Today we watched one of my favourite romantic comedies just because it was Valentine’s Day. It’s not up there with Love Actually but it has a similar sensibility, it shows us that love has many forms and doesn’t always work out as we planned, it just does it in a slightly cheesy Hollywood style. It still makes me feel good though when I watch it.
There is something to be said for a romcom with multiple story lines. As I mentioned in my review of Love Actually, it takes the pressure off a single story to provide the perfect narrative and emotional satisfaction, something that so rarely succeeds. Valentine’s Day is a bit of a mixed bag. There are some story lines that work well, mainly due to the comedic calibre of the actors and the warmth of the script – Jessica Biel and Jamie Foxx, Julia Roberts and Bradley Cooper (great reveal for both), Ashton Kutcher and Jennifer Garner and the two Taylors, Swift and Lautner.
I like that there’s humour, that there’s a gay couple and phone sex and good friendships. The ‘I Hate Valentine’s Day’ Party and the fate of the piñata is one of my favourite scenes. I could have done with a little less Shirley Maclaine but I’ve had a set against her since I read one of her memoirs where she mentioned hosting a birthday party for “500 of her closest friends.” Shallow, I know, but her storyline is a bit self-aggrandising and sentimental. Romantic comedies are best when they don’t take themselves too seriously.
Bechdel test – pass