Movie Reviews Valentine's Day
The hairiest problem producing a movie with nearly two dozen stars is finding something interesting for each of them to do. Most critics suggest that the producers of Valentine's Day were never able to resolve that problem. In the Chicago Sun-Times , Roger Ebert writes, " Valentine's Day is so desperate to keep all the characters alive, it's like those Russian jugglers who run around, trying to keep all their plates spinning on poles." Manohla Dargis in the New York Times suggests that the reason for including so many actors in the movie has more to do with marketing than with their chops as performers. "Ensemble movies are a Hollywood staple," she observes, "but this one comes with a contemporary spin because every performer seems to have been tapped for a niche demographic." John Anderson in the Wall Street Journal comments that director Garry Marshall has managed to create "a shameless movie world for which no actor had to travel too far from home in Beverly Hills/Brentwood, no one seemed to have worked more than a day to complete his or her abbreviated role, and where Jessica Biel can't get a date. Right." And Lou Lumenick in the New York Post in the New York Post says that the result can be compared with "consuming a 5-pound box of cheap chocolates at a single sitting." The movie does pick up a handful of positive reviews, however. Among them is Mick LaSalle's in the San Francisco Chronicle , who finds no problem with the big cast. writing, "If the movie were a drama, they would intrude on the film's illusion of reality. In a way, they intrude on the reality here, as well, but in a welcome way, contributing a sense of something just a bit fantastic, an imaginary pageant of life in contemporary Los Angeles." And Carrie Rickey in the Philadelphia Inquirer concludes "It's not art; it's a pick-me-up."