Liv Hambrett

Germany + Australia + Culture + Motherhood + Home


Film Rant: Valentine’s Day

I’m trying to muster up the energy to review this film. It’s everything the cynics thought it would be and more. In fact, it’s dreadful. It’s long, convoluted and incoherent with more plot flaws and holes than I could keep track of. In fact I gave up keeping track at about the same time I gave up concentrating and began thinking of design ideas for Trespass. Valentine’s Day is cliché to the nth degree, which is fine (there is no such thing as a Rom-Com without at least one cliché; formula defines the genre) if there is a touch of self-reflexivity about it, but there was none. The cast is utterly charmless (minus Julia Roberts, Bradley Cooper and an occasional gleam from Ashton Kutcher, Anne Hathaway and Topher Grace … I know that’s five actors, but in a cast of thousands, it’s a drop in the ocean of charm) and this is largely because they were given nothing to work with – although, in the case of Jessica Alba, Emma Roberts and the irritatingly little precocious child who fills the Adorable-Smart-Child-In-Love role, it’s largely because they can’t act.

The ‘funny’ moments are boring/overplayed with the nadir being reached towards the end at Jessica Biel’s character’s I Hate Valentine’s Day party – which involves the requisite spurned women and gay man lamenting their double crossing dates and lonely hearts. There’s even a drunken I Will Survive karaoke rendition at an Indian restaurant. It’s hideous. That’s not the only mortifying scene – there’s plenty of cutsie moments with the kid who has fallen in love with someone in his classroom and is trying to let her know (apparently children can bicycle anywhere in LA – it’s totally safe, their babysitter will eventually find them in her beaten up Volkswagen, and they’ll have a cute little heart to heart about love). There’s also a harrowingly boring/unnecessary/ unfunny scene where Emma Roberts’s character tells the Grandparents of the child she babysits that she plans on having sex with plenty of men over the course of her natural life. Oh and let it be said – Queen Latifah’s character is completely unnecessary. In general.

And who, may I ask, thought it was a good idea/possible/believable/okay to have the main character propose to his long term girlfriend at breakfast, be rejected by lunch time and fall in love with his best friend (who was in love with an adulterer up until, oh, about two hours ago) by sun down? Even by romantic-comedy standards, that’s stretching the audience friendship. You’re asking them to suspend enough belief as it is.

I’m getting angry writing about this film, so I’m going to leave the real reviewing to Jess Paine on Trespass (because God knows this isn’t a review so much as a rant) – keep your eyes peeled for it on the 13th. But I will leave you with this … for God’s sake I wish writers would stop having their female characters overeat/gorge/binge when they’re depressed and then talk with their mouths full whilst gesturing wildly with the chocolate box. NO MORE.

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