Katie and I decided to go see Valentine’s Day (which opens today pretty much everywhere) together, because that’s what girls do!

Eve: first, is there anyone working in Hollywood who is NOT in this movie? Like, it started feeling like a joke to me

Katie: Cameron Diaz

Eve: The Rock (though I wish he played the football guy instead of sex tape guy)

Katie: Why was Kathy Bates in it? I’m still bothered by that.

Eve: Wasn’t that weird! Hector Elizondo should have had a revenge affair on Shirley McLaine with her

Katie: She was the only fat person, and she didn’t have a love story attached to her.

Eve: Did you notice that there were no Asians?

Katie: hm, no Ken Jeong

Eve: I mean, I don’t have a rule that every movie has to have the Rainbow Coalition, but since this movie clearly seemed to be trying to be something for everyone, that void surprised me

Eve: OH WAIT NEVER MIND the flower mart was teeming with Asian employees

Katie: Okay, so I think it only pertained to people living in LA

Eve: aren’t there Asians in LA?

Katie: that’s Stockton

Eve: OK, so the good thing about having this huge cast is that if you hate someone you only have to deal with them for a little bit.

Katie: That 2.5 hours was a lot of bits.

Eve: Perhaps now is a good time to talk about how much this movie reminded me of Short Cuts

Katie: omg I was thinking the same thing! BUT: No red muff and no brutality, which is a shame


Katie: it’s like Shortcuts for Teens

Eve: Lily Tomilin and Tom Waits=McLaine and Elizondo
Shirley McLaine probably ran over like 50 kids on her way to the (spoiler alert) cemetery after her big fight with him

Katie: that was retarded. Old people would forgive each other immediately.

Eve: I dunno! Would they? Do you think when we’re old we’ll suddenly be all nice?

Katie: It’s called laziness “ahh, I’ve only got a couple more years…”

Eve: If I were Hector Elizondo and I found out my spouse cheated on me 4893848 years ago I’d act like I forgave her then bring it up EVERY TIME I COULD


Eve: “I’m dropping off (spoiler!) Julia Roberts’ kid at school don’t FUCK ANYONE”

Katie: so, Julia Roberts’ was an unnecessary plot line

Eve: Can I just say that if I had Julia Fucking Roberts on set I’d have her do something more interesting that that shit? What a waste.

Katie: She changed into a sweater. Dude, I also totally didn’t get the whole Garry Marshall – Shirley MacLaine reunion. There were tons of reunions or possible ones in this movie. I think that’s why all these people signed up.

Eve: But I kept wanting them to meet up! Hector needs to tell Ann Hathaway AND Julia Roberts how to act like ladies and Jennifer Garner needed to save Bradley Cooper from the bad guys, etc.

Katie: That teenage girl sitting next to me knew Hector from … Princess Diaries?

Eve: Yeah, he’s like the driver who ends up banging Julie Andrews.

Katie: and so, when he made Shirley coffee and gave her Chanel in bed, the girl says to her friends “awww, I like him now.”

Eve: The fact that we are spending so much time talking about everyone’s resumes makes a point, I think: this movie relies a lot on the audiences’ positive memories of these actors

Katie: Well, what past positive feelings do I have for anyone in this film?
There’s maybe 3: Bradley Cooper, who’s flown the coop on being cool because he’s been cool too many times, Julia Roberts because she’s badass and Topher Grace because he was once fucking hot.

Eve: I think that’s it: if you have x amount of goodwill for y number of people, you will probably be Ok with this movie. But if x or y fall below some crucial number, bad news

Katie: But all these people now look like dehydrated versions of themselves

Eve: YEAH Jessica Biel, who usually looks so great and athletic, was an x-ray, and Alba, same thing

Katie: Don’t get me started of Alba.

Eve: She was not in it that much. That is the best thing you can say.

Eve: I did like Emma Roberts

Katie: Which one? They all look the same to me. Except for Taylor Swift, who is, as I said before the new “River Phoenix” and I think River Phoenix is the worst actor: he thought he was really funny and clever but he wasn’t.

Katie: Wait a sec, She had one of the “happy ending” story lines. Two dumbfucks in high school. Happy ending. But it was like “these two fucking numbnuts deserve each other!” Happy ending for the rest of the world.

Katie: Jamie Foxx: what now? How is he ok as an actor? He’s another one of those people who think they’re greater then they are.

Eve: I felt like a lot of his lines were improvisations from Mr. Foxx
and, like, when he was playing the keyboard…

Katie: “because he’s so great”


Katie: he doesn’t NEED lines. There was absolutely no chemistry between him and Jessica Biel

Eve: oh my god NONE

Katie: What do you think of Ashton Kutcher?

Eve: I think he is better on TV

Katie: I’m always very confused with him: he looks good, he has no chemistry with any actress, but could he be better – do they just give him frumpy jobs?

Eve: I think it’s interesting that in the advertising, you don’t get any idea how much he’s in the movie. He might have the biggest part!

Katie: Yeah, I was surprised at that. I thought it’d be all about Jessica Biel

Eve: They kept coming back to him and I thought “Really? Well maybe he dies and they want to make sure we feel bad.”

Katie: Jessica Alba should have died

Eve: Honestly, I get more charisma and vibe from him in those Nikon commercials than from any movie I’ve ever seen him in.

Eve: I liked Queen Latifah. I mean, she coulda played that part in her sleep, but I like her as an actress

Katie: She’s always good. I liked her in that Steve Martin movie awhile back.

Eve: every time she’d yell “who dat?” in that movie’s commercial I’d laugh and then feel bad and racist! And now everyone’s saying “who dat!” She was ahead of her time! And now I know I’m NOT RACIST. Also, Set It Off is BADASS.

See? We’re doing it again! Positive associations! You think “oh I liked them in superior movie/tv show/sex tape, so I will probably like this movie!

Katie: You know, there wasn’t any humor to anything

Eve: It was actually kind of bleak! This is going to make the film sound better than it is, but in actuality there were very few happy endings, either. I mean, they weren’t unhappy endings, but it seemed like there were a lot of settling and compromising happening. I don’t want to ruin it for readers by detailing out the endings, but think about it–no one drove up in a limo with opera playing.

Eve: OK, so Katie, are there people to whom you would recommend this movie? Who would enjoy it? I was thinking a lot of the women with whom I worked when I was at a PR agency would have liked it. The AAE-SAE level women. Account Managers and above, maybe not so much.

Katie: working women who settle?

Eve: or single? I mean, we all settle.

Katie: I don’t know. When did people decide that it was okay for romantic comedies to resurge as an ensemble pieces?

Eve: I think I prefer that over having to deal with two assholes and their sidekick pals for 2 hours

Katie: I can’t agree, I’m in the Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan boat

Eve: If this were Julia Roberts and uh, some guy, I’m down. But it’s never those guys any more, it’s, like, Kate Hudson and Marlon Wayans or something.

Katie: That’s the trouble: no one’s funny anymore, so they have to make up for it with a bunch of people.

Eve: I think there were a LOT of B-C level stars (and one A, Roberts). Do, like, 75 B and Cs = an A?

Katie: no

Eve: I mean, this movie is probably going to make a shit ton of money because there’s nothing out in that genre right now, but it’s more doing the trick than hitting the spot.

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at eve@sfappeal.com.

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