UK release poster
|Directed by||Garry Marshall|
|Produced by||Samuel J. Brown
Wayne Allan Rice
|Written by||Katherine Fugate
|Music by||John Debney|
|Editing by||Bruce Green|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.
New Line Cinema
|Release date(s)||February 10, 2010
February 12, 2010 (United States)
|Running time||125 minutes|
On an airplane to Los Angeles, Kate Hazeltine (Julia Roberts), a captain in the U.S. Army on a one-day leave, meets newly single Holden Bristow (Bradley Cooper). On the flight Holden and Kate become good friends, playing a board game and making jokes. Later when Kate is unable to get a taxi to go to her house, Holden offers his limousine. She returns home to her son Edison.
In Los Angeles, florist Reed Bennett (Ashton Kutcher) eagerly proposes to his girlfriend Morley (Jessica Alba), much to the surprise of Reed’s friends Alfonso (George Lopez) and Julia Fitzpatrick (Jennifer Garner). Morley changes her mind and leaves Reed later in the day.
Julia, a primary school teacher, has recently fallen in love with Dr. Harrison Copeland (Patrick Dempsey), but does not know that he is married. Reed finds out when Harrison orders flowers for both his wife and for Julia. Reed warns Julia, and she refuses to believe it but does not get on the plane. Instead, she goes to the hospital at which he works, and inquires after him. The nurses at the counter reveal to her that he is married and tell her the name of the restaurant where he and his wife will be dining that evening. Dressed as a waitress, Julia makes a scene at the restaurant. Julia ends the scene with giving back the toy Harrison gave her that morning. Harrison's wife, Pamela, recognizes the toy.
One of Julia’s students, Edison (Bryce Robinson), orders flowers from Reed, to be sent to his valentine. There is a delay in the delivery, but Edison insists that Reed delivers the flowers the same day. They are for Julia; however, Julia suggests to Edison to give the flowers to a girl in the class, which he does.
Edison's babysitter Grace (Emma Roberts) is planning her first sexual encounter with boyfriend Alex (Carter Jenkins). The planned encounter goes awry when Grace's mom discovers a naked Alex in Grace's room. Meanwhile Edison’s grandparents, Edgar (Hector Elizondo) and Estelle (Shirley MacLaine) are facing the troubles of a long marriage. Grace explains to them that she wants to have sex with Alex, and says, "It's not like I am going to sleep with one person for the rest of my life." This upsets Estelle and leads to her telling Edgar about an affair she had with one of his business partners while he was away a long time ago.
Sean Jackson (Eric Dane), a closeted gay professional football player, is contemplating the end of his career together with his publicist Kara (Jessica Biel) and his agent Paula (Queen Latifah). Kara, a close friend of Julia’s, is organizing her annual ‘I Hate Valentine’s Day’ party but is becoming interested in sports reporter Kelvin Moore (Jamie Foxx) who has been sent out by his producer Susan (Kathy Bates) to cover Valentine’s Day because of a lack of sports news, and shares the mutual feeling of dislike for Valentines Day. Paula has recently hired a new receptionist named Liz (Anne Hathaway) who has recently started dating mailroom clerk Jason (Topher Grace). Jason is first shocked when Liz turns out to also be a phone sex worker (operating her mobile phone at random places; surprising people around her), and not telling him, assumes she is cheating and leaves her, but eventually comes back to the relationship.
In conclusion to Valentine's Day, Sean reveals he is gay to the public, and Holden (who is Sean's lover) goes to support him because he finally came out. Kate goes home to greet her son Edison, Felicia and Willy kiss, Kelvin and Kara kiss, Dr. Copeland's wife leaves him, Alfonso dines with his wife, Grace and Alex wait to have sex, Edgar and Estelle retell each other their marriage vows and kiss in the theater, Morely is shown walking her Border collie while trying to call Reed and the movie closes with Julia and Reed kissing.
The score to Valentine's Day was composed by John Debney, who recorded his score with the Hollywood Studio Symphony at the Sony Scoring Stage. He also wrote a song for the film, "Every Time You Smiled", with award-winning lyricist Glen Ballard which was performed by Carina Round.
The movie's official soundtrack was released on February 9, 2010 via Big Machine Records. It features the movie's leading song, Jewel's "Stay Here Forever," which was released as a single on January 19, 2010 and has charted on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. The soundtrack also includes "Today Was a Fairytale" by Taylor Swift, which debuted at #2 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, breaking a record for highest first-week sales by a female artist.
The film debuted with $52.4 million its opening weekend, grabbing the No. 1 spot over the holiday that shares its name. The film ousted two other high-profile openings; 20th Century Fox's action fantasy Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, which debuted at No. 2 with $31.1 million over three days, and Universal's werewolf film The Wolfman, with $30.6 million. It is currently the 3rd Highest opening weekend in February.
The film received generally negative reviews from critics. Based on 152 reviews collected by Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an overall approval rating from critics of 18% with an average score of 3.8/10. Among Rotten Tomatoes' Cream of the Crop, which consists of popular and notable critics from the top newspapers, websites, television, and radio programs, the film holds an overall approval rating of 16% based on 31 reviews. Its consenus states, "Eager to please and stuffed with stars, Valentine's Day squanders its promise with a frantic, episodic plot and an abundance of rom-com cliches". By comparison Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 top reviews from mainstream critics, calculated an average score of 33%, based on 39 reviews.
Giving the film 3/4 stars, the overall opinion of Carrie Rickey's review for The Philadelphia Inquirer is that "It is a pleasant, undemanding movie that takes place over 18 hours on V-Day and considers Very Attractive People whose romantic destinies converge, diverge, and cloverleaf like the interstates threading through California's Southland". Betsy Sharkey of The Los Angeles Times commented that "The effect of all those spinning songs, stars and scenarios is merry-go-round-like, producing a sort of dizzying collage that no doubt some will adore, while others will just get nauseous...".
Rene Rodriguez for the Miami Herald gave the film 2/4 stars, describing the film as "surfing through the channels of an all-chick-flick cable service." Rodriguez also criticized the film's blandness, stating the film should have "shed some of its blander plotlines (such as the silly romance between Topher Grace and Anne Hathaway, who moonlights as a phone-sex operator, a premise lifted from Short Cuts) and spent a little more time exploring the thrill and elation of being in love - or at least just being horny". Slate movie critic Dana Stevens wrote that the film "lacks in charm, humor, and intelligence...". Peter Travers of Rolling Stone gave the film one star out of four. Travers' analysis of the film simply states that "Valentine's Day is a date movie from hell". Jonathan Ross was not complimentary either on his Film 2010 show. He said "I thought the film was just awful".
Valentine's Day is noted for sharing similarities with the British film Love Actually,   particullarly the basic premise of multiple storylines ocurring around a popular holiday, and sometimes identical subplots.