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Valentine's Day

A love story. More or less. 

Year: 2010 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: Unknown 
Certificate: BBFC 12A Cert – Under 12s admitted only with an adult 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by Garry Marshall 
Starring: Jessica Alba, Julia Roberts, Bradley Cooper, Patrick Dempsey  
An image from Valentine's Day

On the most romantic day of the year, couples around the city of Los Angeles search for and misplace love in a complicated web of relationships and chance meetings. While some discover secrets about their partners, others flirt and fight and fall in love. Julia Roberts easily delivers the best performance as Hazeltine, a military captain on leave. Through it all, florist Reed (Kutcher) is there as a modern-day cupid delivering flowers to the multitude of couples, inciting heartbreak and romance.

With Valentine’s Day, director Garry Marshall delivers a heartfelt film along the lines of his trademark hit, Pretty Woman. Though the film relies heavily on the conventions of romantic comedies and the dialogue is at times contrived, there are still enough unexpected elements to keep the plot interesting and the audience intrigued. The story is not without its profoundly touching moments either, and laughing out loud is virtually inevitable by the end.

Though the star studded cast (boasting a total of 16 Oscar nominations among the actors) may overtake the film’s narrative at times, it is delightful to watch the chemistry blossom between characters as they learn about the nature of true love. Additionally, the wide range of couples (from kindergarten crushes to elderly spouses celebrating decades together) provides an interesting factor in the depiction of that one emotion that unites us all.

As a tribute for a day designated to celebrate the unpredictable power of love, who can resist the lull of cinematic kisses, cuddles, and most importantly, chocolate? Clichéd though it may be, Valentine’s Day follows in the footsteps of Love Actually in crafting a hilarious, charming, and often moving addition to the rom-com genre.

Ana Paula Pereira de Souza

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Screenings of this film:

2009/2010 Summer Term (35mm)