Sunday, February 28, 2010
20 CHARACTERS - NO SOUL
VALENTINE'S DAY (C-)
This movie was almost identical to He's Just Not That Into You, but with ten more characters to clog up the story and a different plot surrounding a Hallmark holiday. I cannot come up with a reasonable answer to how New Line Cinema paid so many stars from the prominent Hollywood crowd their movie quotas without going bankrupt. The budget must have been mostly dedicated to paying all the actors instead of actually paying a decent writer. The thing that surprises me most about this film is that so many good actors read this script, thought it was worthwhile, and signed on to be a part of this project. What were they thinking?
This movie follows far too many characters on the heart holiday with each character having their own portion of the love story. With the use of some Hollywood magic, each character is connected in some way or another. The story starts with a hiccup taking 30 minutes just to introduce the whole Valentine's Day cast. In most instances by the time a character is featured twice the audience either does not care or wants the narrative to get back to the character they connected with. There are so many characters in this movie the time lapse between their scenes is sometimes daunting.
I knew going into this movie that it was going to be the lush happy Hollywood ending (don't scowl, it's a romantic comedy called Valentine's Day, how did you think it was going to end?), but having all these related characters all ending up in an ideal Valentine's Day situation at the end was over the top. The film has what I consider vague attempts at storytelling, but then it gets tangled up in the abundance of characters causing all meaning to be lost by the wayside in favor of the pristine cheerful tale.
The movie was hardly funny, but had some chuckles mixed in. The screenplay drew the audience into some characters while leaving others stale as month old Valentine's Day flowers. Taylor times two (Lautner & Swift) come particularly to mind. Their roles in the film were minuscule and contributed literally nothing to the plot except the agony of listening to Taylor Swift talk and repeat "like" more times than The Count from Sesame Street could bear. This teen duo was not the only unnecessary high school couple in the mix wasting audience members valuable time either.
The funniest line in the movie comes from the Taylors. Swift gets Lautner a shirt for Valentine's Day and asks him to put it on. He responds, "I don't feel comfortable taking my shirt off in public." Ha! Greatest joke ever told besides the ridicule fellow cast members whisper behind Lautner's back about his mountain of acting ability.
Overall, Valentine's Day had too many characters and their stories with zero believability. It is a Hollywood rom-com, but the movie never felt like it left a cheesy skit from an unfunny version of Saturday Night Live (isn't that version of SNL currently on TV?). This movie wasn't boring through the first two acts, but as the end neared and I realized it was going to end fantastically for all parties I could not wait for my time to stop being wasted.
I was never invested in the characters so I hardly felt relief when it all worked out. This movie would have been immeasurably better had it focused on six characters and only cast Jamie Foxx, Jessica Biel, Ashton Kutcher, Jennifer Garner, Anne Hathaway, and Julia Roberts. If you do notice, I just listed three of the hottest women in Hollywood. This movie was worth seeing for me simply because of all the wonderful goddess-like women captivating my senses. Did I mention Jessica Alba, Taylor Swift, and Emma Roberts are all in this movie? That is a lot of stunning women for just one little movie...
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