I Hate Valentine's Day

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My Big Fat Greek Wedding took flak for its cheap ethnic humor, but that won’t be the case with Vardalos’s second star vehicle in a month, which sees all its characters—not just Greek-American stereotypes—as blithering idiots. The writer, director and star plays a flower-shop owner who’s always chirpy; mistaking the fact that Dad cheated on Mom as proof that relationships never work, she’s decided that a five-date limit works best. Almost as plausible as intelligent design, this theory will be tested by the owner of a new restaurant called Get on Tapas (har har), played by bland-o-matic John Corbett. Soon they’ll be arguing about whether a sleepover counts as a date, and whether breaking the five-date rule with a call seems needy.

As the longtime recipients of her atrocious advice, Vardalos’s misfit entourage (Zoe Kazan deserves better) conspire to bring the lovebirds back together—an endeavor that goes about as well as everything else. “Why do I stand here with my hands in my pockets, chained to a comfortable spot of fear?,” Corbett asks in his most reflective moment, suggesting that the first-time filmmaker is as adept at writing metaphors as she is at singing, rhyming and editing. Put it this way: Children who see this film at an impressionable age risk inhibiting their social growth.

Release details

Rated: PG-13
Duration: 87 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Nia Vardalos
Screenwriter: Nia Vardalos
Cast: Nia Vardalos
John Corbett
Zoe Kazan
Judah Friedlander
Rachel Dratch
Dan Finnerty