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6 Degrees Entertainment

'Valentine's Day'
(Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Garner, Taylor Swift, Jamie Foxx, Jessica Alba, et al / DVD / PG-13 / 2010 / New line)

Overview: The starriest cast you may ever see sparkles in a hilarious and heartwarming romcom from the director of Pretty Woman and The Princess Diaries. Stories crisscross, collide and boomerang in this look at a day in the life of love.

DVD: 'Valentine's Day' is directed by Garry Marshall, director of the hit romantic comedy "Pretty Woman." His latest outing offers a much more complicated narrative than the film that made Julia Roberts a star 20 years ago. 'Valentine's Day' is an ensemble rom-com with more than 15 characters in it, and all events happen in one day, on Feb 14. In a sense this project is more ambitious than "Love Actually" ... maybe too ambitious.

For all these characters seem crammed into the 125-minute film, and not all of them are really memorable. Perhaps you may want to know more about a few characters, like Julia Roberts's Captain Kate Hazeltine traveling 14 hours to make an important rendezvous, or about a unique job by Anne Hathaway's character (speaking in a fake Russian accent). Chances are you may like some of them, but their story is soon interrupted by other less interesting ones, and it takes a while to meet them again.

The film's tone shifts restlessly, sometimes very tender, sometimes downright silly, but thankfully it never gets serious, if a bit too sentimental. Though one plot thread resolves with a nice twist, some threads feel rushed and even incomplete, and some scenes should have been left out of the script altogether.

The impressive cast includes Jessica Alba, Kathy Bates, Jessica Biel, Bradley Cooper, Eric Dane, Patrick Dempsey, Hector Elizondo (Garry Marshall regular), Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, Topher Grace, Anne Hathaway, Ashton Kutcher, Queen Latifah, Taylor Lautner, George Lopez, Shirley MacLaine, Emma Roberts, Julia Roberts and Taylor Swift. But remember, some of them (Kathy Bates, for instance) appears only for a few minutes.

'Valentine's Day' will be compared with other films with multiple plots like "Love Actually." Using an ensemble cast is hard to pull off, especially when the film belongs to the genre that is getting overcrowded every year. "Valentine's Day" has moments, both comical and touching, but sadly they will not stay with you for long. [KJ] This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

www.NewLine.com





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