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Valentine's Day

  • Film
  • 2 out of 5 stars
Valentine's Day.jpg
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Time Out says

2 out of 5 stars

Anyone heading to the cinema this February 14 will find themselves conspicuously catered for by this romantic comedy from veteran

Garry Marshall

(‘Pretty Woman’, ‘Beaches’). Throwing out a net to everyone from back-row teenage saliva-swappers to seasoned seniors, the film feels like it has been coldly calculated to hoover up demographics. How? Marshall gives his rom-com the Robert Altman ‘Short Cuts’ treatment: an enormous megawatt ensemble cast appear in a dozen or so interlocking lurve stories that play out on Valentine’s Day in Los Angeles. It’s supremely efficient and utterly ruthless.

There are 19 all-star names above the title (in alphabetical order, naturally) but the lead belongs to

Ashton Kutcher

. A nice-guy florist, he proposes to his work-addict girlfriend (

Jessica Alba

), but is obviously much better suited to his teacher best friend (

Jennifer Garner

).

Jessica Biel

(is it me, or are the Jessicas interchangeable?) plays a neurotically single sports publicist.

Anne Hathaway

, an office temp who moonlights as a phone sex operator (little nod to ‘Short Cuts’ there), hasn’t told her new boyfriend about the sideline.

Shirley MacLaine

, happily married for 50 years, is keeping an old secret from her husband. In what reeks of final-draft add-on, country star Taylor Swift and

Taylor Lautner

from ‘The Twilight Saga’ pair up as school sweethearts: no actual storyline here, but they tick the pre-teen box big time.

These are sassily-scripted but glossy, vacuous fantasies – with the exception of

Julia Roberts

’s army captain, who’s on short leave from Iraq and meets a guy (

Bradley Cooper

) on a plane: after some sparky but non-committal flight banter they go their separate ways and both their tales resolve with unexpectedly lovely flourishes. Their stories make the rest of the film look like it’s got a cold, shiny cash register right where its heart should be.

Written by Cath Clarke

Release Details

  • Rated:12A
  • Release date:Friday 12 February 2010
  • Duration:124 mins

Cast and crew

  • Director:Garry Marshall
  • Screenwriter:Katherine Fugate
  • Cast:
    • Jessica Alba
    • Kathy Bates
    • Jessica Biel
    • Bradley Cooper
    • Eric Dane
    • Patrick Dempsey
    • Hector Elizondo
    • Jamie Foxx
    • Jennifer Garner
    • Topher Grace
    • Anne Hathaway
    • Ashton Kutcher
    • Queen Latifah
    • Taylor Lautner
    • Shirley MacLaine
    • Julia Roberts
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