Who’s In It: Ashton Kutcher, Jessica Biel, Jessica Alba, Jennifer Garner, Anne Hathaway, Bradley Cooper, Eric Dane, Topher Grace, Queen Latifah, Patrick Dempsey, Emma Roberts, Julia Roberts, Jamie Foxx, Hector Elizondo, Shirley MacLaine, Taylor Lautner, Taylor Swift
The Basics: It’s Valentine’s Day in Los Angeles, and everyone’s either barf-inducingly happy in love or horribly, miserably single. Or are they? Couples and BFFs and high school sweethearts and old people and little kids and professional football players and their agents and their random friends cross paths on this one fateful day, when greeting card companies urge you to spend your hard-earned dough on cards and roses and diamond rings so that people like Ashton Kutcher can afford a two-story house in Venice on his florist’s salary. Meanwhile, people break up, make out, lie to each other, flirt, plan romantic rendezvous, fret over buying gifts, throw anti-Valentine’s Day parties, and cry. Also, there’s a brief scene of white people dancing, Bollywood style. Get out while you can.
What’s The Deal: The website Who’s Dated Who would come in handy while watching this Love Actually wannabe, because director Garry Marshall bounces so quickly from story to story that by the time you see so-and-so shtupping so-and-so again, you’ve forgotten which dramarama belongs to whom. Is this the one where she moonlights as a phone sex operator? Or where the guy flirts with a stranger on a plane after going through a messy breakup? Or the one where he’s a cheating, married jerk face but she’s secretly in love with her best friend? None of the stories require much attention to watch, since every single character is explained through dialogue rather than good, old-fashioned character development (a shame, since most of the sprawling cast is able and appealing). Valentine’s Day is its own Cliffs Notes, designed to allow you to lean over to your date and get in your own makeout sesh and return to the movie without missing a single beat.
Why It Sucks To Be Single, According To Valentine’s Day: Because being single is never a choice; as with leprosy, the only way to have fun on V-Day is to commiserate with others of your kind. If you’re Jessica Biel, for example, you throw yourself a big pity party every year just to avoid weeping into a box of chocolates alone at home, and as long as at least one other single person shows up, you’re not a complete loser. If ten more single losers come and Jamie Foxx breaks into Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive,” it turns into a wild and crazy singles party! Everyone wins.
Why It Sucks Even More To Be Gay: Because being a homosexual in this film is worse than being a leper. Even when you’re a friendly, well-dressed, good-looking, and apparently perfect homosexual, you’re only allowed to gently tousle another man’s hair and caress him tenderly with a flower to express your love.
Least Annoying Cast Member: Taylor Lautner, who's only given four things to do: speak in single sentences, jump hurdles, do some impressive cartwheel-flippy-jumps, and make out repeatedly with Taylor Swift.
Most Annoying Cast Member (Shockingly, It’s NOT George Lopez): Taylor Swift. She’s super cute and pretty in her first film role, but is ultimately even more irritating than the irritating, superficial teenager she’s trying to play. It doesn’t help that she spends every scene fawning psychotically over Taylor Lautner. Or that her hit single about today being a fairy tale plays over the end credits. You can’t escape the reach of her sugary country pop supremacy, even in the multiplex.