This is a tricky weekend for many people. Getting caught up in annoying cultural expectations and complications are something we all fear on Valentine’s Day. Loneliness creeps in, and the pressure is needlessly turned up. What people tend to forget, which is most important, is to relax and spend the day/weekend with the people you care most about.
So in this spirit, I went to the movies with my girlfriends. What did we see? Why, Valentine’s Day of course! I was more or less indifferent to this Love Actually look-alike. I figured it’d be cute and have a few silly moments, just enough to sooth empty hearts and simultaneously amuse young couples on this most romantic of holidays. I was pleasantly surprised by the loaded and beautiful ensemble cast. Their chemistry and the genuine humor of the writing made for a very uplifting film.
Predictably, Valentine’s Day (directed by Garry Marshall and written by Katherine Fugate) looks at several interconnected stories of love on Valentine’s Day. Not so predictably, every relationship is flawed. Some don’t recover, some make it through by realizations about life and love and some evolve from friends or professionals to something more. The film also includes some different types of love, such as between parents and their children, homosexual relationships and puppy love.
While Valentine’s Day reinforces its fair share of clichés, it also exploits them to the humorous extremes, such as Taylor and Taylor’s teenage love-scapade. The film paints a bit more of a realistic look at how two people can manage to stick together through many difficult obstacles, and also how they can’t. I’d love to go into detail about the many twisting plots, but I don’t want to ruin anything. It’s too much fun watching it all unfold.
This cleverly marketed money-maker came out on top in the boxoffice this weekend, which I’m sure isn’t a shock to anyone.
My all time favorite part came during the credits when Julia Roberts is being driven through LA in a town car from the airport. Her driver informs her that they’re on Rodeo Drive. He asks if she’s ever shopped there, and she comically quotes her character from Pretty Woman (also directed by Marshall).
Valentine’s Day was a really great way to spend time with my friends. The theater wasn’t packed, but certainly crowded, with both couples and groups of good friends. The atmosphere was lively and comforting, and everyone laughed (and, yes, cried) together. Call me a girl (which I am) and accuse me of having simple taste (sure, I’m easily pleased), but I very much enjoyed Valentine’s Day, more than I originally expected.