Valentine

Directed by Jamie Blanks
Starring: Marley Shelton, Denise Richards, Jessica Capshaw, David Boreanaz.
MPAA Rating: R for strong horror violence, some sexuality and language.

Review by Evelyn Gildrie-Voyles <evy@filmhead.com>
February 5, 2001

So Jamie Blanks, director of Urban Legend, has done it again, and boy do I wish he hadnít. This time he has managed to create an even more steaming pile of crapola than last time. Urban Legend at least had a somewhat original premise and a nice twist at the end that was ruined by disastrous acting. Valentine has neither a good premise or a truly surprising ending. Its plot is straight out of a "USA Up All Night" flick and the only twist is that there really isnít a twist after all. But, it does have disastrous acting to spare.

The film opens with a middle school Valentineís dance in 1988, where nerdy Jeremy Melton is turned down by three girls to dance: Shelly, then Lisa, then Page. Sweet Kate tells Jeremy "maybe later," and chubby Dorothy says yes. While Jeremy and Dorothy are making out, they are discovered by popular mean boys. Dorothy claims Jeremy attacked her and the boys beat the crap out of him and administrate a Carrie-lite treatment where red punch is poured over his head. Thirteen years later -- guess what -- someone is sending threatening letters to the five girls and killing them off one by one. Could it be Jeremy Melton back for revenge? Hmmmmmmmmmm?

This movie is so formulaic it hurts. The writing has a few decent moments at first. There are some funny satires on dating and amusing love/hate poems in the threatening letters, but this is all dropped once the killing starts and the clichťs begin in droves. The writing only gets worse as the movie progresses; by the end it is like the writers merely cut up a bunch of horror movie scripts threw the pieces into the air and then pieced them together as they fell.

The acting is marginal at best. Marley Shelton who was so great in Sugar & Spice is passable as Kate, and David Boreanaz as Kateís on-again-off-again boyfriend gives the best performance of the film (which admittedly isnít saying much) until the writing completely fails him and he is saddled with lines no one could possibly pull off. Jessica Capshaw as Dorothy is unendingly whiny and irritating and the supporting cast is dismal. Denise Richards as Page is painful to watch, but not as painful as she was in The World Is Not Enough. In Valentine she speaks with some inflection, has learned to arch her eyebrows and has very beautiful hair. She also has the best scene in the film where she ties a persistent suitor to the bed, blindfolds him and pours hot wax on his penis. Thatís it; thatís as good as it gets.


For more information, go to the Internet Movie Database:
Valentine (2001)

Here's some merchandise for sale at Amazon.com
Valentine (2001) -- VHS
Valentine (2001) -- DVD
Valentine, a novel by Tom Savage -- Paperback
Valentine: Soundtrack -- Compact Disc


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