Thursday, February 18, 2010

Valentine's Day * *

Starring Julia Roberts, Ashton Kutcher, Taylor Swift, Taylor Lautner, Shirley MacLaine, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Biel, Jennifer Garner, Patrick Dempsey, Jessica Alba, Queen Latifah, Bradley Cooper, Emma Roberts, Jamie Foxx

Rated PG-13

Directed By Gary Marshall

Written by Katherine Fugate

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For a film that will attract audiences solely with its A-list cast, “Valentine’s Day” delivers easy-to-follow plotlines and even a few twists at the end. The remainder is fairly predictable and sweet, but without much depth.

The cast includes everyone from Shirley MacLaine to McDreamy to Julia Roberts to Taylor Lautner, and that may be where “Valentine’s Day” hits the jackpot: with stars of all ages. Audiences young and old can find a plotline to relate to, as well as some silly and wacky ones to make them laugh.

The best storylines involve demure Julia Roberts and beguiling Bradley Cooper, plane passengers each heading for someone special. The younger actors, Emma Roberts, Taylor Swift and Taylor Lautner, as well as Carter Jenkins, play two high school couples whose Valentine’s Day mishaps and banter provide for the funniest scenes. Ashton Kutcher is quite believable as an endearing, sometimes sickeningly romantic florist shop owner.

Director Gary Marshall is no rookie to the genre of feel-good romantic comedies. He also directed films such as “Pretty Woman,” “The Princess Diaries,” and “The Other Sister.” While the film has a happy ending,it doesn’t leave the audience with any great revelations or Valentine’s Day quandaries. Almost every character finds love, except for two. Neither seem incredibly happy. Where are the single girls and guys living it up and content with being alone on Valentine’s Day?

“Valentine’s Day” is like a box of chocolates, pretty to look at, delicious at first bite (and second and third), but what’s left behind is a belly-ache and an unsatisfied feeling that's hard to place.

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