It’s no surprise that most American’s find Valentine’s Day to be a commercialized and capitalistic holiday that caters to new relationships and has absolutely nothing to do with love. I myself haven’t received a Valentine’s Day gift or card from my significant other since the first year we started dating and I probably won’t be getting one anytime soon. So with this cynical attitude I went into the film VALENTINE’S DAY, expecting nothing more than another cheesy, formulaic romantic comedy that would do nothing but make Hollywood money this holiday weekend. Consider me shocked when I left the theater and found that the movie was charming and realistic enough for even a romantic nonbeliever like myself.
VALENTINE’S DAY follows a group of people in Los Angles who are in different stages of relationships or romantic situations. On Valentine’s Day, most of their stories intertwine with one another as they try to make it through the holiday in their own way. If this plot doesn’t make a lot of sense, think CRASH, but with a romantic comedy twist.
This film had a lot of high points, one being the star-studded cast and the other being the effortless transaction between all the characters story lines, which only a rom-com genius like Garry Marshall can pull off. No one character or narrative was rammed down the audiences throat and all the stories flowed seamlessly with no plot holes, leaving us with a nice tidy ending. It was shocking to find out that the character with the most focus was played by Ashton Kutcher, but even his part was more of a grounding effect for the whole cast. He was the center of the web that held most of the other characters together in some way or another. This is a type of situation in which Kutcher excels because the whole weight of the film doesn’t rest on his shoulders alone.
If there is one major complaint it would be the relationship story with Taylor Lautner and Taylor Swift. Most likely these characters were put in to attract a younger audience but their performances were by far the worst part of the film and didn’t add anything to the overall story. Lautner has the excuse that the part was just poorly written, but Swift has no excuse, as her acting was just bad which made the character overly-obnoxious. This whole storyline could have been better handled with seasoned actors.
I was pleasantly surprised by VALENTINE’S DAY and thought it had an overall feel good quality. For such a consumer driven holiday that does nothing but focus on monetary romantic gestures, it’s easy to become jaded and skeptic. This film touches on the commercialism of the holiday throughout the film, but eventually leads us back to the fact that love is a grand thing and if you have it in your life the world seems a little brighter. It’s easy to brush Valentine’s Day off, but setting aside one day a year to proclaim and show your love for another person isn’t so bad. So go ahead–embrace your inner cupid.