Monday, February 22, 2010

Stars galore in 'Valentine’s Day'

"Valentine's Day"
3 Stars

By Michèle De Meglio

Julia Roberts may be the biggest star of “Valentine’s Day” but she’s upstaged by a pint-sized lovelorn boy, a hot jock with a steamy secret and a rapper-turned-actor with the funniest line in the film.

That’s not to say Roberts does a bad job. Actually, all of the film’s stars (19 in total) have a chance to shine — some just sparkle more brightly than others.

The ensemble film, seemingly inspired by the hit “Love Actually,” follows an eccentric cast of characters in Los Angeles as they search for love (or try to run from it) on February 14.

“Valentine’s Day” has its share of clichés but that’s what keeps die-hard romantic comedy fans coming back for more. After all, nothing is sweeter than a little boy trying to send a dozen roses to his cutest classmate.

The film isn’t a total love-fest. Instead, plenty of the characters are falling out of love or having affairs. McDreamy ain’t so dreamy in this one!

In fact, these story lines offered many of the movie’s most humorous moments. Who wouldn’t want to see Jennifer Garner relive her “Alias” days with some impressive baseball bat skills? Or a hysterical Jessica Biel profess her love for her “thank God it vibrates” BlackBerry?

Country music superstar Taylor Swift makes her film debut as a bubbly and hopelessly ditsy high school student in lust with teenage hunk Taylor Lautner.

“Twilight” fans will be sad to learn that Lautner’s role is minimal and keeps him fully clothed. But Swift supporters will enjoy watching the singer prance around with a six-foot-tall teddy bear — even if she does spew the dumbest lines on screen.

So who is the funniest cast member?

That would be Queen Latifah. Playing a tough-as-nails chick, the Jersey native steals the show by answering a phone call meant for phone sex operator Anne Hathaway. Latifah’s Russian dominatrix impression will leave you in stitches well into the next scene. (I laughed until I cried.)
The ending of “Valentine’s Day” isn’t tied up nicely in a bow.

Yeah, of course, some couples reunite. Others bid adieu. But there’s one very unexpected and rather shocking twist between two of the film’s finest fellas which will leave ladies either screaming or sobbing. Want to know what it is? Head to your local cinema to find out!

“Valentine’s Day.” Rated PG-13 for some sexual material and brief partial nudity. Runtime one hour, 57 minutes. Directed by Garry Marshall. Starring Jessica Alba, Kathy Bates, Jessica Biel, Bradley Cooper, Eric Dane, Patrick Dempsey, Hector Elizondo, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, Topher Grace, Anne Hathaway, Ashton Kutcher, Queen Latifah, Taylor Lautner, George Lopez, Shirley MacLaine, Emma Roberts, Julia Roberts and Taylor Swift.

Playing in Brooklyn at Access Digital Theatres - Pavilion Cinema in Park Slope, Downtown at the UA Court Street Stadium 12, UA Sheepshead Bay 14, Kent Theatre in Coney Island, Bay Ridge Alpine Cinemas, and the Linden Boulevard Multiplex Cinemas in East New York.


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