As a single woman, dateless on Valentine’s Day, I avoided the outside world like the plague.
At this point in my life, with my ten-year-old cousin trying to set me up with her best friend’s cousin, I have come to dread this holiday filled with pinks, reds and whites.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not jealous of the people lucky enough to find love or lust in the opposite or same sex. I am happy for them. I just wish I didn’t have to see it on the arguably most romantic day of the year. I’d rather wear platform pumps and plaid. Likewise, I refused to watch the film, Valentine’s Day, on Valentine’s Day. That would just be self-inflicted, cruel and unusual punishment.
So, I saw the film the day before.
Valentine’s Day is like last year’s He’s Just Not That Into You (complemented with the requisite Bradley Cooper appearance) with more characters and storylines. Screenwriter Katherine Fugate tackles the different aspects of relationships: best friends to lovers, women who are so married to their jobs and their Blackberries that they can’t sustain a relationship, new love, old love, teenage love, homosexual love, parent-child love, and a small ode to single women who find themselves Valentine-less.
Director Garry Marshall, known for his quirky and light films, has done it again. I did love watching this film, even as a loner. It’s light and fluffy, with just a bit of seriousness. Although there were too many storylines in this film, they were all so much fun that it’s hard to think of the film without one of them; I liked them all.
What I don’t like is that, because there were so many plots, Marshall didn’t have time to explore the plots further. So, what could have been an in-depth storyline and commentary on a particular love, turned into a quick run-through of several plots.
I wish I could address all of the storylines and actors in this film, but I can only write so many words for this article. So, I will give you a general overview.
Jessica Alba is Morley Clarkson, the Blackberry-clutching fiancée of Reed Bennett (played by Ashton Kutcher). Kathy Bates is Susan, the executive producer of a local TV station and boss to Jamie Foxx’s Kelvin Moore, the second sports anchor.
Jessica Biel is Kara Monahan, a publicist for famous football player Sean Jackson (Eric Dane). Cooper is Holden, a man sitting next to Capt. Kate Hazeltine (Julia Roberts) on a 14-hour flight to Los Angeles.
Patrick Dempsey is Dr. Harrison Copeland, Julie Fitzpatrick’s (Jennifer Garner) boyfriend and another woman’s husband. Hector Elizondo is Edgar, who has been married to Estelle (Shirley MacLaine) over 30 years. Topher Grace is Jason, a young man who has just begun dating Liz (Anne Hathaway), a phone sex operator/temp. Queen Latifah is Paula Thomas, Sean’s agent, who’s too busy with her career to have a boyfriend.
Taylor Lautner’s Willy is the jock and sappy boyfriend of ditzy Felicia (Taylor Swift). George Lopez’s Alphonso is Reed’s co-worker and his voice of reason when it comes to relationships.
I loved each storyline.
My favorite storyline is Kara’s budding romance with Kelvin. I didn’t see it coming, but when it did happen, I was happy for them both. I think I gravitated toward this story the most because I am a lot like Kara. I have a career, and I know that I’m not a complete square, yet I’m still single. So for Kara, who is a total basket case, to find love (or what seems like a good relationship) gives me hope.
Even with the storylines and characters all over the place, I still enjoyed Valentine’s Day. I hope Marshall decides to do a sequel, so I can see what happens with all of the couples and singles in this film.
One of the other things I liked about this film is that the storylines don’t all end with everyone matched up. There are a few people who end up being single and happy.
I would also like to mention costume designer Gary Jones. His use of colors and ultra high heels is like watching a fashion parade. Jones can style me any day; even if my tired, sore ankles rebel.
Although I was single and alone on the most romantic day of the year, Valentine’s Day was worth watching. It doesn’t make me feel so alone. Maybe it’s the inundation of characters and plotlines. Or, it could just be another symbol of Garry Marshall’s talent.
Despite its dated title, Valentine’s Day is a definite must-watch for ladies and gentlemen, alike.