First off, I’d like to wish everyone a happy Valentine’s Day. I know the sustainable love movie of the month comes out the day after Valentine’s Day, but I thought that instead of reviewing merely one movie (since I was having a hard time deciding), that I would compare two.
I saw the new very hyped movie “Valentine’s Day” last night at the theatres. It had a great American cast and it was a good idea to create a movie that completely revolves around people’s lives on Valentine’s Day, but the follow through didn’t follow through very well. It was cute, it was predictable and it left me entirely dissatisfied. That seems to not only be my reaction, however. The Internet Movie Database (IMDB) gave it a 5 and a half star rating out of ten. A user on the site called it a “poor man’s Love Actually.”
Now, let’s talk about Love Actually. In case you haven’t seen it, it’s a 2003 British romantic comedy starring all of our favorite British stars, including Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, Liam Neeson, and Alan Rickman, among others. The movie follows the lives of 8 couples in London and how their relationships either end or succeed.
Valentine’s Day does a similar thing, yet it tries to do too much. It has a great cast, including Ashton Kutcher, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, and Anne Hathaway, but that’s about all it can boast, considering that none of the characters really had any depth. It’s not easy to find, or to make a romantic comedy that doesn’t include some kind of cliché, but when moviemakers do it with only one storyline, viewers often can come out with some kind of love for the characters. It’s even harder to do it with multiple storylines and though Valentine’s Day tries really hard to make you care, there are simply too many people to care about.
What does Love Actually do so well? I believe it’s mostly about the script, which allows the characters to all be connected in very meaningful ways. Although the movie was centered on Christmas, the whole movie was not about Christmas, which differed from Valentine’s Day, a movie completely revolving around the good and bad clichés of the February holiday. Love Actually also creates characters that we can all relate to and that we all admire or dislike. There is raw chemistry that can be felt between the characters and their romantic counterparts, chemistry that feels real, rather than strained.
If you haven’t seen Love Actually yet, see it. If you enjoy complex storylines, this is the film for you. It has something for everyone and is definitely an enjoyable date movie. Did you see Valentine’s Day yet? I would love to hear other reviews if you have them, so please let me know. Despite the disconnect in Valentine’s Day, I liked the concept, a concept also shared in the complex storyline of He’s Just Not That Into You. Can you think of any other movies like those?