Many may agree that one of the few holidays that define the short month of February is Valentine’s Day. When one thinks of Valentine’s Day, many things come to mind such as romance, loved ones or even heartbreak.
This year, there was a movie released just in time for the holiday. “Valentine’s Day,” released on Feb. 12, is a movie that takes place in Los Angeles and follows the lives of different love-struck individuals.
This highly anticipated movie received mixed reviews. A movie critic from the New York Times on Rottentomatoes.com said, “The dire romantic comedy, ‘Valentine’s Day,’ is neither romantic nor remotely comedic.” A different review from the Philadelphia Inquirer on Metacritic.com said, “It is a pleasant, undemanding movie that takes place over 18 hours on V-Day and considers Very Attractive People whose romantic destinies converge, diverge and cloverleaf like the interstate threading through California’s Southland.”
The movie, directed by Garry Marshall, featured an all-star cast of celebrities such as Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel, Patrick Dempsey, Ashton Kutcher, George Lopez, Julia Roberts, Queen Latifah, Jamie Foxx, Anne Hathaway, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Garner, Taylor Lautner and Taylor Swift. “I thought it was a loaded cast,” Jamie Tadrzynski, sophomore history and secondary education major, said. “It was pretty neat to see how many stars came together and made it funny. “
“I thought it was a nice cast setup, but I only think Taylor Swift and Taylor Lautner were in it because they are the ‘it’ item. Other than minimal comedic relief they didn’t contribute to the plot of the movie,” Eion O’Neill, sophomore communication major, said.
The romantic comedy follows almost every type of relationship there is, with the large cast whose lives in the movie are all intertwined in some way.
The movie portrays the love of an elderly happily-married couple versus the young high school crush. Hector Elizondo and Shirley MacLaine play an elderly couple who have been married for many years and are still madly in love despite a shocking secret revealed in the movie. Lautner and Swift play the high school sweethearts who are experiencing love for the first time.
The movie also portrays best friends who are always chasing after the wrong people despite the fact that they are truly meant to be together. Kutcher and Garner play best friends who are always there for one another. Kutcher proposes to Alba who is hesitant to jump into marriage while Garner is dating Dempsey, who is a supposed “divorced” doctor. Their friendship is tested throughout the movie in their quest to find their soul mates.
The movie also includes characters who are bitter when it comes to love because of past unsuccessful relationships. Biel plays a hard-working publicist who celebrates the holiday every year with an “I hate Valentine’s Day” party. Foxx plays a sports journalist who is assigned to cover Valentine’s Day, a holiday he is not fond of, on the streets of Los Angeles. Throughout the movie, the common hatred of the holiday brings Biel and Foxx closer together in realizing that love may exist. “I am a big fan of Jamie Foxx and I thought he did a nice job,” O’Neill said.
The love between family members was also emphasized in the movie. Roberts played a woman on active duty in the military who was traveling home for one day to see her young son. On the plane ride home, she meets a character, played by Cooper, who was on his way home to see his special someone. “Julia Roberts as a member of the Armed Forces seemed to shine a light on women in the military as well as celebrating Valentine’s Day with the whole family,” O’Neill said.
These are just a few examples of the many different relationships portrayed in the movie. Throughout the movie, each character experiences something different in their quest for love. Some aspects of the movie are kept secret until the end, revealing a few surprises in the lives of some of the characters. “I thought it was funnier than I thought it was going to be,” Tadrzynski said. “I enjoyed the little twist at the end.”