I Was Pleasantly Surprised By "Valentine's Day!" The Film Actually Made Me Feel Good! 


Truth be told, I was not looking forward to seeing "Valentine's Day." I'm not a big romantic-comedy fan, nor do I like big, ensemble cast in films -- I've always thought they're just merely gimmicks.

Well, gimmick or not, I fell in love with the cast of "Valentine's Day." Some actors were stronger than others, of course, but everyone pulled their weight.

Sure, director Garry Marshall has made soft and fluffy films like "Beaches," "Pretty Woman, both "Princess Diaries" movies, but at least he knows how to balance the romantic with the comedy.

I suspect moviegoers will enjoy "Valentine's Day." There are some predictable subplots (but nowadays, predictability and romantic comedy pretty much go hand-in-hand) and don't expect too much character development (it's hard to develop a character when you have 20 other characters to nurture).

But I guarantee you -- "Valentine's Day" will make you feel good!

Told in one day, Valentine's day of course, and set in Los Angeles, "Valentine's Day" follows the lives of various characters as they fall in and out of love.

Here's a rundown of the characters:

ASHTON KUTCHER -- His character, Reed Bennett, is central to the story. He owns a flower shop and cafe called Siena Bouquet -- and in this day of love, everything happens inside his flower shop. He just proposed to his girlfriend played by...

JESSICA ALBA -- A workaholic who genuinely loves Reed but must learn how to balance love and career.

Reed has two friends, one is played by...

GEORGE LOPEZ as Alphonso. He works for Reed, but he's like Yoda to Reed's Luke Skywalker. He tries to lead Reed to the right path of love...

Reed's other confidante is played by...

JENNIFER GARNER as Julia Fitzpatrick -- a 5th grade teacher who thinks she has found true love with Dr. Harrison Copeland played by...

PATRICK DEMPSEY -- who must leave Julia during Valentine's day for an important heart surgery in San Francisco...

Meanwhile...Julia's student, Edison, played by...

BRYCE ROBINSON -- has a secret crush and is on a mission to deliver flowers to her before the day is over. Edison lives with his grandma and grandpa played by....

SHIRLEY MACLAINE -- her character's named is Estelle, and is celebrating 50 years of marital bliss with Edgar, played by...

HECTOR ELIZONDO -- Both Estelle and Edgar will be confronted by a nagging question -- how much do you trust the one you love?

Estelle and Edgar hire a babysitter to take care of Edison, and she's played by...

EMMA ROBERTS -- All she wants to do is to lose her virginity together with her boyfriend, Alex (Carter Jenkins), in this special day of love.

They are both friends with Felicia, played by...

TAYLOR SWIFT -- a teenager in love with Tyler Harrinton, played by...

TAYLOR LAUTNER -- the high school jock. Their love is being documented for a TV report by...

JAMIE FOXX -- his character's name is Kelvin Moore, a wannabe sports anchor for local TV station KVLA who's been assigned to cover Valentine's day in Los Angeles by his producer played by KATHY BATES.

But what Kelvin really wants to cover is the career of Sean Jackson played by...

ERIC DANE -- a star professional quarterback who, at 35, may have been past his prime. His agent is played by...

QUEEN LATIFAH -- a strong-willed woman who will bulldoze anyone for the sake of his client. Helping her is Sean's publicist played by...

JESSIC BIEL - she's been left by a possible publicity nightmare after Sean reveals that...

Okay, I won't divulge that...

Meanwhile, working for the agency with Queen Latifah is....

TOPHER GRACE -- a Midwest boy who dreams of working in Hollywood and is dating Liz played by...

ANNE HATHAWAY -- the agency's receptionist and she's also a phone-sex operator.

Holding the pieces together are two characters that are flying back to Los Angeles. We have...

JULIA ROBERTS as U.S. Army Captain Kate Hazeltine who's on a very brief short leave for an important rendezvous. She's been traveling for 14 hours, and her seatmate is Holden, played by...

BRADLEY COOPER who provides a shoulder for Kate to sleep on.

Whew, did you get all that? It may sound complicated but it's really not. The pacing by Marshall is so light and airy that you will have no problem following each character.

My favorite of them all is the tandem of Maclaine and Elizondo. Their narrative arc even brought a tear to my eye.

And for those wondering if Taylor Swift can act -- don't worry, the pop princess has comedic flair and shows great timing!

I also like Julia Roberts' character -- her mission back home is as honorable as her mission overseas.

So yes, "Valentine's Day" is light and fluffy, but the air is right and the film will make you seek out Cupid's arrow just to experience the perilous pitfalls and the addictive pinnacles of love.

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Kathryn Bigelow Wins Directors Guild of America (DGA) Award! 


"The Hurt Locker's" Kathryn Bigelow has become the first woman to win the Directors Guild of America award, and mark my words, she will also be the first woman to win a Best Director Oscar award!

Bigelow's triumphant win was announced at the DGA awards ceremonies at the Century Plaza. She defeated her ex-husband, James Cameron, for "Avatar," Lee Daniels ("Precious"), Jason Reitman ("Up in the Air"), and Quentin Tarantino for "Inglourious Basterds."

Other DGA Award winners were:

Leslie Linka Glatter -- Drama Series Award for the "Guy Walks into any Advertising Agency" for AMC's "Mad Men"

Jason Winer -- Comedy Series Award for the pilot of ABC's "Modern Family"

Ross Katz -- TV-miniseries Award for HBO's "Taking Chance"

Louis Psihoyos -- Documentary Award for "The Cove" (this will win Best Documentary Oscar!)

Don Mischer -- Musical-Variety Award for HBO's "We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial"

Craig Borders -- Reality TV Award for Discovery Science's "Build It Bigger Season 3: Hong Kong Bridge"

Allison Liddi-Brown -- Children's Program Trophy for Disney Channel's "Princess Protection Program"

Christopher Goutman -- Daytime Serial Award for the cancelled CBS soap "As the World Turns"

Tom Kuntz -- Commercial Award

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Watch My "When in Rome" Movie Review -- It's Quite Magical! 


Well, my picture with my faux special effects is quite magical. The film, on the other hand, is missing in the magic department, but the lead actors saved the movie for me.

Read my full movie review of "When in Rome" right here, and watch my critique below, and have fun! :happy

Oh yeah, check out my interviews with Kristen Bell, Josh Duhamel, Jon Heder, Will Arnett, and Dax Shepard.



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Focus Features Closes Biggest Deal at Sundance Film Festival 


Focus Features has announced it has acquired rights to Lisa Cholodenko’s "The Kids Are All Right." The studio paid $4.8 million to distribute the movie. The premise is quite comedic yet touching, and very, very promising.

In the press release, Focus revealed:

In the movie, two teenaged children conceived by artificial insemination get the notion to seek out their birth father and introduce him into the family life that their two mothers have built for them. Once the donor is found, the household will never be the same, as family ties are defined, re-defined, and then re-re-defined. Ms. Cholodenko directed the feature from an original screenplay that she wrote with Stuart Blumberg.

The Kids Are All Right stars three-time Academy Award nominee Annette Bening and four-time Academy Award nominee Julianne Moore as the parents; Mia Wasikowska (of this winter’s Alice in Wonderland) and Josh Hutcherson (Journey to the Center of the Earth) as their children; and Mark Ruffalo (this winter’s Shutter Island) as the donor. The film was produced by Gilbert Films’ Gary Gilbert and Jordan Horowitz, Antidote Films’ Jeffrey Levy-Hinte, Mandalay Vision’s Celine Rattray, Daniela Taplin Lundberg, and UGC PH’s Philippe Hellmann.


The studio's CEO, James Schamus, says, “Lisa has made an extraordinary gem of a film that combines comedic surprise with poignant emotional truth. Not only is The Kids Are All Right infectiously funny and touching, but it’s also entirely accessible. We’re confident that audiences everywhere will fall in love with this family, as brilliantly brought to life by a remarkable cast of actors.”

I can't wait to see this film! Go Focus Go!

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Kristen Bell, Josh Duhamel Interview for "When in Rome" 


I enjoyed talking to Kristen Bell and Josh Duhamel! They're fun, sweet, and down-to-earth, and honestly? They have great chemistry in person as well!

In the interview, we talked about:

*** Their involvement with the film

*** Duhamel's stunts

*** In the original script, there was a heterosexual girl who falls in love with Bell's character, Beth

*** Bell's work on the upcoming musical Burlesque and why she's misquoted as saying she may become a lesbian after working on the movie



Here's more info on the cast and credits for "When in Rome":

Cast and Credits

Starring: Kristen Bell, Josh Duhamel, Anjelica Huston, Danny DeVito, Will Arnett
Directed by: Mark Steven Johnson
Produced by: Steven Roffer, Ezra Swerdlow, Andrew Panay

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