Flowers, Phone Sex, and Disappointment

2.15.2010

By Andrew Wailes

For starters, Valentine's Day was not as bad as I expected.  Anne Hathaway was hilarious, Jessica Biel was smoking hot, and Topher Grace, as always, was absolutely adorable.

That being said, I understand reviewers who said that it was an utter waste of two
hours
.  And with movie prices going
up, I think I’d rather have kept the $14 I spent on Fandango than sit through
this collection of vaguely intertwined celebrity cameos.

From
the opening credits alone, it was clear that producers were trying to create something
à la Love, Actually and He’s Just Not That Into You. I never saw the latter, but I can say
most definitely that this doesn’t nearly live up to the holiday quirkiness of Love, Actually. Valentine’s
Day
seems to rest on its star-studded cast, and with little if any unifying
plot, it just isn’t enough.

The target audience for this film
is clearly straight middle-aged single women. And with an awkwardly head-over-heels flower shop manager
and a sexually frustrated celebrity publicist I think it may have succeeded in
that respect.

But so much of the film seemed to be filled with unnecessary
attempts to further boost the number of celeb appearances. I don’t want to step on any toes, but
Taylor Swift is just annoying. Her
high school romance with famously well-toned ex Taylor Lautner seems like
something demanded in exchange for using her song “Today was a Fairy Tale”
during the credits. (For more on
why I find Miss Swift so frustrating, please read this article.)

And now, to get to the question on
everyone’s mind -- the gays. Eric
Dane plays a professional football player who (spoiler) comes out in a press
conference toward the end of the movie.
And it is not until the last few seconds that we find out that his
lover, played by Bradley Cooper, isn’t a straight man trying to seduce Julia
Roberts’ character. I was happy to
see a gay subplot in this otherwise heteronormative film, but as a sort of
“gotcha” moment at the end of the movie this frustrated me. Gay depictions in pop culture are
obviously fabulous and necessary, but personally I think we deserve more than
being merely a punch line.  That
being said, this movie did have gay characters that weren’t your typical, to quote Lucy Lawless, “cardigan-wearing hand-flappers.”  You make the call.

-- ANDREW WAILES

Previously
Chatter: Anne Hathaway

Tags: Popnography
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