By Sandra Kraisirideja
“Valentine’s Day” is like a piece of candy: not too sweet, very satisfying and without a trace of bitterness. Women will love it and men will cringe.
The movie doesn’t try to be more than a crowd-pleasing comedy starring familiar actors doing what they do best: looking beautiful and being charming.
Director Garry Marshall leads an all-star cast of fan favorites from both the big and small screen: Jessica Alba, Kathy Bates, Jessica Biel, Bradley Cooper, Eric Dane, Patrick Dempsey, Hector Elizondo, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, Topher Grace, Anne Hathaway, Ashton Kutcher, Queen Latifah, Taylor Lautner, George Lopez, Shirley MacLaine, Emma Roberts, Julia Roberts, and Taylor Swift.
The movie takes place in Los Angeles on Feb. 14 and follows different groups of people, who are all somehow connected, as the day unfolds. There is plenty of eye candy for the female audience, from Dane stepping out of a shower to Lautner in a tank top and shorts as he leaps over hurdles on a high school track. The female stars are gorgeous but Marshall limits the skin exposure on them. This movie is obviously for the ladies.
It’s no surprise then that the movie was written by Katherine Fugate, a writer and executive producer on Lifetime’s “Army Wives.” Fugate had some help from Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein, who last wrote “He’s Just Not That Into You.” Valentine’s Day and everything that it means drives the movie’s plot. This doesn’t sound like much at first but people have such disparate views of the holiday and what it represents that Fugate, Kohn and Silverstein were able to find enough material for a decent script.
It’s easy to be cynical on Valentine’s Day given the tidal wave of advertising and commercialization of the holiday. Shouldn’t couples express their admiration and devotion to each other 365 days a year instead of just one? Absolutely, but the holiday lets people be romantic out in public without any fear of recourse. Romance is really what Valentine’s Day is all about and Marshall taps into that sentiment while still keeping the humor broad and the sappiness to a minimum.
“Valentine’s Day opens nationwide Feb. 12.
Poster art courtesy of Warner Bros.