Unlike Mr. Hufford’s Valentine’s Day weekend, I did not find myself in a situation where “Valentine’s Day” was sold out when I went to the ticket booth with my lovely bride. Oh no, there were plenty of seats for our showing. A couple of tickets and $6 bottles of water later, we were settling in for what I anticipated to be a dull unimpressive chick flick of epic proportions.
What some people considered a positive for the movie, I looked at as a weakness – the cast. There were heavy hitters from every facet of chick-flickdom, including the overly romantic Harlequin Romance to the quirky romantic comedies of late. Jennifer Garner, Ashton Kutcher, Patrick Dempsey, Jessica Alba, Anne Hathaway – it never ends! Seriously, check out the cast on IMDB, it reads like a who’s who of chick flicks!
The only name that did pique my interest was the director, Garry Marshall. Sure, he can crank out the fluff like nobody’s business, but he also knows humor like nobody else, and he doesn’t take himself too seriously, which might have been my saving grace that night in the theater.
“V-Day” follows around several couples on, oddly enough, Valentine’s Day, with Kutcher’s flower shop as the catalyst that ultimately ties the stories together. Separately, they were forgettable little romantic stories ranging from new relationships about to bloom to a long-married couple dealing with tribulations from decades passed. Bouncing from one to the other was seamless, and because there were so many stories going on at the same time, Marshall didn’t dwell on any one too long, so we dodged the usual muck and mire associated with romantic comedies…we just sort of flitter along on the surface.
And Marshall was able to draw some laughs out of this old curmudgeon. Shirley MacLaine was downright hilarious. While maintaining her role, she was able to not only validate, but also poke fun at her entire career.
I’m not going to dwell on the story, because quite frankly, by the fact that you’re on this site, chances are pretty good that you don’t have the physical makeup (read: ovaries) of someone that would really give a damn…but this is one of the few chick movies that you can tolerate while still looking like a good guy for your chick. You’ll earn a few points, chuckle under your breath and if you’re lucky, get a little for being such a trooper. You can thank me for that last part later. Don’t go out of your way to buy this, hell, I might drive over and rip your Man Card up myself, but if you’re stuck in one of the remaining open Blockbuster stores and your wife/girlfriend/friend with benefits is trying to find something that she wants to watch, point her towards this. Otherwise, you’ll end up watching “The Notebook” again and hating yourself.