Mr. Movie

'Valentine's Day' not a box of chocolates

Like the most romantic day of the year, the real Valentine’s Day the movie has built up a pretty good buzz and a lot of anticipation.

Only the most romantic of you will not be disappointed. You’re expecting chocolates, but all you get is a cheap card with bad and way-too-sappy poetry.

-- Local show times, theaters, trailer.

The open-and-shut analysis: Valentine’s Day is a group of TV sitcom plots strung together into a movie — a very shallow movie.

Director Garry Marshall is a TV guy. Yes, he’s put together some excellent efforts for the silver screen: Pretty Woman, The Other Sister and the two Princess Diaries movies. Other than the Julia Roberts/Richard Gere star vehicle Pretty Woman, Marshall’s work is pure boob tube.

Valentine’s Day is crowded with a cast of who’s who from Hollywood’s second tier and a couple of used-to-be A-listers. Tier two is Ashton Kutcher, Jessicas Biel and Alba, Bradley Cooper, Jamie Foxx and a couple of others.

A-listers are Shirley MacLaine and Julia Roberts, the latter of whom gets to be in a film with her niece, Emma, but they have no scenes together.

Set on Valentine’s Day, the film follows the familiar TV formula of 1960s and 1970s classics — if you can call them that — Love American Style and The Love Boat.

It has a dozen or so characters in various states of love. Their lives are interconnected as only movies can connect them. Character ages range from senior citizens to grade school kids.

For some love is blooming, for others it is ending. The dilemma of each is solved a painful, predictable scene or two at a time.

Please don’t get me wrong. I loved a couple of the scenes in Valentine’s Day: the opening credits and the closing credits.

Mr. Movie rating: 2 stars

Rated PG-13 for mature themes. It opens Friday, Feb. 12 at the Carmike12 and at Fairchild Cinemas 12.

5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen

4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.

3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on video.

2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.

0 stars: Speaks for itself.