I was very skeptical of this film, all the stars, all the hype, I just didn’t have much faith in good ol’ Garry Marshall (director). However, I was pleasantly surprised, Marshall definitely delivered. I didn’t love absolutely every storyline, but the film had a very nice flow and spoke truth about our desperation and desire for love in all walks of life. I also appreciated the connectivity of all the characters, how every storyline was connected in some way.
The film followed the life of couples and singles during the day devoted to love. The stories consisted of young love, new love, old love, imagined love, and all the kinds of love in between. I’m just going to touch on a few of the storylines, as to not spoil all the little twist and turns the movie takes.
- The story of Edgar (Hector Elizondo) and Estelle (Shirley MacLaine) was one of how love can withstand not only the test of time, but the test of forgiveness. True love is loving someone in spite of themselves, loving them completely no matter their previous mistakes. The scene at the Hollywood graveyard was perfection.
- On the flip side, the story of Jason (Topher Grace) and Liz (Anne Hathaway) was the predictable cheese-fest. Hathaway was charming and charismatic in her portrayal of Liz, but the idea of acceptance to moral differences is not love to me, it’s the recipe for disaster. I’m not saying you should judge people for their choices, however, you have a right to have standards and morals in your choice of romantic interest.
- The young love story with Grace (Emma Roberts) and Alex (Carter Jenkins) was also an interesting one. I was not a fan of the openness of sexual activity of high school students, but thankful that this film encouraged waiting for emotional readiness. Emma Roberts brought a unique freshness to her scenes as Grace, she had a quiet force that made you remember your “first love” and all the emotions that went with it.
- Finally, who hasn’t been in the same shoes as Kara (Jessica Biel)? The single person on the one day that everyone else seems to be coupled. The desire to fall apart and turn to sugar induced happiness in the form of circus peanuts and chocolates. Biel was amazing as the “hot mess” Kara, showing the pure, irrational emotions that Feb. 14th can involuntarily bring up in a single woman. I loved her!
Another surprise was Ashton Kutcher! He stole the show as Reed Bennett the overly romantic florist. He was the sweet, sincere guy that you love like a brother and just want the best for in all situations, especially love. Reed’s interactions with Edison (Bryce Robinson), the young boy who must get flowers to his Valentine, was precious, building more on his genuine character. George Lopez was a great comic relief as Alfonzo. He was full of funny one-liners, as well as tidbits of romantic wisdom. Other shout outs to the start-studded cast include Julia Roberts with her effortless beauty as an Army captain on leave to see her Valentine and Jennifer Gardner as a sweet school teacher that finds love right under her nose. Also, Taylor Lautner and Taylor Swift were hilarious together. Swift portrayed Felicia the typical high school sweetheart that was uncontrollably in love, she was perfection.
Garry Marshall did an excellent job weaving all of the stories together and developing a film that connected all these relationships to one another, as well as bringing out the true meaning of love. I also appreciated the Marshall cameo! If you are in the mood for a funny film that speaks to true human interaction and emotions, this is the film for you!