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Click for full sized poster

Valentine

Starring Marley Shelton, Denise Richards, Jessica Capshaw, Jessica Cauffiel, Katherine Heigl and David Boreanaz
Screenplay by Donna Powers & Wayne Powers and Gretchen J. Berg and Aaron Harberts
Based on the novel by Tom Savage
Directed by Jamie Blanks
website: www.valentinemovie.com

IN SHORT: Love means always having to say you're sorry. [Rated R for strong horror violence, some sexuality and language. 98 minutes]

We mean, as in "I'm sorry I took you to see this movie."

At the Robert F. Kennedy Middle School 6th grade Valentine's Day dance Jeremy "the pervert" Melton, after being turned down by every girl there, finally got a dance and a quick makeout session under the bleachers with the fat girl. Poor Jeremy not only got "Carrie'd" (with fruit punch) and beaten up by a quartet of bullies, the fat girl said that he'd "attacked" her. Shipped off to reform school, six months later Jeremy is committed to a mental hospital.

Stop me if you've heard this one before. OK, don't. That sounds like a good enough start for a maniac-with-a-knife slasher flick. Of course, we could be lying...

Thirteen years later, Kate (Marley Shelton), Paige (Denise Richards), Dorothy (Jessica Capshaw), and Lily (Jessica Cauffiel) are reunited at the funeral of med student Shelly (Katherine Heigl), who has been savagely murdered in a morgue where she was practicing anatomy lessons very late at night. All alone. With most of the lights off. Soon after, each of the survivors receives threatening Valentine's Day cards, each signed "JM".

As Detective Vaughan (Fulvio Cecere) investigates Shelly's murder, suspects include boyfriends Campbell (Daniel Cosgrove), an internet maven and possible embezzler; Adam (David Boreanaz), formerly involved with Kate and an alcoholic to boot -- Kate had nothing to do with the booze problem then and Adam is sober now; bad artist Max Ives (Johnny Whitworth); and the last man Shelly had a date with, Jason Marquette. None of the girls tell the cop about the matching initials. They're too busy obsessing about a mask found outside one of their apartments. A mask last seen thirteen years before.

Yeah, sorry, we lied about the "savage murder". "Lame" is a better description, for if you were expecting a truly classic gorefest in the mode of other slice 'n' dicers named after holidays, you are going to be sorely disappointed. With two possible suspects with the initials "JM," only one of which has been seen in thirteen years, Valentine wants to be a suspense flick more than a truly classic gorefest in the mode of other slice 'n' dicers named after holidays. If it wanted to be the latter, it would have had to come up with better killings -- our crowd only reacted to one of 'em -- and some of the ancillary murders would have made sense. And we would have seen more of one of the "JM" guys than the two short scenes he appears in.

It took four people to adapt one book. None of 'em seem to have had a clue as to how to build suspense. Our crowd couldn't keep their mouths shut as Valentine moved towards its twist ending. One remarked afterwards that "if I had paid $9.50 for this I would have got heated!" Others were using eight-letter words we can't print here.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Valentine, he would have paid...

$1.00

One clever killing. Otherwise, nothing to write home about. Nothing to send a Valentine's Day card about either, unless you want the police to come knocking at your door for threatening hard working film makers.

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