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:
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.