2 March 2010

My Bloody Quarantine

I've still got legs! And with my limbs intact, I really can't ignore the fact that I have to review Valentine's Day, giving even more thought to two hours of my life that would have been more pleasurably spent slamming my head in a car door while the massive cast took it in turns to cut the all the webs between my fingers and toes with scissors. Cringing? That's nothing to actually watching the film.

The sole reason this gets a post of its own is because it is literally tainted. I have also seen From Paris with Love, which... SPOILER ALERT... was pants, but not so pants as to deserve the fate of being "the one I reviewed alongside Valentine's Day." Yes folks, this is the blog's first ever conscious quarantine of a film review.


Sigh. OK, here goes. If I were to take a run at what this film's about, I could sum it up by saying it follows a number of tumultuous relationships and unlikable people on one Valentine's Day in LA. More operatively, very famous actors playing unlikable people. The traditional, but largely unconscious format of these reviews usually sets aside a paragraph to talk about the cast and their performances, so I'll take a run at that now. Deep breath...

Ashton Kutcher is irksome and twee, Jennifer Garner is a downright stupid character played by a usually enjoyable actress, Patrick Dempsey succeeds only for being a smarmy fuck finally cast in the thankless role of "Smarmy Fuck #2", Queen Latifah is still pointing out that she's a larger lady for anyone who hasn't noticed, Jamie Foxx continues to bend over and take an arse-fucking to his career in the name of a paycheck, Jessica Biel's character spends the whole film voicing problems with commercialised love that really should've been considered by the writers, Anne Hathaway is winsome but underused, Topher Grace builds in annoyance on the foundation of the less than sterling performance he gave in Spider-Man 3, Taylors Swift and Lautner are just abominable, Hector Elizondo is bewildered and Shirley Maclaine sort of deceives him and then dresses up as a Quality Street at the end, and finally, Jessica Alba, Bradley Cooper and Julia Roberts are all pointless addendums to a horrifying running time.

Yes, this film runs for 125 minutes and covers no more ground than a dead baby turtle. Cringing again? A dead baby turtle would hardly be more abhorrent than this film. In the same way as (500) Days of Summer was a terrific romantic comedy but not a great date movie, I literally cannot imagine a worse date movie that this. No other film in recent memory tries so tepidly to quantify love with dialogue that sounds like it comes from the trailer narration of a Jennifer Aniston film rather than anything else. The odd thing is that this film came out on the weekend of February 14th, and another Garry Marshall-directed film was re-released for the day, Pretty Woman. Valentine's Day has, unbelievably, become a huge hit in the States, but it's almost like they were hedging their bets by counter-programming against their own awful piece of celluloid crap.

Some will call me bitter- that's the stock excuse against people who call Valentine's Day the crass and commercialised greeting-card-company funding drive that it actually is. No, sorry, this is just a bad film. The mooted sequel, New Year's Eve may be doubly terrible, but it won't be certainly won't be better than this. If Valentine's Day is about love, then it's not about watching Valentine's Day, and given how that's the one day of the year when you're presumably supposed to watch this awful shit in years to come, they've failed on every single level. Even by the measure of people who like it, and I presume those who contributed to the Memorable Quotes page on IMDB do, there is not a single funny line in the thing. It's a film about a bunch of attractive actors tricking you into an auditorium to steal your money and worse, what feels like a year of your life. It is just abysmal- it's not the worst film I've ever seen, but it's down there.

To end on a sensitive note- February 14th isn't just one day of the year where you should be romantic with your loved one. You should show your appreciation all year round, signify your feelings with every loving caress. And most importantly, the time not to watch Valentine's Day with them is all year round. Avoid this film like genital warts.

Righto, everyone to the radiation showers if you read through all of that, and then back here later in the week for the review of From Paris With Love, which will likely be paired off with either Precious or The Crazies, and then there'll be a look at Disney's Tim Burton's Alice In Wonderland by Disney at the weekend. If you've seen Valentine's Day, please do get in touch with the comments below. We have to stick together here- we didn't die, so we can presumably survive anything. Be strong, everyone. Jesus loves you.

I'm Mark the mad prophet, and until next time, don't watch it. Really, I know I did, but don't go and see it. Don't!

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