GREEN'S YOUNG LOVE, FULL OF PROMISE AND HOPE BUT IGNORANT OF REALITY REVIEW:
One year ago today, this aptly titled film was released, ostensibly in celebration of some upcoming couples holiday involving hearts, candy, dating, love and sex. Initially the concept seemed good: demonstrate how different people celebrate this Hallmark holiday by showing multiple couples during the entire day and how they interact with each other. This concept seems like a winner, especially with the recent trend of films that deal with non-linear and multiple story lines all jumbled and going on at the same time. One difference is, in those other films, all the storylines get tied up in the end so it makes sense. Like life and real relationships, not all of the story lines end happily-ever after. That is one thing this film has going for it, anyway.
I like romantic comedies. I really do. I really wanted to like this film more than I did. See, there are two major and one minorproblems with this film. The minor problem involves a continuity gaffe involving Jennifer Garner's character. The major problems are that the film does not have nearly enough comedy or romance in it and a simple case of overkill. Too many stars, too many stories and not enough screen time in a two hour and five minute film to do them all justice. What it all means that we don't have the opportunity to get invested in any of the characters or given enough grounds to care about any of them. This film would have been much more effective if there were half as many characters and storylines.
I have no problem with Garry Marshall as a director. He assembled a fine, all-star caliber cast of excellent and popular actors, who are each talented in their own right. With the amount of screen time anyone gets, I'd imagine the actors had a nice easy one or two days of filming and a decent paycheck to boot.
There were some touching story lines that I'd have liked see developed more, to the exclusion of others, but I won't tell you what they are.
**½ out of *****
Valentine's Day (2010, PG-13, 125 minutes)
starring 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, George Lopez, Shirley MacLaine, Emma Roberts, Julia Roberts and Taylor Swift. Screenplay by Katherine Fugate. Story by Katherine Fugate, Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein. Directed by Garry Marshall.