Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Don’t be mine

Now I know that just as you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, it’s unfair to judge a movie by its trailer. But fairness is apparently now the trademarked domain of Fox News (at least that’s what the notes I scribbled on my palm say), so let’s judge away. Here’s the thing, “Valentine’s Day” looks awful. Like that Valentine’s Day candy that comes in the enormous, glossy, heart-shaped box awful. It’s sweet, it’s shiny, it’s expensive but inside it’s filled with nothing but those awful strawberry creams that make you gag after two bites. Harsh? I’ve mentioned before that I’m not the biggest fan of Valentine’s Day, haven’t I?

I’m very rarely a fan of the Americanized version of anything British. They have the better accents and the ability to be charming while stuttering. They have high tea, we have Ho-Hos. So every time the sunny, star-filled trailer for “Valentine’s Day” plays my heart cringes. Look, I know “Love Actually.” “Love Actually” is one of my favorite movies. “Valentine’s Day,” you’re no “Love Actually.”

Case in point:
Love Actually

Valentine’s Day

Yeah, no comparison.

There are downgrades and then there are downgrades. Going from Colin Firth to Ashton Kutcher is the latter. Not that I have anything personally against the, what, 600 big-name movie stars in “Valentine’s Day.” Anne Hathaway, lovely. Jennifer Garner, so girl next doory you’d think she actually lived next door. Jessica Biel, you’ve seen her in a tank top, right? It’s the forced combination in a movie by Garry Marshall (a man who wields romance like a club), that makes me uncomfortable. I mean, did you hear they’ve already working on a sequel called “New Year’s Eve?” Welcome to Love, The Brand. No, thank you.

Also, “Valentine’s Day” purposely de-gays the gay couple (that’d be Bradley Cooper and Eric Dane) in the trailer. So, you know, BOO!

What made “Love Actually” so universally heartwarming was its all-too-human elements. It never felt calculated or corporatized. It never featured a couple with the same first name, where they weren’t also of the same sex. But it did have Emma Thompson. Any film with Emma Thompson will always and forever win out over any film that doesn’t. Period. Laugh that big, loud, trademark laugh of yours all you want, Julia Roberts. You know it’s true.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, enjoy your big, gooey-centered Hollywood extravaganza if you must. Which, inevitably, will be followed by “New Year’s Eve,” “Thanksgiving Dinner,” “Fourth of July” and “Secretary’s Day.” But know that I’ll be at home rewatching “Love Actually” and swooning all over again. Love is all around, you just need to know where to look.

23 comments:

innerbrat said...

But at least Valentine's Day has a gay couple? I'm the only person I know who doesn't like Love Actually, and that's solely because I feel excluded from its celebration of heterosexual love.

heidi said...

not to mention . . .
http://www.cnn.com/2010/SHOWBIZ/Movies/02/04/valentine.promo.degayed/index.html

Anonymous said...

Thank you!!! Hate valentines day and would hate this movie. This man will make lots of money off of it though.

jennifer from pittsburgh said...

I love love, but actually, I hated Love Actually. Didn't even make it through a single viewing of it.
So, ergo, if this Valentine's movie thingy is a poor rip-off of a movie I already revile, there is no chance that I'll even watch a trailer for it.

Linda said...

the big difference between Love, Actually and Valentine's Day? Hollywood teeth. just too damn perfect to be true.

and anybody who does wrong by Emma Thompson - yeah, Rickman, I'm lookin' at you - just doesn't appreciate a thing of beauty when it's in front of them...

angstysarah said...

Great post! Valentine's Day (the movie) looks just as awful as Valentine's Day (the day). I LOVE Love Actually and I understand the lack of gay love in it, but if one takes the time to watch the deleted scenes Emma Thompson's son's school's headmistress is a lesbian and shows her story with her partner. Just throwing that out there.

Jude said...

I saw Valentine's Day yesterday, and it's actually quite good if you like syrupy movies with tons of stars (which I do). I liked Love Actually too.

I'm French and Valentine's day (the day) isn't such a big thing here, so maybe it helped me just enjoy the movie (I was about to list the actresses I enjoyed but there are too many of them). And even though the trailer did hide the gay characters, there are gay characters (not just in the deleted scenes), and their story's as nice as the others.

To sum it up: it's a nice film, no more, no less. And you get to hear Anne Hathaway and Queen Latifah talk dirty, though not to each other.

katja said...

I'm not a big fan of Love Actually but otherwise, I agree with you. Valentine's Day makes me sick (now I mean the movie).

;) babs said...

the movie looks too sweet and too straight.
I just read that there is a gay couple in it, but I didnt see that in the trailer...

on the other hand LOVE ACTUALLY actually is one of my favorite movies, even without anything gay in it.
emma thompson is enough for me. ;)

LizW said...

I know I've seen Love Actually, but tend to forget movies not long after I've seen them. So, its trailer felt new to me. I have to say I don't see anything tremendously inferior in the trailer for Valentine's Day. Some likeable actors/actresses in a romcom in both situations.

Norma Desmond said...

I seem to be one of the few around here that adores Love Actually with you... That said, I will certainly NOT be seeing Valentine's Day. Honestly, there's just no one in it that I like, let alone want to pay $12 to see. And, you know, there's no Emma Thompson... DEAL BREAKER.

dc said...

Yeah, its a good comparison. Although Love Actually had its sickly syrupy bits too (little boy's crush? ugh)

The thing is: The Brits know how to NOT take themselves seriously, and they're adorable doing it. Bill Nighy was hysterical in it.

But Americans love being earnestly gooey..

This is the first time I've heard about the deleted scenes in Love Actually. I'm going to get the dvd out to watch it. Blast them who decided to cut it!

No, not watching it. Valentine's Day is just a sneaky way to pressure Americans to buy lots of chocs,cards and flowers. When I lived in England, it was barely a blip on the radar.

I'm still pretty good at ignoring it. This year it also falls on Chinese New Year, which I celebrate.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for that. I love "love actually" it is charming and subtly funny. I didn't think anyone else even watched that movie.

Even the name Valentines Day his a bid jack hammer. Big sigh. I won't be seeing this movie.

FeltHat said...

got given a 2 for 1 coupn for Valentines day - couldn't give it away - abandoned it in office kitchen where it is still tacked to a cupboard door...
Thanks for confirming what i thought!

Anonymous said...

I loved "Love Actually" and have no desire to see this film.

Frogs in my formula said...

I liked Love Actually. I'm only a fan of sappy movies if I'm having a crappy day and need an injection of feel-good fluff.

Maybe I haven't been watching a lot of TV lately but it seems light on the VDay ads. Those sappy ads makes me nauseous. I won't be seeing the film--no way, no how.

Frogs in my formula said...

P.S. I've never used the word sappy twice in one comment! I feel like the Sapmaster.

jess said...

There's a gay couple in this movie?? There isn't a single inkling of it anywhere. Judging by the trailers I've seen, I thought Bradley Cooper played some sort of womanizer/playboy possibly being "tamed" by the Julia Roberts character.

Still skipping it, buying some cd's/vinyl instead.
Also, why do Brits do it better??

Anonymous said...

Indeed, Lova Actually was a great film, cheesy but not too much that you were sick. The jokes & just general feel of the film was fantastic & to me vastly superior to what that Valentine's Day film looks like it'll be.

Plus any film that uses the Black Eyed Peas as their trailer music obviously sucks.

kit said...

Brits always do it better! It's the accent, it's their culture.

I think I'll still watch Valentine's Day just for Jennifer Garner, and pretend she's really in love with her best friend in the movie, Jessica Biel.

This photoshoot should make up for the over usage of Hollywood clichés in the film. Go to the 6th photo :).

Anonymous said...

yeah Dorothy! I love Love Actually- also one of my favorites! How 'bout pulling your weight for a Love Actually sequel w/ lgbt interest??
Let's see who would play Emma's girlfriend??;0p

Shula said...

Actually just saw the movie yesterday and it was a lot of fun. People forget that Love Actually had a lesbian couple in it before they edited it. Oh and yeah they killed one of them off.

Valentines day was funny and sweet as well, it did have a gay couple in it and the audience I watched the film with actually gasped when that was revealed (in a good way as the second half of the couple is a surprise I don't want to spoil). So watch and enjoy the love, or falling out of love and just relax. Oh and stay for the outtakes that are hysterical.

Annie said...

I loved Love Actually.

I dislike (and don't celebrate) Valentine's Day as a rule.

I enjoyed, very much, Valentine's Day. Saw it with my sister, and she did not see two of the major story lines coming. (We pride ourselves on seeing things coming.) I did, because I read too much pop culture and it sometimes ruins what should be a surprise. I almost wish I hadn't read spoilers (though I didn't realize they were spoilers at the time) before seeing it. Though star-studded, I think this might be the one time Holywood got it right. The characters who deservd more screen time got it. The ones you see in the trailor are not really plot-heavy anyhow.

The gay couple in this film has the sweetest, I think, plot arc. And there was an audible gasp and collective "Awwwwww" as people realized they were pining for each other. It was sweet.

Overall what I liked was that there weren't any hypersexual scenes at all. It was a sweet, family friendly movie that did better than most at including everyone.

If you like rom-coms, you should give it a try.