Radio 02.12.10
This is Ron Salfen, “At The Movies,” and here’s my commentary on “Valentine’s Day,” opening today at The Majestic Theater in Greenville :
            Yes, it’s a formula movie:  romantic comedy, ensemble cast, interconnecting stories.  Actually, there are so many different vignettes that it runs the risk of confusing viewers with too many characters and too many interrupted plot lines.  But this is where the celebrity A-list works in their favor.  Most of us viewers are so familiar with the stars we’re seeing on the screen that we immediately identify which story we’ve just switched back to.  There are other occasions when a particular actor’s star power hinders us from perceiving anything other than the personality playing a role.  However, here, we just enjoy the parade of Hollywood ’s most beautiful, all taking a minor part.
            In no particular order, there’s a long-time married couple struggling with a new revelation of an old affair.  There’s a prominent physician with both a wife and a girlfriend, and this is the day they find out about each other.  A professional quarterback calls a press conference not to announce his retirement, but that he’s “coming out”, invoking a new slogan: “I’m gay, and I’m going to play.”
            A couple of air-headed high schoolers gleefully enjoy their puppy love, and a couple of much more serious teenagers contemplate whether “tonight’s the night” to lose their virginity.  (Don’t worry, it’s not any racier than a television sitcom.)  A flower shop owner asks his girlfriend to marry him, but while she accepts at first, she later decides that this settles it, she’s just not serious enough, and he ponders whether he’s really more interested in an employee who’s his “best friend.”  A fifth-grader has a crush on his teacher;  she skillfully re-directs him to a girl in his class whom she knows is interested in him. 
            There’s literally a little something for everyone.  We’re careful not to overly ridicule married people, nor make them out to be too simplistic.  (And since this is Hollywood , we’re sending a special valentine to a gay couple.)  We’re carefully crafting a couple of “surprises” that viewers will spot from a mile away (a military woman stationed overseas is flying for hours just to see the special male in her life….her son).
            You get the idea.  It all revolves around Valentine’s Day. It’s cute, it’s funny, it’s sweet, it’s bittersweet, it’s awkward, it’s messy, and, not surprisingly, it comes to no real conclusion.  Like life and love themselves.  But it is fun to play the game for a while.
This is Ron Salfen, “At The Movies,” for 93-5 KICK-FM