Valentine's Day is a sweet and sentimental romantic comedy, but even with an all-star cast it doesn't have the same heart as Love Actually.
For me the movie was a real treat as having lived in Los Angeles for almost two years now, I recognised so many of the local sights from restaurants in Studio City to Malibu beaches and views of Downtown L.A. It also reminded me a bit of Steve Martin's L.A. Story, with its nods to streets full of gardeners' trucks and bad drivers.
Beside the personal significance, the interweaving story is watchable enough with some likable stars including Jennifer Garner, Anne Hathaway, Topher Grace, Jessica Biel, Jamie Foxx and even new flavours of the month, Taylor Lautner and Bradley Cooper.
With all those Hollywood 'stars' it's strange then that the main actor holding all the plot-lines together is Ashton Kutcher, as the busy florist store owner. It really is his movie.
After watching the trailer for the movie I'd bemoaned that there appeared to be no gay relationships in the movie (so much for equality right?), but I was glad to eat my words with the inclusion of quite a simple coming-out story, although would it have hurt for the two of them to kiss?
I did like the movie and it was entertaining enough, but you felt that you never really knew any of the characters that well or even scratched below the surface of their lives. Maybe that's just their L.A. lifestyles, or maybe the film could have done with a few less actors and romantic cliches. What exactly was Kathy Bates (who I love as an actress) doing in the movie, apart from having another name to include in the advertising?
Finally I'm not sure how much I believe that Julia Roberts could be a Captain in the U.S. Army, but she did have the most touching moment in the film and so she's well worth the doubtless millions they paid her for the movie.
I'd give Valentine's Day three *** stars, but if I had to recommend a multi-strand ensemble romantic comedy to anyone my money would have to be on Love Actually for plot, character, acting and overall feel-good factor.
But that's just my opinion, let me know what you thought of the movie...