Valentine's Day [Blu-Ray] Garry Marshall

Valentine's Day [Blu-Ray] Garry Marshall
Early in Valentine's Day, Ashton Kutcher proposes to girlfriend Jessica Alba, and her acceptance surprises many of their friends. Why, after all, would a goddess like Alba lower herself to marrying a schlub like Kutcher, right? At the midpoint, even Alba starts having her doubts, but shortly after she terminates their relationship, Kutcher realizes that he was actually in love with his best friend along. His best friend, it turns out, is Jennifer Garner. In these hard economic times, isn't it nice to see a movie we can all identify with? Sadly, the neorealist Alba/Kutcher/Garner drama is only one of many, many, many subplots in Garry Marshall's 125-minute, 400-foot, 18,000-tonne freight train of a romantic comedy, which suffocates and crushes the audience under the massive weight of its nothingness. Many critics have already lambasted Valentine's Day for containing not a single laugh, nor a single resonant emotional moment, but I would argue these complaints are beside the point. There can be something vaguely comforting about a bland, forgettable rom-com, especially one filled with so many good-looking famous people. Sure, this is the six trillionth romantic comedy in which a character runs to the airport to stop someone of the opposite sex from boarding a plane, but perhaps this scenario has become such an overused cliché because it fundamentally works (that the characters happen to possess the blinding-white grin of Jennifer Garner and the rock-hard abs of Ashton Kutcher is certainly no detriment). What's fascinating about Valentine's Day though is that when so many clichéd stories are given so little screen time there's no room for tension, suspense, humour, emotion, depth of character ― indeed, anything but a cliché in its purest, barest form. At 125 minutes, this thing feels longer than Jean Dielmann, but as a bizarre experiment to see just how many clichés can be jammed into a single film, I'm sort of glad it exists. Exclusive to the Blu-Ray is a commentary by Garry Marshall. "There's Ashton Kutcher, a very good actor, and tall!" says Marshall. "So you have to get the shot so it fits him. Notice he's not standing in this scene; he's on one knee. Then we can fit him in the shot." He then adds, "That's called directing." (Warner)