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Valentine (2001) 

Directed by Jamie Blanks Screenplay by Aaron HarbertsGretchen J. BergDonna Powers & Wayne Powers

  Did you know that this is actually based off a novel? Of which I have not read, except for a short description, so I wont be able to discuss. I bring it up though because despite the novel and having FOUR people work on the script, they were still unable to make it an improvement. Predictable and ultimately nothing more than several familiar faces with poor acting and ridicules dialogue pouring throughout. Having said all that, I do find enjoyment out of the film in some aspect, for the Actors involved at least. It was shot in 42 days with Katherine Heigl finishing her in about three, while simultaneously filming Roswell. Her sequence being one of the only actual well shot and suspense filled moments; so it would figure that they’d get rid of her first.

  It’s also painfully obvious who the killer is upon merely watching the trailer. Which is naturally upsetting. Though the tag line was a nice touch, some of the others suggested were outright laughable at the mere thought of. Top 5 worst choices: 5. A Valentine’s Day like no other 4. Roses are red and so is blood. Candy is sweet and so is revenge. 3. Be my Valentine…or else! 2. Meet the Devil February 2 (wtf does that have to do with the fim?) 1. 1..2..3..Are you ready to die? See what I mean.

  The story follows a group of popular girls as we’re taken back to 1988 for an appropriate flashback, setting up why we’re about to see the events unfold as they do. Jeremy Melton asking each member of the group (separated at this point) to dance, of which only Kate (Marley Shelton) suggest the possibility of happening at a later time. Dorothy (Jessica Capshaw) deciding she’d rather make-out beneath the bleachers but then protest that he had jumped her in an attempt of being nothing more than a pervert. The incident landing him in a juvenile hall and later becoming institutionalized at a mental health facility. Having already mentioned that the beginning was one of the only strong scenes, we’re taken into the present to Shelley’s (Katherine Heigl) funeral where the girls are reunited, and it feels not so good.

Kate finds her on/off again boyfriend Adam (David Boreanaz) waiting close-by after the service. His story being that his drinking was getting in the way of them being together, so obviously a not so hidden bottle of alcohol was probably something best left at home. Veering a bit more into each of the girls story we follow Dorothy, who while growing up had her fair share of body issues, decides to take it out on her father’s new mail order bride rather than at her new ‘boyfriend’ who seemed awfully needy for a place to stay, despite being unaware of his past accusations of thievery and complete unawareness of his last name.

  Paige (Denise Richards) and Lily (Jessica Cauffiel) live together as each vies for who could possibly be hotter; receiving bitter sweets of which leave a sour taste in the latters mouth. Prior, each girl receiving Valentines Day cards with warped poems attached that sent chills rather than warm thoughts. Also receiving a box of maggot filled chocolates and Kate having an intruder of sorts, later finding a cherub mask at the elevator with her front door wide open. Although Kate’s apartment manager Gary (Claude Duhamel) was a pretty humorous and random insert; he rhymed everything with her name and later is seen trying on her stockings…I suppose just because. It puts the lotion in the basket! The killer having a serious problem with his nose bleeding, ultimately being what not only gives the entire thing away but was completely overdone. His weapon of choice was a variety of tools, one of which being a bow and arrow so as to complete with his theme. The deaths were at least somewhat enjoyable and a few moments are sure to “surprise” here and there but mostly cheap thrills and already done antics are to be expected. The ending was H20’d in that a misdirection assists with the killer getting away and I guess I’m supposed to pretend I didn’t see Marley half-blink when the blood drips down her face as the true killer is finally “revealed.”

  I rather like Marley Shelton and her career to this point. I first saw her in Pleasantville, Sugar & Spice and thenNever Been Kissed (all of which I enjoyed, don’t judge). Additionally with Planet Terror and Scream 4 most recently so I do hope to continue seeing her get flattering/fitting roles. Denise Richards didn’t really have to try so hard to be attractive around this time period. She’s had sporadic roles that I’ve enjoyed including Good Advice, Undercover Brother and yes even Wild Things. She just didn’t have the sort of role that’d be recognized for anything other than that of a piece of tail. Unfortunately, do not recall Jessica Capshaw in The L Word but has been some time since seeing that series and have yet to check out Grey’s Anatomy. Her portrayal of the bitter, former “fat girl” turned into the foreseeable person to frame since the deaths were surrounded around those she was envious of. David Boreanaz was a predominant reason in why I had even viewed the film but personally find him a better fit for television. He wasn’t in the film as much as you might think and the fact of being able to know Kate’s character for as long as had and still be able to get one past her left me very worried for her sanctity at the end. I know people can be naive, but man! Overall something that should be watched if liking any of the girls involved or even David. A well-directed film with a B- script; perhaps if done closer to the book than would have had a better outcome.