But both films feature sprawling casts with seemingly no connecting link, until somehow, all of the storylines overlap. Both have most of the storylines that are mostly tied up at the end, with some ending happily, some sad, and others left up in the air, or answered in a surprising way. And both feature a character who likes to take Polaroid snapshots of other characters in the film. That's quite a bit in common, and it has to be the tenth time something like that has happened without planning it. But aside from those similarities, the movies are vastly different experiences.
|Images from Wikipedia|
I've seen a lot of artsy-fartsy films, and as many leave me cold as impress me. This one? I liked it. So if you're looking for a "different" film, you're open minded (or you are tired of only the ladies being buck naked in the movies), take it for a spin. Just make sure there are no kids, prudes or squeamish people in the room with you.
Valentine's Day isn't my usual kind of flick either, landing squarely in the "chick flick" category. The Other Half eats that stuff up, and he caught it while it ran in theaters, and had great things to say about it. Immediately after, the negative reviews started rolling in. Its Rotten Tomatoes ranking is 18% fresh (that ain't good). So when we popped in the Blu-ray this afternoon, I wasn't expecting much.
But you know what? It ain't bad. Not even half-bad. It basically works like a Love Boat episode on land, with several love stories being told at once, intercut with each other. Like Love Boat, the storylines are mildly amusing, a little cheesy, a bit predictible, and maybe told a little too quickly (the story spans one day, February 14) to be realistic. Unlike Love Boat, there are many more stories, and we're not talking D-list Hollywood has beens. We're talking Ashton Kutcher, Jennifer Garner, Jessica Alba, Bradley Cooper, Julia Roberts, Patrick Dempsey, Kathy Bates, Queen Latifah, Anne Hathaway, Eric Dane, Jamie Foxx, and that is just for starters. The movie is longish, but fairly breezy. The stories are light, but just engaging enough to keep your interest til the end. And if you've avoided spoilers, there are a couple of storylines that resolve in unexpected ways. My verdict? Harmless fun, go in with low expectations, and you'll like it just fine.
And by the way, Shortbus' Rotten Tomatoes ranking? 65% fresh (that's pretty damned good for a film like this).