhere else.

A lot of the roles here are small and could have just been considered as cameo appearances. Kathy Bates has the shortest with just two scenes. The two Taylors quickly disappear into the background but that particular scene in the track oval is probably the funniest. Who knew Taylor Swift could be capable of something that does not equate to boredom. The ones with the greater participation are Ashton Kutcher and Jennifer Garner. They are the real lead characters here. Even Jessica Alba is just an extra and only has four scenes, more or less.

Julia Roberts has one of the shortest exposure; 90% of her scenes are in the airplane. Her story seems to be the most touching, however. It is not that difficult to guess who her Valentine's Date is. You just have to pay attention and you will get it halfway through the movie. It is the most memorable because it is one of the most common love relationships but often taken for granted.

Despite all this, the movie is still worth the admission price. It is a feel-good Valentine's flick. Even if you are dateless, the character of Jessica Biel is there for you to relate to... or maybe just for an hour or so. Give in to the Valentine's spirit. A little star-studded Valentine's flick would not hurt.

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