It usually means one of two things when I cease taking notes during a movie. Either I’m (hopefully) completely caught up in what’s going on or, as was the case with Valentine’s Day, everything that is happening makes so little sense and just seems thrown up (possibly literally) on the screen with such slap-dash effort that I've given up entirely on trying to keep track of what’s going on.
Garry Marshall has managed to direct some fun films in the past. Even if some of them weren’t great, at least they were serviceable and silly enough to keep the jokes strung along. But from the man who brought us The Flamingo Kid, Nothing in Common, Overboard, Beaches, and Pretty Woman also came a downhill slide: Frankie & Johnny, Exit to Eden, Dear God, The Other Sister, Runaway Bride, and Georgia Rule. Not even re-teaming with Julia Roberts could save him then nor now.
Screenwriter, Katherine Fugate is no help here. With her past writing credits including the first two Prince & Me films, an episode of Xena: Warrior Princess and two episodes of Max Steel, one can’t help but wonder who thought she was the perfect person to take over sole writing duties. The so-called story is credited also to the team behind He’s Just Not That Into You and Never Been Kissed. While those two movies are just as fluffy as this one thinks it is, Valentine’s Day receives the kiss of death from celebrity overload and Garry Marshall’s pulverizing directing.
As far as any kind of plot, let’s see… Reed Bennett (Ashton Kutcher) has just asked his girlfriend Morley (Jessica Alba) to marry him. While Morley may have said yes, Reed’s best friend Julia Fitzpatrick (Jennifer Garner) still fears for the worst even though she is living a delusional relationship with the man of her dreams, Dr. Harrison Copeland (Patrick Dempsey), who, surprise surprise, is married. Meanwhile, flying over the United States, Captain Kate Hazeltine (Julia Roberts) wakes up on the shoulder of Holden (Bradley Cooper) who seems to have a bone to pick with anything love-related.
Also in the mix here we get nanny Grace (Emma Roberts) who just wants to have sex for the first time with her boyfriend which is explained to numerous groups of people including her best friend Felicia (Taylor Swift) and her boyfriend Willy (Taylor Lautner), a school teacher, Ms. Gilroy (Kristen Schaal) and the grandparents of the boy (Edison, played by Bryce Robinson) for whom she is a nanny, Edgar (Hector Elizondo) and Estelle (Shirley MacLaine).