(out of 5)
Garry Marshall spreads his penchant for empty-headed feelgood stories over a multitude of characters in this nearly unbearable romantic comedy that examines the lives of Los Angelinos on Valentine’s Day. Among them is a teenager (Emma Roberts) preparing to have sex with her boyfriend for the first time, a secretary (Anne Hathaway) who moonlights as a phone sex operator and has just met a new boy (Topher Grace), a football player (Eric Dane) who has fallen from grace, a returning soldier (Julia Roberts) who meets a man on an airplane (Bradley Cooper) and, most annoying, a florist (Ashton Kutcher) who has just successfully proposed to his vapid girlfriend (Jessica Alba). Everything looks lovely and there’s a potential for ensemble cast fun, but Marshall has spent far too much time making plastic Hollywood movies and this one shows a complete lack of connection with any kind of reality. The situations these people all find themselves in are not even tangible enough for sitcom television, and the film is rarely funny enough to merit the time it takes to play itself out. Most of the acting is atrocious, except for Roberts who far outclasses her co-stars, while Taylor Swift makes an ill-advised turn to acting with her weak delivery.
Directed by Garry Marshall
Cinematography by Charles Minsky
Music by John Debney
Production Design by Albert Brenner
Costume Design by Gary Jones
Film Editing by Bruce Green