It’s fast becoming Hollywood’s new favorite genre: the Valentine’s Day movie. Different from the generic chick flick or romantic comedy, the V-Day flick is released just in time for the holiday and is ripe with superstar names and often guy-friendly storylines that even the toughest of dudes can get behind.
This year’s entry into the annals of love’s greatness is the aptly titled, Valentine’s Day. The comedy showcases an amazing cast of Hollywood royalty such as It Boy Bradley Cooper, Jessica Biel, Academy Award winners Jamie Foxx and Julia Roberts, Grammy winner Taylor Swift, heartthrob Taylor Lautner and living legend Shirley MacLaine – to name a few. It’s directed by filmmaker extraordinaire, Garry Marshall, who introduced the world to BOTH Roberts in Pretty Woman and Anne Hathaway (who also co-stars in Valentine’s Day) in The Princess Diaries. The plot is ripe with sweetness and happenings and it all goes down something like this:
Reed (Ashton Kutcher) is about to propose to his girlfriend, Morley (Jessica Alba). Will she say yes? Will she say no? The only real answer is that what happens will allow the couple to truly evaluate what they mean to one another. Holden (Cooper) is on a flight on his way back to Los Angeles. Sitting next to him is Kate (Julia Roberts), a soldier on her way home to spend Valentine’s Day with one very special man in her life. Kara (Biel) is a savvy publicist who is seriously down on love. Her career is also a swinging pendulum with the uncertain future of one of her top clients, a football star named Sean Jackson (“Grey’s Anatomy” star Eric Dane), hanging in the balance.
When a jaded, but eager journalist named Kelvin (Foxx) steps into the picture, the day becomes memorable for everyone involved. Meanwhile, Reed’s best gal pal, Julia (Jennifer Garner) has just begun seeing a handsome doctor named Harrison (Patrick Dempsey). Dude’s got a secret and it won’t take long for it to see the light of day. Liz (Hathaway) and Josh (Topher Grace) are a new couple, still enjoying the fun of sex, sex and more sex. However, Josh will soon get more than he bargained for when he learns that Liz’s secret sex life is much more vivid than he ever could have imagined.
Tyler and Samantha (Taylors Lautner and Swift) are a couple of ditzy teens not afraid of showing the world how much they care for one another – teddy bears and interpretive dance included. They happen to be good friends with another couple that includes Grace (Emma Roberts), an 18-year-old planning to lose her virginity February 14 (giving all new meaning to the term, “V-Day”). When second thoughts start rolling in, Grace enlists the advice of her grandparents, Estelle (MacLaine) and Edgar (Héctor Elizondo). However, their words of wisdom open up a whole new can of worms within their own marriage.
Everything about this film, from the familiar locations to the character archetypes is a nod to the day-to-day activity in Los Angeles, including the press day promoting its arrival. In what looked more like a meeting of the United Nations than a film junket, Roberts, Foxx, Cooper, Garner, Biel, MacLaine, Elizondo, George Lopez, Kutcher, Grace, Alba and Marshall (Swift had to bow out of the press day due to pre-Grammy award preparations.) made their way into the grand ballroom of the Beverly Hilton hotel and spoke candidly of their work on the rather groundbreaking project.
When asked why audiences should check out his latest film, Marshall joked, “First of all, you have anyone whose name starts with ‘J.’”
It’s good humor like this that attracted the cast to the project. Everyone looked forward to gaining the chance to work with Marshall.
“He’s the king of the romantic comedy,” says Garner, “so it was a no-brainer for everyone in the cast. We all wanted to be in there.”
Kutcher was happy to point out the humanitarian aspect of seeing Valentine’s Day: “I think watching this movie [is] a healthy valentine,” he says. “We had a green set.”
The actor-producer explains that the production, like a growing number of other projects turned out by the studios, relied on environmentally friendly methods of completion. This included the use of hybrid vehicles, solar-powered lighting and even reusable set pieces.
As for how the stars plan to spend the holiday, Julia Roberts came clean, admitting what she and husband Danny Moder will be doing.
“We’re just going to be making out for the full 24 hours!” she jokes.
Topher Grace didn’t spill any dating secrets about his Feb. 14, but he made it abundantly clear that he wants your butt in a seat at the local multiplex: “I would say go see [Valentine’s Day] because really you don’t get anything out of it unless you see it twice!”
Valentine’s Day releases in theaters Feb. 12.