IN THEATERS FRIDAY 2/12
Maybe history's most star-packed movie, this rom-com weaves together 10 stories in L.A. on February 14. It's a mixed bag of sweet and kind of silly: A florist (Ashton Kutcher) proposes to his gal pal (Jessica Alba); a mailroom clerk (Topher Grace) romances a coworker (Anne Hathaway) who does phone sex on the side; and a businessman (Bradley Cooper) gets to know a soldier (Julia Roberts) on a flight.
While He's Just Not That Into You segued breezily between its arcs, Valentine's Day feels too darn crammed. Director Garry Marshall could have done without the plot about a teen (Emma Roberts) hellbent on losing her virginity or the story of a bickering older duo (Shirley MacLaine and Hector Elizondo). The good news? Some performances do stand out: Taylor Swift charms as a ditz (too bad she has no chemistry with her jock beau, Taylor Lautner, a real-life ex). And Jessica Biel, usually so sour-faced, earns chuckles as a publicist who hates the holiday. She should do another comedy -- one with fewer costars.
-- BRADLEY JACOBS