MOVIE: I Hate Valentine’s Day.
DIRECTOR(S): Nia Vardalos.
WRITER(S): Nia Vardalos.
GENRE: Comedy. Romance.
DATE WATCHED: 01/22/2017.
WATCHED VIA: Netflix.
LENGTH: 98 minutes.
PERSONAL RATING: 3/5
In Manhattan, Genevieve Gernier owns a flower shop and has a personal dating rule: a limit of five dates with a man to avoid a relationship. When Greg Gatlin buys a restaurant nearby her shop, they decide to date. However, after five dates, Genevieve is not happy with her rule and does not know how to meet Greg again.
THIS REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS. PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK.
I have had a soft spot for Nia Vardalos since I first watched the movie Connie & Carla, and I’ve had a soft spot for John Corbett since he played Aidan Shaw in Sex and the City. (I must admit, however, that I’ve never seen My Big Fat Greek Wedding, despite this.) Putting them both in a ridiculous rom-com like this was a wonderful idea. I actually expected, however, Nia’s character Genevieve to be a bitter, Valentine’s Day hating woman, not a woman unbelievably and ridiculously obsessed with it. Which is admittedly why I watched it. I, personally, cannot stand Valentine’s Day. However, Genevieve is a supposed lover of love, a woman who thinks a guy peeing her name in snow is romantic, who just wants to be wooed but to never end up in an actual, legitimate relationship.
At first, she does seem to be sincere about this five-dates-and-it’s-over rule. It seems like she really does just want to have fun, enjoy her life, and date people briefly before things get complicated and messy. But then we find out that it’s actually because she has deep-seated daddy issues because her dad cheated on her mom. And she never truly falls in love, she keeps herself from falling in love.
Which, okay, it’s a cute premise that has a refreshing take on the same old heartbreak/betrayal angle: instead of becoming a bitter, angry, anti-relationship woman, Genevieve is a happy (obnoxiously so; the amount of creepy smiling Nia does in this movie is unsettling) woman who dates frequently (but is not easy, which she is quick to point out to Corbett’s character Greg). She offers love advice to her friends (who seem like the strangest mix of people and include someone I can only imagine is 19 versus the 29+ aged others) and to anyone that comes into her flower shop confused, worried, or otherwise at a loss for how to be romantic. But then she finds someone she likes and struggles with the desire to abandon her five-dates-only rule. Of course, in true rom-com fashion she does, after Greg makes a ridiculously huge (and only happens in movies type of) romantic gesture.
I thought, all in all, that the movie was entertaining. The acting was decent, it had a very real-life-friends sort of feel to it (instead of the characters being completely unreachable), the writing was enjoyable, and it didn’t have any super surprising twists to it. All in all a decent rom-com for the 2000s, although I don’t think I’ll be rewatching it anytime soon.
Also, the shot for this part of this scene really freaked me out: