BLOGS

<I>Valentine’s Day</I>: Like a Day at the Very Tepid, Clichéd Zoo There is no bigger exercise in futility than writing a negative review of a jumbo-sized romantic comedy starring over a dozen very famous people -- it's a bad movie, yes, but everyone expected it to be a bad movie, and everyone's still going to go see it anyway -- but I shall do my best. And while Valentine's Day is indeed a bad movie, it is far from the worst romantic comedy I've ever seen. I'd even say it's far from the worst romantic comedy I've seen in the past 12 months (Ugly Truth and He's Just Not That Into You are tied for that prized crown), which might make you feel a little better about being dragged to it this weekend.

The distinction Valentine's Day has is that it's bland and mindless, and takes great pains to be staunchly inoffensive. Which, when you think about it, is kind of nice in a way. The other two movies I mentioned above tried to have this really shocking, misogynistic angle that they purported to transcend, and of course they failed miserably and just ended up being mildly offensive garbage. Valentine's Day, on the other hand, is just regular garbage. It's just personality-less gorgeous people acting out every romantic cliché in the book: going on first dates, proposing to each other, and just generally experiencing very pedestrian and childish Bachelor-style notions of romance and heartbreak (the latter of which is quickly cured by wine and "I Will Survive," like how love works in real life). It was like being at the zoo watching the penguins frolic. For the majority of it, I didn't have any feelings other than "Ooh, lookit!" That's what watching Jennifer Garner and Jessica Biel pretend to get drunk together is like. And that's fine, if you want that escape. It's not great filmmaking, but I understand it provides some sort of service to some people and gives TBS something to air on Saturday mornings, which is certainly not nothing.

It's also a Garry Marshall movie, so expect a few bizarre side jokes popping up throughout. It's not Princess Diaries 2 level ridiculous insanity, but there are some moments. For example, there's a whole scene involving a very gay man trying to communicate with a very Ukrainian hooker over Chrysanthemums, and much absurdist fun is had by all. (As you may or may not have noticed, Garry Marshall seems to have completely lost his mind over the past decade, god love him.)

Other vital information: if you're one of those assholes who brings children to non-children movies, I wouldn't for this one. Anne Hathaway's character engages in heavily accented phone sex for a good chunk of the film, and if you've missed Jennifer Garner's butt cheeks since Alias went off the air, well, welcome back, Jennifer Garner's butt cheeks! Every female in the film (save Julia Roberts, whose storyline along with Bradley Cooper's were the only parts of the film that have any emotional effect whatsoever) is at least pantsless in bed at one time or another, and there is also a fully naked teenage boy with a strategically placed acoustic guitar waiting to take Emma Roberts' virginity in another scene. It's all roses, Gloria Gaynor and voyeurism with this thing. Take it or leave it.

Did you see it? Of course you saw it. Tell us what you thought!

Hate Valentine's Day in general? Then these are the movies for you.

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