Relationships are complicated and nothing spells trouble quite like Valentine’s Day for those involved or uninvolved. However, for most people, Valentine’s Day is something special and meaningful or something lighthearted and fun. This film attempts to encompass various scenarios on that day with humor, empathy, and a bit of surprise at the end.
An all-star cast that includes Jennifer Garner, Ashton Kutcher, Shirley MacLaine, and more, the characters’ lives are intertwined by circumstance, friendships, and family. While some relationships are clichéd such as Jennifer Garner and Patrick Dempsey’s fly-by-night rendezvous and Ashton Kutcher and Jessica Alba’s living together in non-commitment, others are refreshingly atypical. Seemingly the perfect new couple, Topher Grace finds conflict when he learns of Anne Hathaway’s side job, a job she’s surprisingly proficient at and for which her office boss, Queen Latifah, eventually enjoys substituting.
What is thrown in the mix is the ultra cute Taylor Lautner and Taylor Swift pairing. If “cute” can be annoying, Taylor Swift has managed that quite effortlessly in this film, but we forgive her since she’s a talented Grammy winner and very young. Besides, she plays a teeny bopper, excitable and oblivious to her dancing skills, who’s in love with hunky jock Taylor Lautner (who’s shy about being “shirtless”).
Whether it’s an older couple, Shirley MacLaine and Hector Elizondo, or the love of a young child, Bryce Robinson, this film embodies the trials and tribulations that love endures all in one day, Valentine’s Day. Julia Roberts plays a soldier on her way home for a short visit, befriended by Bradley Cooper on the same flight. Her real life niece, Emma Roberts, has a special plan for this day with her boyfriend, Carter Jenkins, who finds himself spoiling it in the most embarrassing way. George Lopez sums it all up as Ashton Kutcher’s friend who tells him that he married his best friend.
While everyone is melting away in loveland, a good part of this film is the anti-Valentine scenario with Jessica Biel, Jamie Foxx, Eric Dane, and their loveless lives. Great jobs, beautiful, young – what’s not to love? Does it matter? Let’s break out the heart-shaped piñata and swing the bat. What comes out isn’t just candy, but revelations that there is hope with others who feel the same way.
Personally, I’ll take the flowers and call it a day.