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20 February 2010
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  • Valentine's Day Film Review

Valentine's Day (12A)

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Review byMatthew Turner15/02/2010

One out of Five stars
Running time: 125 mins

Disappointing romcom that falls painfully flat, thanks to a badly written script, poor direction, boring characters, cliched storylines and a shocking lack of laughs.

What's it all about?
Directed by Garry Marshall, Valentine's Day follows the lives of several intertwining couples and singles over the course of the titular day in Los Angeles. Ashton Kutcher plays Reed, a florist who's overjoyed when his girlfriend Morley (Jessica Alba) accepts his early morning proposal, only to be utterly crushed when she dumps him a few hours later. Meanwhile, Reed's best friend Julia (Jennifer Garner) is smitten with her doctor boyfriend Harrison (Patrick Dempsey), who, in turn, hasn't told her that he's married.

Elsewhere, Julia's terminally single friend Kara (Jessica Biel) meets sports reporter and fellow Valentine's Day cynic Kelvin (Jamie Foxx) while he's covering a story on one of her clients (Eric Dane); office worker Liz (Anne Hathaway) tries to hide her side job as a phone sex worker from both her new boyfriend Jason (Topher Grace) and her boss (Queen Latifah); high school student Grace (Emma Roberts) attempts to lose her virginity with her boyfriend Alex (Carter Jenkins); precocious pre-schooler Edison (Bryce Robinson) tries to get flowers delivered to his Valentine; his grandfather (Hector Elizondo) is shocked by a confession from his wife (Shirley MacLaine); army captain Kate (Julia Roberts) strikes up a relationship with a fellow passenger (Bradley Cooper) on an aeroplane; and goofy high school couple Felicia (Taylor Swift) and Willy (Taylor Lautner) just enjoy spending the day together.

The Bad
As the star-packed cast suggests, Valentine's Day is a blatant attempt at an American version of Love, Actually. However, as manipulative and cliched as Love, Actually is, at least it has a few laughs and some appealing characters. By contrast, the characters here are horrifically dull and none of the gags work at all (Biel's attempts at physical comedy are particularly awful).

The Worst
Ironically, the most appealing characters are the ones with the least plot – Lautner and Swift have a goofy chemistry together that works well, so it's a shame they have so little screen time. Hathaway and Grace are good too but the horribly cliched script completely side-lines Alba, while Biel and Foxx have so little chemistry together that their story is actually painful to watch.

Worth seeing?
In short, Valentine's Day fails to deliver as both romance and comedy and should be avoided at all costs.
Valentine's Day London Premiere

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Valentine's Day (12A)
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Film Trailers

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