I Hate Valentine's Day [Blu-ray]
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
In "I Hate Valentine's Day," Genevieve (Nia Vardalos) runs a flower show in Brooklyn, where she dispenses bouquets and advice to the love lorn with joyous abandon. Having been disappointed by the men in her life, from her estranged father to her first boyfriends, Genevieve has developed a iron-clad policy of only going on five dates. She tells all of her gal pals to do the same thing, and glares at them when they are tempted to deviate from her proscribed path, all the while smiling with an intensity that will make your teeth hurt. Genevieve even has a general description for each of the five dates, just so the guy knows how things are supposed to go. Then she meets Greg (John Corbett), who wants to open a tapas bar down the street. Obviously, this is a guy worthy of way more than a mere five dates, but just as obviously it is going to take Genevieve almost the entire movie to reach that conclusion. Part of the problem turns out to be that there is some confusion as to whether their last date was the fourth date or the fifth date. He thinks that it was and dutifully disappears from her life, while she thinks it was not and wonders why he is not calling her for their final date.

The fact of the matter is that she is right about it only being the fourth date, but, more importantly, she is wrong to have her five date plan, a conclusion that you pretty much reach as soon as Genevieve explains it for the first time. But what becomes so disconcerting is that the utter trivilaity of the former is such a stupid impediment to dealing with the stupid rules of the latter. Besides, I did not really pick up on the descriptions of the five rules when I watched the film (the trailer makes them a lot clearer), so I was trying to remember what they were to figure out why Greg thinks the fourth date became the fifth and final date. Meanwhile, we are only halfway through the film, so Genevieve and Greg are treading water in inane ways before we get to the requisite happy ending. By that point I was becoming convinced that these two were better off without each other and starting to get creeped out by Genevieve having that omnipresent smile plastered on her face. The plot was dictating these two should end up together, but the rightness of that was not resonating with me that much. The unhappy couple are surrounded by a rather forgettable set of friends and co-workers, despite having the likes of Ian Gomez, Rachel Dratz, and Judah Friedlander, amongst other semi-recognizable faces.

My favorite moment in "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" comes when Ian and Toula are on their first date at a restaurant and Ian comes up with the idea of going out again to a Greek restaurant that he has been to, which happens to be the one owned by Toula's parents. In your average romantic comedy there would be a funny scene where the couple goes to the restaurant and everybody tries to pretend they do not know each other and at some point the comic confusion results in the revelation of the truth, so on and so forth. But instead writer and star Vardalos has Toula admit that it is her family's restaurant. Ian looks at her and remembers Toula from before. This was back when Toula was the frumpy ugly duckling, but this does not matter to Ian. "I remember you," he says, and it is clear that this does not change what he thinks about Toula one iota. It is a lovely scene, and Vardalos and Corbett had wonderful chemistry in both that moment and the entire movie. So when the two co-starred again in "I Hate Valentine's Day," not only written this time but also directed by Vardalos (who came up with the script when the studio handed her the title), I was hoping that lightning would strike twice. But there is nothing in this 2009 romantic comedy that holds a candle to the best moments in the film that still helds the record for grossing the most money ($241 million in North America) without ever hitting #1 at the box office. Consequently, this is not just a bad romantic comedy, it is quite a disappointing one as well because of our fond memories of that earlier movie.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on December 24, 2011
This was a cute movie - a slower paced movie, If your looking for just something to watch on a lazy day; this would fit the bill - (almost a hallmark channel sort of feel)
*** Refreshing to not hear the F word every minute.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on June 2, 2010
If you go into this movie with the thought of comparing it to Greek Wedding you'll be disappointed. I watched this on IFC one night after reading who was in it; while the storyline left a little room to be desired I gave it a try because I like the players. I thought it was neat that they were teaming up again. It didn't bore me and I watched the entire thing. There aren't many movies-especially romantic comedies-that are not predictable. This one in my opinion was predictable. For the most part with predicatable movies it is how they tell the story and reach that predictability which would determine the level of awfulness or how cheesy the movie will be. I thought the delivery with this film was fine. Also, the dialog was okay and the humor was subtle but above average. I laughed out loud a few times and I don't always do that even if it is funny. Some of the jokes were corny so you had to laugh because it's almost as if it were corny on purpose.

I like indie movies in general and this one was pretty okay to me. Before buying try renting it or check your local listings. I may buy it one day if the price is right.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
What do you get when you have "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" and strip away the family which adds charm and personality, and then put the entire focus on just the two leads? An unfunny, insipid, character-less piece of affectionate schlock, aka "I Hate Valentine's Day". I rather see that N'Sync fellow make another dirty Greek joke.

Part of what makes this movie unfunny is the abundance of awkward silences. An awkward silence joke usually works when a character is outrageously goofy to begin with and the line is so panned out that the crowd's silence is actually funny; even dry, uncomfortable silence can be funny. However, when John Corbett's character, Greg, made a comment about 'Get On Tapas' and no one spoke, it's neither goofy nor dry-humor. It's just awkward, and the same joke's been used at least three more times; it wasn't funny the first time around. None of the cast tried to put in the effort to make the witty banter less bland than they already were, and how they deliever them were absolutely cringe-worthy, like how that girl was making a scrapbook for her stalkee of the day. What's really insufferable is the main character, Genevieve (played by director/co-star Nia Vardalos). It's irritating by the way she almost always smiled and has a cheerful outlook, even when she made a cynical comment; she's rather disturbing than wholesome, and come to think of, Nia's like that in all of her films. As for her love interest/trophy guy, Greg, well if you've seen "Greek" and "United States of Tara", you know Corbett is playing the same darn character.

I can enjoy a good romance now and then, but this film is a romcom to a soulless and manufactured degree. The only good thing I can say about the movie is it's harmless. In fact, it's so safe, I wonder why it's rated PG-13 in the first place? Okay, Genevieve showed her panties in a 'cheeky comedic' scene and a couple of comments on pregnancy were mentioned, but otherwise, I doubt these are something mid-west suburban housewifes would get into a fit. As I end this review, I have to ask, why is it called "I Hate Valentine's Day"? The whole hook of the title didn't happen until the last ten minutes, and even then, it's never really about the holiday. It's about not committing to relationships, so why wasn't it called "I Hate Relationships"? It makes a point, even if the story is inept, but I guess I shouldn't judge the workings of marketing.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 28, 2011
I enjoyed this movie! It was predictable and a bit drawn out, but very likable. This movie would be perfect for viewing on a lazy, rainy day.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
You hate Valentine's Day? Well I hate this movie. I'm being generous in awarding this film two stars. Fortunately I was able to watch it in the privacy of my own home and was therefore able to end the pain after forty-five minutes. If someone had forced me to sit through the entire thing, I would have dropped it down to only one star.

Apparently Nia Vardalos wrote the screenplay, directed and starred in this film. I would have to lay much of the blame upon the producer for allowing her to wear so many hats but she was probably the producer as well. To know for sure would require me to actually sit through the opening credits again and I would rather undergo another root canal than have to spend any more time watching this film.

Frankly I've seen examples of better directing on YouTube videos, and most of those films were shot using only one camera. Anyone who attended more than the first week of a high-school film directing class knows that you can't simply alternate chest shots of two speaking actors for several minutes without putting your audience to sleep, and that changing to an occasional over-the-shoulder shot doesn't break the monotony. Maybe Ms. Vardalos missed class the day that they taught something called the "two shot," or maybe she also served as the editor on the film. As I have already mentioned, I'm certainly not going to spend any more time watching the credits to find out.

Of course the problem with directing your own performance is that there is no one who can tell you that your performance might be improved if you would simply vary your facial expression from time to time during the course of the movie. Maybe Ms. Varalos did dig down into her bag of acting tricks to come up with something other than the same frozen smile during the second half of the film, but I doubt it. From what I observed, her bag of tricks is about the size of a change purse.

Sadly the fact that Valentine's Day is contained within the film's title almost guarantees a certain number of rentals or purchases in every future February by unsuspecting persons. Do your friends and loved ones a favor and tell them not to waste their time or money on this movie; not this year, not next year, not ever!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 18, 2011
I actually give this movie 3 1/2 stars. I liked it enough to watch it twice as it appeared on a pay cable channel. I can relate to some of the points mentioned here but won't go into it because there is a lot worse out there in terms of romantic comedy and comedy in general.

First the good: Nia Vardalos is just plain cute!!!!! Sorry but that's how I feel. It breaks my heart to know that she's married.......oh well.

Her movies are formulaic and predictable but as a rule; romantic comedies usually are and that didn't go unnoticed by other reviewers here.

BUT...I would rather watch her predictable and formulaic movies that watch the garbage that Tyler Perry puts out. I'm sure I'll get some flack for that but his stuff affects me the same way several of the negative reviews of Nia Vardalos movies affect them.

Then there is the master of the format.......Neil Simon. If you've seen one of his movies; you've seen them all. They range from good to great but the formula becomes tired and so if I see another Neil Simon movie again; it'll be too soon.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon September 3, 2011
I suspect that the people who made this movie thought they could do some sort of "You've Got Mail" scenario and have the two leads from one hit romantic comedy star in another one together. Well, it didn't really work. There are a few funny scenes for sure. But there are also some scenes where you just sit there and think it's ridiculous. Vardalos's character is so overly goofy and odd in some scenes, it is awkward to watch. We are supposed to believe that she would just completely pull her dress up and move her butt around on a busy sidewalk and then act surprised when someone sees her? Riiiight...

Also, what is with this question about how many dates they have been on? "Staying the night" with someone doesn't equal a date! That just seems obvious, but it's one of the main points of this movie.

Despite the movie not being great, I did enjoy the ending.
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15 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on December 6, 2009
I and my girlfriend watch a LOT of romantic comedies. We both loved My Big Fat Greek Wedding and we even liked the not-as-good My Life in Ruins, despite its fairly trite storyline. But this movies is really really bad, to the point that we gave up after about 30 minutes and decided to watch once again one of our favorites in this genre (Wimbledon).

This movie is terrible, literally one of the worst I have seen in years. Immensely stupid characters (all of them, main and secondary ones), intolerable acting, trivial storyline, embarrassing screenplay. Vardalos (who is also guilty of directing the movie and writing the screenplay) is intolerable in her role as an obtuse nymphomaniac who refuses commitment and has pre-set, inflexible rules for how and how long dating should proceed. She keeps the same identical, immutable obtuse smile for the first 30 minutes of the movie (perhaps later she will turn somber for 5 seconds when 1. she falls in love with the male character and 2. when the "problems" stage of the romantic comedy will predictably arrive). Her friends just love her and even listen to her, when they should call in a psychiatrist. All characters are, to say the least, constructed of cliches. The gay co-workers are an insult to homosexuality and their behavior and dialogue just an agglomeration of stereotypes.

My advice is, forget about this movie, don't even rent it and keep in mind that having liked Greek Wedding (as we did) is no guarantee that you will even want to finish watching this one. Vardalos really needs moving on, or at least she needs a decent screenwriter. This C-movie is a scam packaged for suckers such as myself who think (I should say thought) that Vardalos=nice romantic comedy. Definitely not recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 15, 2010
This movie is all kinds of awful. My wife rented this and as a result I ended up seeing it. The plot is ridiculous, contrived and makes no sense. The actress Nia may have been good in Greek Wedding but shes used up her goodwill. Basically she has this rule in the movie that she will only go out with a guy 5 times because she does not want to commit. Of course any movie that makes it seem like Nia is the hot one who every guy wants is all ready beyond belief. Basically Nia made this movie to make herself look good. If I can save one person from watching this movie I will have done my job. So to summarize this movie is awful and unenjoyable. plot is stupid characters are stupid everything is stupid.
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