Catching Valentine’s Day was an accident of proximity, but I was curious about the ensemble cast, reminiscent of He’s Just Not That Into You (20009). However, this celebrity gathering topped HJNTIY and it’s many storylines flanked you. If you don’t like all the storylines, you’ll have to wade through the dull ones. In short, it’s an LA movie about cheaters. Not all are, but it’s a running theme. There’s also a Short Cuts (1993) element where characters are connected by a degree of two of separation, giving you a few perspectives.
Reed (Ashton Kutcher) owns a busy pink-themed flower shop. His best friend Julia (Jennifer Garner) is a teacher and both are dating others. They end up telling each other what they think of their partners. Liz (Anne Hathaway), assistant to Hollywood agent Paula (Queen Latifah), moonlights as a phone sex operator. She meets Jason (Topher Grace) and has difficulties juggling her work lives and dating. Kate (Julia Roberts) is an active-duty soldier on her way home for a less-than-24-hours leave. On the plane, she’s next to Holden (Bradley Cooper) and as they banter, he learns about her while he reveals little. The Taylor2 (Taylor Swift + Taylor Lautner) storyline was unconventionally funny. Neither is a great actor but Swift, as Felicia, lets herself be so silly, you cannot help but be amused. It seemed that even werewolf-boy Lautner. as Willy, had to fight laughter. Virgin couple Alex (Carter Jenkins) and Grace’s (Emma Roberts) plan to meet and de-flower each other so that they can part and go to their different coasted Ivy-league schools gets complicated. Cameo by Kristen Schaal (better known as Mel from Flight of the Conchords) as Ms. Gilroy was a tease; she deserved much more screen time.
Jennifer Garner has excellent comedic timing. This saved Kutcher’s limited-beyond-his-delicious-good-looks acting. Jessica Alba as Morley, Reed’s girlfriend is boring. Jessica Biel as Kara gives a flat and lame performance. Her interactions with Kelvin (Jamie Foxx) are devoid of any chemistry. Eric Dane as Sean is uninspired. Patrick Dempsey as Dr. Harrison Copeland is decent but the same as in Grey’s Anatomy. Some transitions between characters lack smoothness and credibility. A light romp with too many characters (but fun to see all the actors) and a flimsy plot, but despite these issues, I didn’t regret it.
Director: Garry Marshall
Run time: 125 minutes