Sunday, February 14, 2016

The Many Storylines of Valentine's Day (2010)

February is a month dedicated to groundhogs, love, and black history.  This week is all about the love.  I’m tapping into the Valentine’s Day buzz.  Today is the day that people buy people things with hearts on them to show that they can share material love.  It is the day that caused me to go to Walmart and find a bunch of twerking animal toys that move their butts to different songs. (On a sidenote, there was one that twerked to Jason Derulo’s Talk Dirty to Me with perfect timing)  To celebrate the festivities of Valentine’s Day, I watched the ensemble romantic movie Valentine’s Day.

Released in 2010, Valentine’s Day was set in Los Angeles and contained many storylines.  It had a large cast and wasn’t that bad.  The Garry Marshall directed movie had a spiritual sequel released in 2011 called New Year’s Eve, which I’ve already covered.  I wrote about ensemble movies in that post.  This time I want to dive right into the ensemble of this movie and look at the storylines and how they overlap.  I’ll cover as many as possible, and there will be spoilers based on the revealed connections.  Also note that I will be using the actors’ names instead of the characters’ names because it is easier that way.

Ashton Kutcher and Jessica Alba
Valentine’s Day began with Ashton Kutcher proposing to Jessica Alba as they woke up.  He was filled with joy when he ran outside and shouted that she said yes.  He noticed that all of the people he told seemed to be surprised about it.  Jessica Alba visited him later in the day, not wearing the engagement ring that he gave her.  She gave an excuse about not wanting to be bombarded with questions at work, though it seemed like there was more to it than that.  When Ashton Kutcher made a quick stop at his house during his flower delivery route, he found Jessica Alba packing up her things.  She couldn’t commit to their relationship.

Jennifer Garner and Patrick Dempsey
This storyline started with another couple waking up in bed.  Patrick Dempsey was putting on a suit to leave for the airport for a doctor job in San Francisco.  Jennifer Garner wished him well and watched him leave.  After getting dressed, she headed to Ashton Kutcher’s floral shop to talk about how much she loved this guy.  There was only one problem.  The audience saw that Patrick Dempsey went home to his wife, not to San Francisco.  Jennifer Garner was his mistress in an affair.  He went to the floral shop later and asked Ashton Kutcher to deliver flowers to his two ladies.  Ashton Kutcher decided to tell Jennifer Garner what is happening.  He went to the school she taught at and tried unsuccessfully to tell her.  When Jennifer Garner booked a flight to San Francisco, Ashton Kutcher tried to tell her again, but she wouldn’t listen.  She only realized the truth when she arrived in San Francisco and Patrick Dempsey wasn’t there.  She went back to Los Angeles and ruined Dempsey’s dinner with his wife, which ruined his marriage.

Ashton Kutcher and Jennifer Garner
It was obvious early in the movie that Ashton Kutcher and Jennifer Garner should have been a couple.  Everything happening in their love lives (the uncommitted girlfriend and the cheating boyfriend) was leading to the two of them getting together.  The crucial moment for their relationship was when Ashton Kutcher went to the airport to find her and compared her to sunshine.  At the end of the movie they met on the bridge outside Ashton Kutcher’s house and realized their mutual feelings which was when the voice on the radio said “Let’s get naked.”

Topher Grace and Anne Hathaway
Again, we started in bed.  All of the good looking people that were featured in this movie have already slept with each other prior to the start.  Upon waking, Anne Hathaway said she was late and ran out the door.  We found out that she was a phone sex entertainer.  She moonlit as an entertainer while temping at an agency run by Queen Latifah.  Topher Grace worked as a mailman at the same agency.  After making another date for that night, Topher Grace insulted Anne Hathaway when he found out about her secret job.  She left him and he went alone to a movie screening in a Hollywood cemetery.  During the movie, Topher Grace realized by watching another couple that he should love her and learn to appreciate her regardless of things he doesn’t like.  He went to her apartment, professed his love, and they boned until the morning.

Eric Dane
Eric Dane had a story almost entirely to himself.  He was a football player between seasons, waiting to see if his contract was going to be renewed or if he would be forced into free agency.  His agent was Queen Latifah.  When his team did not pick him up for another season, he decided that it was time to make a big move.  He held a press conference to say that he was gay.  He wanted to focus more on his love life than football.  His story concluded with his boyfriend coming home to see him.

Bradley Cooper and Julia Roberts
The storyline with Bradley Cooper and Julia Roberts took place on a plane flying to Los Angeles.  Bradley Cooper woke up (like everyone else in the movie) to Julia Roberts sleeping with her head on his shoulder.  Throughout the flight, they had friendly banter back and forth.  We found out that Julia Roberts was flying into town to see the man in her life.  Bradley Cooper lent her his car to meet her man, who was her son.  Meanwhile, Bradley Cooper headed off to meet up with Eric Dane, his boyfriend.  Oh, the twist.

Bryce Robinson
There was one character in Valentine’s Day who was a child.  There needed to be a child’s perspective on love and Valentine’s Day.  Bryce Robinson was that child.  Near the beginning of his storyline, he was taken to Ashton Kutcher’s floral shop by his grandfather Hector Elizondo.  He wanted to get flowers for the girl he loved.  He asked for them to be delivered during recess.  The flowers never showed up, though, and Bryce was forced to outright tell his love.  The girl he loved was his teacher, Jennifer Garner.  She said that he should be with someone his own age and pointed out a girl who shared many interests with him.  He turned his attention to that girl.  Oh, and his mom was Julia Roberts.

Hector Elizondo and Shirley MacLaine
As a counter to the child, there needed to be a love story between older people.  Hector Elizondo and Shirley MacLaine had been together forever.  They were the only relationship either of them had ever had, and they stood the test of time.  Or so everyone thought.  It was revealed that Shirley MacLaine once slept with someone else when Hector Elizondo was away for a long time.  He was heartbroken by the news and headed off to the Hollywood cemetery alone, where he met Topher Grace.  He discovered through conversation that he still loved her regardless of this one moment.  When Shirley MacLaine showed up at the cemetery looking for him, they made up.

Emma Roberts and Carter Jenkins
They were two high school sweethearts hoping to have sex for the first time during their lunch break.  Carter Jenkins went to Emma Roberts’s house, got naked, and started playing guitar.  Emma’s mom walked in on him.  There was an awkward scene before he streaked into the street.  Later, Emma Roberts confided in Hector Elizondo and Shirley MacLaine, the grandparents of Bryce Robinson, the kid she babysat.  Then she discovered that it was not the right time for her to have sex with Carter Jenkins and the two lived on sexless.

Taylor Swift and Taylor Lautner
This was the most irritating storyline in Valentine’s Day.  These two were in a high school relationship.  It probably wouldn’t last.  Taylor Swift liked Taylor Lautner because he was a good looking athlete.  He liked her because she was a good looking dancer.  The only reason this storyline was a thing is because the two Taylors were actually going out in real life.

Jamie Foxx and Jessica Biel
This is the last relationship/story I have to cover.  Jamie Foxx was a sports reporter.  It was a slow day so he had been assigned a report about Valentine’s Day and love.  He didn’t like that.  When he found out about Eric Dane getting dropped from his team, Jamie Foxx left his assistant to do the reporting while he went to get an interview.  His way of doing this was to talk to Dane’s manager, Jessica Biel.  Jessica Biel didn’t like Valentine’s Day because she never had a date for it.  She was eating chocolate and whining in her office.  She confided in Jamie Foxx, and he got to be the first to ask Eric Dane a question after his press conference.  Later, he took Jessica Biel to the news station, before showing up at her “no date party” and saying he was her date.

Valentine’s Day was a movie with many relationships and storylines.  This is the kind of ensemble movie I truly enjoy, since it gave everyone their time to shine without making it focus primarily a small group of people within the group.  The interwoven storylines also made it fun to see how each of the characters fit into the larger scheme of things.  Much like New Year’s Eve, it worked pretty well in that regard.

I included Valentine’s Day in the Sunday “Bad” Movies because I hadn’t heard great things and the timing was perfect.  But it wasn’t that bad of a movie.  I enjoyed it and not because it was cheesy or poorly made.  I thought it was actually a good movie.  Mistakes like this come up once in a while, but that’s what makes these posts interesting.  Discovering things I like is part of the process.  You never know until you actually see something whether you’ll like it or not.
Will you like these notes?  Check them out:

  • Valentine’s Day was directed by Garry Marshall, who also directed New Year’s Eve.
  • Christina Lakin was in Valentine’s Day.  She was also in Parental Guidance, New Year’s Eve, and Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2.
  • George Lopez has been in the Sunday “Bad” Movies with the three Beverly Hills Chihuahua movies.  Now he’s here with Valentine’s Day.
  • Jessica Biel has been featured in three movies I’ve covered.  Playing for Keeps, New Year’s Eve, and Valentine’s Day have all featured the actress.
  • Another third timer is Sandra Taylor, who has been in New Year’s Eve, Batman & Robin, and Valentine’s Day.
  • Then there is Larry Miller, who has been in New Year’s Eve, Foodfight!, and Valentine’s Day.
  • This is going to be a long boring list.  There were a lot of people in Valentine’s Day who were in New Year’s Eve.  Here they are: Shea Curry, Wedil David, Hector Elizondo, Stephanie Fabian, Beth Kennedy, Anna Kulinova, Ashton Kutcher, Barbara Marshall, Kathleen Marshall, Sam Marshall, Lily Marshall-Fricker, Jaclyn Miller, Serena Poon, Joey Sorge, Peter Allen Vogt, Matthew Walker, Anna A. White, Emily Moss Wilson, Greg Wilson, and Katie Witkowski.
  • Joe Mantegna showed up in Valentine’s Day for a split second.  He was previously in Baby’s Day Out.
  • Another second appearance comes from Heather Rose, who was in The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure.
  • Rick L. Dean and Rance Howard were both in Valentine’s Day and Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2.
  • Nicole Abramson was in Jack and Jill and Valentine’s Day.
  • Finally, there is Taylor Lautner.  He was in Twilight, but I haven’t covered that.  A movie I have covered that he was in is Tracers.
  • Have you seen Valentine’s Day?  What did you think of it?  Good or bad?  Use the comments below to talk about the movie or this post.
  • If you have any movies that you think I should cover for the Sunday “Bad” Movies, feel free to tell me on Twitter or post your suggestions in the comments.
  • Next week’s movie is A Sound of Thunder, a movie that I have seen bits and pieces of.  I know the basic idea and I’m interested in it.  I’ll see you next week with a post.

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