Valentine's Day - Blu-ray Review

'attacks the box office with a cast list Ocean's Fifty Three would be proud of and an intertwining narrative plucked straight from something like Crash'

In a genre which is currently so bereft of ideas it has resorted to producing mindless fluff which is neither romantic nor funny, Valentine's Day must be applauded for attacking the box office with a cast list Ocean's Fifty Three would be proud of and an intertwining narrative plucked straight from something like Crash. If nothing else, there is at least more here than the 'haven't we seen this before' conflict/resolution plot arc between Jennifer Aniston and an interchangeable male lead with a square jaw.

It helps that the power of director Garry Marshall (who proves excellent value for money on the Blu-ray extras) has managed to assemble an ultra-talented cast, not of all of whom are expected to trot out this kind of production on a regular basis. Anne Hathaway, for example, hasn't lost her significant skills overnight and is resolutely charming as the secretary/sex chat-line operative, attempting to balance her life and that of partner Jason (Topher Grace). Bradley Cooper and Julia Roberts too, aren't exactly b-roll actors but their limited narrative on a plane feels pleasingly everyday.

The problem? With these and a mountain of other couples populating Valentine's Day's world it's really difficult to give a stuff about any of them. Particularly marginalised examples - such as the 'there for the tweenies' couple of Taylor Lautner and Taylor Swift - seem to eat up screen time whilst actually doing fairly little and the nominal 'central' narrative (a love square between Ashton Kutcher, Jessica Alba, Patrick Dempsey and Jennifer Garner) features the three people (Garner is the exception) whom it is hardest to care for.

Satisfying conclusions to certain stories (Cooper's and Roberts' in particular) can't mask the unsatisfying ones (the above square) entirely and whilst the good acting prevails over the bad, the bad (George Lopez and Eric Dane in particular) is shoddy enough to leave you gasping at the amount of cheese allowed on screen. In maths terms, there's half a good film in here somewhere but Valentine's Day is also certainly not quite the sum of its parts.




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'it's cliched and not well acted [but] Valentine's Day still musters up some comedic moments (mostly from Ashton Kutcher) and keeps your attention' - Reel Talk, C

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