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Valentine’s Day: A Preview

Alex Kilpatrick | Friday, February 12, 2010

It’s the American Valentine’s version of “Love Actually.” “Valentine’s Day” is meant to represent the all-encompassing spectrum of humanity’s views on love and the meaning of Valentine’s Day. Whether you’re going to see it for the endless list of cameos, to make fun of the chick flick clichés or even for the meaningful insight, the movie will be a must see.

The romantic comedy, directed by Garry Marshall (who directed the classics “Pretty Woman” and “Runaway Bride,” along with the “Princess Diaries” movies) and written by Katherine Fugate, will star nearly 20 A-list Hollywood celebrities, which begs the question of why so much money went into making this big-budget movie for such a minor Hallmark-dominated holiday. According to Associated Content, New Line Cinema and Warner Brothers are hoping that with the expected success of this movie, Valentine’s Day will become a new moneymaker for the movie industry.

What “Love Actually” was for the Christmas season, “Valentine’s Day” is now expected to be for the Valentine’s Day “season.” The film features multiple meshed together plotlines and stars a team of the top romantic comedy stars in the industry, including Julia Roberts, Ashton Kutcher, Jessica Biel, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Alba, Jennifer Garner, Patrick Dempsey, Topher Grace and Bradley Cooper.

Set in Los Angeles, the characters are all loosely related to each other. Julia Roberts plays Kate Hazeltine, a captain in the U.S. Army, who meets Holden (Cooper). In the meantime, florist Reed Bennett (Kutcher) proposes to girlfriend Morley (Alba), while his best friend Julia (Garner), a grade school teacher, falls for Dempsey’s character, Dr. Harrison Copeland.

Even just from the preview, one can see the same old trite plotlines, whether it’s Emma Roberts’ character Grace planning her first time with her boyfriend Alex (Carter Jenkins) or Biel’s character Kara planning a “We Hate Valentine’s Day” party. One can only hope that the previews will not represent the movie as a whole, or we will be paying $8 to see a bunch of cameos wrapped into one huge cliché of a rom-com.

John Debney composed the score to “Valentine’s Day,” recorded it with the Hollywood Studio Symphony at the Sony Scoring Stage and wrote the song, “Every Time You Smiled,” for the movie with lyricist Glen Ballard, performed by Carina Round. The soundtrack also features Jewel’s “Stay Here Forever” and “Today Was a Fairytale” by Taylor Swift, who makes an appearance in the film opposite Taylor Lautner.
Overall, the film looks like a clichéd American version of “Love Actually” for the Valentine’s Day season, but it does include cameos from several big budget Hollywood actors and actresses, so if you enjoy seeing any of these stars on the big screen, the movie is sure to be a well-produced film. 

Contact Alex Kilpatrick at akilpatr@nd.edu