I Was Pleasantly Surprised By "Valentine's Day!" The Film Actually Made Me Feel Good! 


Truth be told, I was not looking forward to seeing "Valentine's Day." I'm not a big romantic-comedy fan, nor do I like big, ensemble cast in films -- I've always thought they're just merely gimmicks.

Well, gimmick or not, I fell in love with the cast of "Valentine's Day." Some actors were stronger than others, of course, but everyone pulled their weight.

Sure, director Garry Marshall has made soft and fluffy films like "Beaches," "Pretty Woman, both "Princess Diaries" movies, but at least he knows how to balance the romantic with the comedy.

I suspect moviegoers will enjoy "Valentine's Day." There are some predictable subplots (but nowadays, predictability and romantic comedy pretty much go hand-in-hand) and don't expect too much character development (it's hard to develop a character when you have 20 other characters to nurture).

But I guarantee you -- "Valentine's Day" will make you feel good!

Told in one day, Valentine's day of course, and set in Los Angeles, "Valentine's Day" follows the lives of various characters as they fall in and out of love.

Here's a rundown of the characters:

ASHTON KUTCHER -- His character, Reed Bennett, is central to the story. He owns a flower shop and cafe called Siena Bouquet -- and in this day of love, everything happens inside his flower shop. He just proposed to his girlfriend played by...

JESSICA ALBA -- A workaholic who genuinely loves Reed but must learn how to balance love and career.

Reed has two friends, one is played by...

GEORGE LOPEZ as Alphonso. He works for Reed, but he's like Yoda to Reed's Luke Skywalker. He tries to lead Reed to the right path of love...

Reed's other confidante is played by...

JENNIFER GARNER as Julia Fitzpatrick -- a 5th grade teacher who thinks she has found true love with Dr. Harrison Copeland played by...

PATRICK DEMPSEY -- who must leave Julia during Valentine's day for an important heart surgery in San Francisco...

Meanwhile...Julia's student, Edison, played by...

BRYCE ROBINSON -- has a secret crush and is on a mission to deliver flowers to her before the day is over. Edison lives with his grandma and grandpa played by....

SHIRLEY MACLAINE -- her character's named is Estelle, and is celebrating 50 years of marital bliss with Edgar, played by...

HECTOR ELIZONDO -- Both Estelle and Edgar will be confronted by a nagging question -- how much do you trust the one you love?

Estelle and Edgar hire a babysitter to take care of Edison, and she's played by...

EMMA ROBERTS -- All she wants to do is to lose her virginity together with her boyfriend, Alex (Carter Jenkins), in this special day of love.

They are both friends with Felicia, played by...

TAYLOR SWIFT -- a teenager in love with Tyler Harrinton, played by...

TAYLOR LAUTNER -- the high school jock. Their love is being documented for a TV report by...

JAMIE FOXX -- his character's name is Kelvin Moore, a wannabe sports anchor for local TV station KVLA who's been assigned to cover Valentine's day in Los Angeles by his producer played by KATHY BATES.

But what Kelvin really wants to cover is the career of Sean Jackson played by...

ERIC DANE -- a star professional quarterback who, at 35, may have been past his prime. His agent is played by...

QUEEN LATIFAH -- a strong-willed woman who will bulldoze anyone for the sake of his client. Helping her is Sean's publicist played by...

JESSIC BIEL - she's been left by a possible publicity nightmare after Sean reveals that...

Okay, I won't divulge that...

Meanwhile, working for the agency with Queen Latifah is....

TOPHER GRACE -- a Midwest boy who dreams of working in Hollywood and is dating Liz played by...

ANNE HATHAWAY -- the agency's receptionist and she's also a phone-sex operator.

Holding the pieces together are two characters that are flying back to Los Angeles. We have...

JULIA ROBERTS as U.S. Army Captain Kate Hazeltine who's on a very brief short leave for an important rendezvous. She's been traveling for 14 hours, and her seatmate is Holden, played by...

BRADLEY COOPER who provides a shoulder for Kate to sleep on.

Whew, did you get all that? It may sound complicated but it's really not. The pacing by Marshall is so light and airy that you will have no problem following each character.

My favorite of them all is the tandem of Maclaine and Elizondo. Their narrative arc even brought a tear to my eye.

And for those wondering if Taylor Swift can act -- don't worry, the pop princess has comedic flair and shows great timing!

I also like Julia Roberts' character -- her mission back home is as honorable as her mission overseas.

So yes, "Valentine's Day" is light and fluffy, but the air is right and the film will make you seek out Cupid's arrow just to experience the perilous pitfalls and the addictive pinnacles of love.

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