It has come again — the most agonizing reality of February. No, it’s not the reincarnation of your STD, it’s only the onslaught of the release of the newest Valentine’s Day movies. This one is suitably titled “Valentine’s Day,” which Anne Hathaway informs us is the most popular day for phone sex calls of the year. If you haven’t heard of it, you clearly haven’t followed any celebrity gossip news sources, as statistics show that the movie employed more than half of Hollywood in some form or another.
Boys, is it worth it to go with your girls? Girls, will it live up to your highest RomCom standards? Whoever hired TayLaut and T-Swift (gag me please) would like you to think so. At least they were smart enough to employ true talent in the form of Ashton Kutcher, Anne Hathaway, Jennifer Garner, Julia Roberts, Jessica Biel, George Lopez, Hector Elizondo, Shirley MacLaine, Jamie Foxx, Bradley Cooper and Eric Dane…and that’s roughly half of the cast.
One thing to be noted: this movie is definitely the American attempt to dethrone Britain’s glorified “Love Actually” — the similarities are rather obvious and deja vu moments abound, we promise. Shall we numerate them? One. An old couple makes you want to truly love someone for 50-something years. Two. There is an adorable little boy who is attempting to ascertain a cute, but obviously unrealistic, understanding of the various facets of “true love.” Three. Some people are promiscuous and will make someone’s V-Day be filled with the sads. Four. Everyone is in love. Really.
“Valentine’s Day” begins with Kutcher’s character, Reed Bennett, proposing to his long-time girlfriend played by the waste-of-space Jessica Alba. We then kick into gear, roaming the streets and neighborhoods of Los Angeles as our naturally interconnected characters begin the Day Everyone Loves To Hate. Teachers, florists, football stars, sports agents, airplane seatmates and children, on the surface, have little in common, but the way that they all interact and care about each other convinced us of the reality of their situations. The movie reaches its climax when infidelity of many kinds rears its ugly head in multiple accounts, causing some characters’ lives to come crashing to the ground. (Tired of our cliches? We’re not, because “Valentine’s Day” certainly employed a few, but successfully, we might add.)
Where the movie really shines is in constructing the dynamics between all the big stars, even though when their collective values are taken into account, you feel like all you should see are stars and dollar signs. In fact, it’s almost as if these characters act, laugh and just live like — gasp — real people. We can all relate to the friendship network and support system that these characters have. The manner in which they go about accomplishing even the most basics of their daily routines flows naturally, with an abundance of quirky yet comedic twists. Speaking of humor, the integral part of any romantic comedy is the latter half of the eponymous name — and like everything else is this movie, it suited the story well. The jokes span across all ages, is cute without being overbearingly sappy (as is often the case for this genre during this time), and genuinely made us laugh and smile.
What it all comes down to, in the end, is that we all love to be loved. Even more, we hate that Valentine’s Day reminds us that we not only love to be loved, we absolutely need to be loved. It’s what makes us human. Take our exceptionally fabulous word for it: go see “Valentine’s Day” on Valentine’s Day with your Valentine. (We’re going to go vomit now.)