Confession: I was really looking forward to seeing “Valentine’s Day” on, yes, Valentine’s Day. Most of my friends are in relationships, I am newly single, and, well, I was thinking about throwing a full-on self-pity party on Sunday — I was going to see “Valentine’s Day” alone. I was even thinking of sneaking in cocktails! Then I was going to go home and eat mac ‘n’ cheese and meditate on visions of my rotting ovaries. Just kidding. Kinda.
I love a rom-com. There are very few I don’t love (“P.S. I Love You” and “The Ugly Truth” are two), but I have a pretty high tolerance for crap. Last night my friend’s husband said, “That movie looks like it’ll be worse than ‘He’s Just Not That Into You’!” to which I replied, “I LOVE that movie!” (I do; I’ve seen it four times. Don’t judge.) Alas, I started to have doubts that “Valentine’s Day” would be as rom-comically awesome as I hoped, after I heard a rumor that Jessica Alba’s character owns a talking dog. I love talking dogs. In fact, I talk for my own, but I don’t enjoy them in rom-coms. It’s a bad sign. Also, I was disappointed that the film’s marketing completely gay-washed Bradley Cooper’s role in the movie. I started to fear that my V-Day Pity Party plans were at risk.
Turns out I was right to worry. The reviews are in and the consensus is that “Valentine’s Day,” the movie, sucks way harder than the holiday itself. After the jump, some choice quotes from reviewers.
“‘Valentine’s Day’ assembles a bouquet of blooming celebrity movie stars including Julia Roberts, Ashton Kutcher, Jessica Alba, Taylor Swift, Taylor Lautner, and Jamie Foxx, shuffles them in skits about love gone right and wrong, and hopes you won’t notice that every skit is lame, every line of dialogue is stale, every joke falls flat, and every performance has been phoned in between text messages to agents blinking, ”SOS!” Durable shlockmaster director Garry Marshall (Pretty Woman, Runaway Bride) and the industrial team that welded the interlocking story pieces into a screenplay that could be translated into Na’Vi without losing nuance have done the impossible: They’ve made attractive stars boring, and reduced love relationships to the weight of a box of Altoids.” –Entertainment Weekly (which gave the movie an “F”)
“The best and really only sensible thing to say about the dire romantic comedy ‘Valentine’s Day,’ which is neither romantic nor remotely comedic, is that it makes you appreciate and long for the breeziness, acting and basic competency – the decent lighting, focused cameras and choreographed action — of ‘Love Actually,’ the ingratiating British movie it transparently and ineptly rips off.” –The New York Times
“‘Valentine’s Day’ is being marketed as a Date Movie. I think it’s more of a First-Date Movie. If your date likes it, do not date that person again. And if you like it, there may not be a second date.” –Roger Ebert
“More than a dozen familiar faces are wasted in this trite, groan-inducing mediocrity.” – Richard Roeper
“The Valentine’s Day card: light on content, big on frills. And yet far more substantive than this flimsy piece of cinematic cardboard that’s even more commercial than the holiday it celebrates.” – Indie Movies Online
“Less funny or romantic than your average colonoscopy, this cringe-inducing bore provides dubious employment for four Oscar winners, two nominees and a raft of TV performers such as George Lopez, all of whom have been seen to better advantage elsewhere.” – The New York Post
“This feels less like a movie and more like a strategically programmed effort to turn as many demographic groups as possible into mooshy, gooshy, candy-heart-munching morons.” – The Washington Post
“‘Valentine’s Day,’ I saw ‘Love Actually,’ I knew ‘Love Actually,’ ‘Love Actually’ was a friend of mine. ‘Valentine’s Day,’ you’re no ‘Love Actually.’” – Brandon Fibbs
“Like a tiny car that putters into the centre ring at the circus and starts disgorging clown after clown, ‘Valentine’s Day’ has crammed 19 stars into one vehicle. The difference? Clowns are entertaining.”– Toronto Star
Actually, I don’t find clowns entertaining. Maybe I’ll see “Valentine’s Day” after all, and judge it for myself. Champagne sipped from a thermos outta help.