Valentine’s Day – A Top Contender in Romantic Comedies

Valentine’s Day (2010) has proven to be commercially a very successful romantic comedy, taking more than $100 million over the first weekend of its release, which just happened to be the Valentine’s Day weekend, a natural target for romantic movies. Although critics haven’t been as kind to this movie as customers, box office receipts are the key indicator to the producers and, based on a budget of $52 million, the popularity of the film has justified faith in their product.

Clearly influenced in its style and structure by the earlier successful British movie ‘Love Actually’ (2003), which took $247 million world-wide, and the even earlier French movie ‘La Ronde’ (1950), Valentine’s Day owes much to these love story movies but has a modern American slant and some big-name American actors.

This version of the ’roundabout’ has Julia Roberts appearing as Kate, an army captain who meets the newly single Holden (Bradley Cooper) while traveling by air to Los Angeles.

In L.A., Reed (Ashton Kutcher) is a florist and he is excited about the idea of proposing to his girlfriend, Morley (Jessica Alba), who accepts and later changes her mind. Reed’s best friends are Alphonso (George Lopez) and Julia (Jennifer Garner), who didn’t think that Reed and Morley were that well suited.

Julia, meanwhile, is in love with Dr. Harrison (Patrick Dempsey) without realizing that he’s already married. Reed discovers that Harrison has been deceiving her when the doctor orders flowers for both Julia and his wife. Julia plans to secretly surprise Harrison by flying to meet him where he is staying on what he stated was a business trip.

A primary school student of Julia, a young boy named Edison, also orders flowers for his Valentine and he insists that they be delivered – to Julia.

Edison has a babysitter named Grace (Emma Roberts) and she has a boyfriend Alex (Carter Jenkins). They’ve been planning a sexual encounter but things go awry when Grace’s mom sees Alex naked.

Edison’s grandparents, Edgar and Estelle (Hector Elizondo and Shirley MacLaine), are pondering their long marriage and Estelle confesses that she has not always been faithful to Edgar.

Grace has two friends Willy and Felicia (Taylor Lautner and Taylor Swift), who are in love.

A professional football player, Sean (Eric Dane), is a closet gay and considering retiring from the sport. His publicist is Kara (Jessica Biel), a friend of Julia’s. Sean recently broke up with Holden.

Valentine’s Day has numerous entwined relationships, many of whom are, or have been, romantically involved. Of course, the story doesn’t end there and the final stages of the movie are about resolving the difficulties and deciding who is really important to the characters involved. The major figures are readily identifiable to viewers and their plights are followed with keen interest.