Valentine's Day
I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Theatrical Release Date: 02/12/2010
Director: Garry Marshall
Cast (in alphabetical order): Jessica Alba, Kathy Bates, Jessica Biel, Bradley Cooper, Eric Dane, Patrick Dempsey, Hector Elizondo, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, Topher Grace, Anne Hathaway, Carter Jenkins, Ashton Kutcher, Queen Latifah, Taylor Lautner, George Lopez, Shirley MacLaine, Emma Roberts, Julia Roberts, Bryce Robinson, Taylor Swift

If you didn’t see the SAG Awards last month, all you have to do is see “Valentine’s Day” because it seems like 95% of today’s working actors were in the film; whether it’s McSteamy or McDreamy, a “Stealth” reunion, or a fully clothed (sorry, girls) boy werewolf, they’re all here. Of course, going out to see this (with, or especially without, a date) is not what I would recommend because the film is a complete and utter waste of time … over 2 hours of your time no less.

The basic premise here, that writer Katherine Fugate and director Garry Marshall can be blamed for, is a massive cast of characters all looking to spend Valentine’s Day with their established loved ones or find new loved ones to spend it with. There’s seemingly 47 different relationships going on here, so you’re bound to find one that you can relate to, whether you’re single, engaged or married. They’ve covered pretty much all the bases, even running the gamut from young to old. There’s an attempt to focus on Ashton Kutcher and Jennifer Garner but their lack of chemistry (and more so for Kutcher, acting skills) allow many of the sub plots to creep up and make that element less significant.

And from an acting perspective, like it’s script and direction, things are all over the map. You’ve got a few decent performances, either due to talent or brevity of time on screen to mess things up and then you’ve got a handful of terrible performances that one might expect on a bad SNL skit. Also, be forewarned that if you’re not into the whole “Twilight” phenomena and there are tweens or soccer moms in the audience, the screaming you hear when Taylor Lautner is on screen is something you can’t stop no matter how much you’d like it to be.

The film moves from one saccharine moment to the next, making sure to keep itself as light and fluffy as possible, no matter how unrealistic that may be. We’re also led to believe that Julia Roberts is a Captain in the military … I know this is fiction and essentially all lies but this lie felt like they were twisting the knife. Leaving the theater, I was wondering if I could get a blood transfusion to remove all that extra sugar from my veins. And for those of you who are thinking, “Hey, you’re just a curmudgeon who hates rom coms” – keep in mind I liked “Dear John” as well as a slew of other films in the genre … I just like them more when they’re actually good.

I’m not even fully getting into my issues about the way everyone in the film is linked together because it’s cuter and neater that way, not because it makes any sense – or getting up on my high horse about showing a gay couple and never letting them kiss (which leads me to believe it was done so in order to pander to the widest demographic rather than let the art speak for itself). Hell, this made “He’s Just Not That Into You” almost palatable and I wouldn’t watch that film again if it was the only thing on TV, my PS3 was broken, all of my books were burned in a fire, my cell phone battery was dead and I’d lost the ability to sleep.

I feel like I’m being somewhat generous by giving this film a 1 out of 5 and it’s only because I genuinely like a large segment of the actors that I do so. The film makes romantic comedies look bad, treats the audience like they’re idiots and is basically a diabetic nightmare on celluloid. Those in the throes of love might come out smiling (if they turn off their brain and because love makes the world brighter) but for the rest of the world, do yourself a favor and stay home for “Valentine’s Day”. Try learning to whittle or knit, at least something positive might come out of that effort and you can feel proud of yourself the next morning.