‘Valentine’s Day’ (2010) Review

The first of Garry Marshall’s holiday-themed ensemble films, Valentine’s Day takes place on, you guessed it, Valentine’s Day! Boasting a cast of several A-listers, including Rom-Com Queen, Julia Roberts, the movie took on the popularity Love Actually by placing a bunch of good-looking people in stories that would eventually be revealed to be connected in one way or another.

I will admit, I did not like New Year’s Eve. I usually adore Garry Marshall, but that film just missed the mark in every conceivable way. When I began to watch Valentine’s Day, my husband reminded me that we had already watched this in the theater when it was released. Given I barely remember what happened two days ago, I had very little memory of this movie until I started watching it again. I’m not sure what I thought about it back then, but I will admit that I found it really charming this go around.

It’s not a perfect movie, or even a great one. These large ensemble movies rarely are. Some of the stories simply don’t work or make much sense Jamie Foxx and Jessica Biel had zero chemistry and the film’s only LGBTQ representation received about a minute of screen time. But I did enjoy some of the other stories quite a bit, including Ashton Kutcher getting dumped by his fiance while his best friend, played by Jennifer Garner, is being wooed by a married doctor. There was also a cute storyline with Bradley Cooper and Julia Roberts, who is an army captain returning home just for one night to visit the special man in her life. That particular reunion was brief but so heartfelt that yes, I got a bit choked up.

Where New Year’s Eve felt overwhelming and overstuffed, Valentine’s Day seemed to balance its cast and its stories quite well. There is definitely enough humor to keep it from feeling too gooey, but this is a rom-com based around Valentine’s Day, so I would think anyone watching this would expect sugary fluff. Garry Marshall definitely delivers on that promise, and then some.

Honestly, there’s not much to analyze here, no deeper meaning to be found. Valentine’s Day is a sweet box of chocolates and a bouquet of roses, nothing more, nothing less. Turn off your mind and enjoy the sweet coziness of it. There’s also the added bonus of searching for and finding all of the Garry Marshall easter eggs in this movie. It gives the movie an extra touch of rom-com magic that I really adored. Plus, you get to watch Julia repeat one of her most iconic movie lines during the credits.

Author: Romona Comet

"I'm probably watching a rom-com right now."