February 14, 2010

There's nothing sweet about Valentine's Day

Filed under: Gender,Media — Tags: , , , — Melanie @ 7:14 pm

In fact, there’s nothing remotely redeeming about Valentine’s Day despite bringing in 52.4 million this past weekend. Then again, we know box office numbers don’t necessarily reveal anything about quality.

Jezebel’s review reveals a more accurate picture of the film than the numbers.

That text was, of course, written in the heat of passion: Valentine’s Day isn’t actually the worst movie I’ve ever seen, because it’s far too boring and forgettable for that. By now everyone knows the “plot” of the movie: a bunch of characters experience tiny story arcs over the course of one illogically all-encompassing Valentine’s Day in Los Angeles. (Seriously, in the fantastical world of this movie, Valentine’s Day is a holiday so big it’s bigger than Christmas, bigger in fact than any holiday we have in America, taking over the lives of every character, from a wee child to adult men and women with jobs to wise old elderly folks. It’s absurd.) Suffice it to say that not one of these characters or their easily-tied-up “problems” are more compelling than a sitcom clip show, or low-budget children’s television (which it actually, a few cliched dirty jokes aside, most resembles). This movie has the emotional depth of an (over) two-hour episode of Saved By the Bell, but without the nostalgia element to make it palatable. If you’ve read even one review of the movie, or even if you haven’t, there will be no surprises — not a single one. Everyone ends up making the decisions you know they will make as the film plods on, and even if the movie’s only “surprises” haven’t already been spoiled for you by the internet, you’ll figure them out ahead of time based on the simple math of how many characters are left over who haven’t been matched up yet — it’s like that preschooler’s game, “Memory.” But it’s a movie. A long, boring, lazy movie. In which the only star with double-digit on-screen minutes is Ashton Kutcher.

I love romantic comedies. Well, I love them like I love chocolate or the junkie loves their fix. You want more knowing it’s not good for you. The point is I have devoured countless sappy flicks even when the overlying message is offensive from a gendered perspective. So, I was open to liking it. In fact, I *really* wanted to like it, or at least parts of it. If nothing else, I thought I’d find some juicy bits to critique in this blog. Nope, it was soooooo bad that there wasn’t even anything to diss. AND. It’s one of less than a handful of movies I’ve seen in a theater since my son was born. So, I REALLY wanted to find something worthwhile in a film that was advertised as better than a big ol’ box of sweets.

Nope.

Now, that is pathetic.