Valentines Day

VALENTINES DAY (Garry Marshall). 125 minutes. Opens Friday (February 12). For venues, trailers and times, see Movies. Rating: NValentine's Day.


VALENTINES DAY (Garry Marshall). 125 minutes. Opens Friday (February 12). For venues, trailers and times, see Movies. Rating: N

Valentine’s Day is a highlight reel of rom-com cliches, an excuse for romance-starved couples and lovesick singletons to warm up to cheap sentiment, bogus hopes and movie stars paraded around like eye candy.

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Every demographic gets targeted. This is probably the only movie where teen flavours Taylor Swift and Taylor Lautner share the screen with veterans like Shirley MacLaine and Julia Roberts. With celebrities like these involved in this mosaic about intersecting Los Ange lenos, you’d think at least one of them would play an actual three-dimensional character. No such luck.

Everyone’s a stock figure as flatly drawn as a child’s handmade valentine. The only actors who have some fun are Anne Hathaway, who should have more screen time as an amusing phone sex operator, and Ashton Kutcher and Jennifer Garner, who play best friends who might become something more.

In any other movie, Kutcher’s big kid with a wide grin routine and Garner’s pouty cuteness would be dismissed as mechanical, formulaic and bland. However, in a movie where everyone else (Hathaway aside) is so funereal and detached, these two are spark plugs. You know you’re in for a rough Valentine’s Day when Kutcher is one of the evening’s high points.

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