When making movies, it's possible to have too much of a good thing.
Director Garry Marshall's romantic comedy "Valentine's Day" is loaded with more stars than a season of "The Love Boat," "Dancing With the Stars" and "Celebrity Rehab" combined. The result: celebrity overkill.
And in an effort to take care of all the stars, Marshall ends up shortchanging everyone.
His lineup includes Julia Roberts, Ashton Kutcher, Jamie Foxx, George Lopez, Shirley MacLaine, Jennifer Garner, Emma Roberts, Jessica Alba, Topher Grace, Jessica Alba, Bradley Cooper, Hector Elizondo, Eric Dane, Patrick Dempsey, Anne Hathaway, Queen Latifah, Taylor Lautner and Taylor Swift.
In a film structured similarly to the wonderfully made "Love Actually," Marshall weaves together a host of romantic stories, all played out on Valentine's Day. The difference between the two films is that Marshall does twice as much weaving and in many places the stories just unravel.
You need a road map to follow some of the story lines. A romantic florist (Kutcher) asks his girlfriend (Alba) to marry him. His best female friend (Garner) —who's involved with a married man (Dempsey) —and his best male friend (Lopez) —who ends up in a car accident with a football player (Dane) —don't think she is right for him.
Imagine that kind of twisting and turning repeated with at least eight other story lines. Trying to keep up with all the players is exhausting. This film is like a Hallmark card — designed to quickly elicit an emotional reaction with the promise of little more.
Two and a half stars
Rating: PG-13 for sexual situations, brief partial nudity
Starring: Julia Roberts, Ashton Kutcher, Jamie Foxx, George Lopez, Shirley MacLaine, Jennifer Garner, Emma Roberts, Jessica Alba, Jessica Alba, Patrick Dempsey, Anne Hathaway, Queen Latifah, Taylor Swift
Directed by: Garry Marshall
Showing at: Chisholm Trail 8 (Newton), Derby Plaza, Movie Machine, Northrock 14, Warren Old Town, Warren Theatres (east and west)