Itâ€™s November which means, for Hollywood and department stores, itâ€™s officially the start of the Christmas season. While most of us are still finishing off our Halloween candy, the studios have already started churning out their holiday films in the hopes that one of them will join the ranks of the classic Christmas movie. […]
“Valentine’s Day.” From everything I’ve seen and heard, I’m fairly certain that Garry Marshall is a very nice man, and I know he set out with the best of intentions making this film as did all his friends and associates who helped. No one ever intends to make a bad movie, and smacking this film feels a little like hitting a puppy. This movie sits there humping your leg, blissfully unaware and unashamed of the giant stinking turd it’s left on the cineplex screen. To extend the metaphor past all usefulness, this puppy hasn’t yet been spayed. It takes major cojones (or perhaps hubris) to engage such a weak, ungifted and unsuited company of players in hopes of recapturing the success of “Love Actually.” With a few major exceptions, the actors just plain aren’t good enough to rise above the lame material; most are unable to land any of the marginal jokes or even to remind us of any human beings we’ve met.
Two years ago, we asked ten of our SmackRefs to each recommend a Christmas film that they have a special fondness for, something that can stand the test of repeat viewing. That poll turned out to be a squeaker with an unexpected winner when the nostalgia-rama “A Christmas Story” edged out traditional favorite “It’s A Wonderful Life” with a strong third place by the relatively new “Love Actually.”
Love, or something like it, is in the air. And British director Richard Curtis seems to want us all to know about it. His penchant for films featuring multiple story-lines and a vast array of characters is well documented, especially with the two films featured today. So with the release this week of “Pirate Radio” across US cinema screens, we thought we’d put Curtis’s latest up against one of his classics.