Rum And Rom-Coms: A Belated Valentine’s Day With ‘Valentine’s Day’

I want to apologize for not getting this out on Valentine’s Day but I did watch it on Valentine’s Day, which is all that really matters. Right? Anyways, when I wrote this I was menstrual as hell, and in a more cynical mood than I ever thought possible. It was obviously the combination of my hormones being on the fritz plus knowing I was alone yet again for a “holiday” that I wouldn’t want to take part in even if I was with someone. Oh, and having intense pizza withdrawals to top it all off (two weeks and counting, pray for me).


I’m already kind of drunk as I type this because as soon as I got home I took two shots of light pomegranate vodka, and made myself a vodka soda to sip on. All I had for dinner was a CLIF bar so let’s get this shit started.

I was trying to think of the perfect movie for Valentine’s Day, and Google searched “Valentine’s Day movie”. Turns out, there is actually a movie directed by Gary Marshall called “Valentine’s Day” from 2010 starring a gaggle of famous people. How did I not know this until now? Also, what do you call this kind of film? The type that casts any and every famous person who is available for three days of shooting and has eighteen different plots happening at the same time? Well if it doesn’t have a name I propose to call it… a DUMB movie. Ha, first zinger off the bat!

So, “Valentine’s Day” it is. I have pressed play, and a radio voice comes on saying, “Wake up, Angelinos”. This lets me know that the film takes place in Los Angeles. The voice has a name – “Romeo Midnight,” and right away he makes it clear that he is only speaking before midnight because it is Valentine’s Day. This is his day. Romeo Midnight sounds creepy as shit. He sounds like he not only has a goatee, but dyes it black. Okay, some random shots of Los Angeles appear on the screen and radio guy talks, and I think I missed some sort of joke. A bunch of trucks were driving down a Beverly Hills street and all turned into different driveways at the same time? Is this supposed to be some sort of gardener joke? Like an “only rich white people will get this” sort of thing? No wait, now it’s even better. It cut to a male construction worker with his arm around a female construction worker. Again, I don’t get it. Are they a couple, or is this sexual harassment? Some construction worker in the back is wearing a cone on his head and I can’t stop laughing. I have a feeling this might be the best part of the whole movie.

God there are so many actors in this movie.  Feel like the editor had to use all the random “outdoor Los Angeles” clips he could find to get every single actor’s name up in the opening credits.

Okay here we go, we’re finally starting and it’s Ashton Kutcher and Jessica Alba in bed. Ashton has a ring in his hand, and proposes to Jessica Alba (who just woke up looking absolutely perfect and flawless like all us women do). Oh great we’re starting off right away with shitty romantic lines no man would ever actually say in real life. Ashton explains that when he was a kid, most of the advice his dad gave him was crap (daddy issues alert), but his idiot dad did say this one thing, which Ashton feels he needs to say now to Jessica Alba: “If you’re ever with a girl that’s too good for you, marry her.” Great logic Ashton. Make sure to marry the woman that’s better than you so you can bring her down to your lesser level and ensure her future is as pathetic as yours. Why would you even say that to her? Now you’re letting her know that you’re a sad sack of shit and that she can do better. I would genuinely much prefer if a man proposed to me and said, “we are equally just okay.”

Well, Ashton is happy because Jessica Alba said yes and all of a sudden a bunch of shots of water from different fountains shooting in the air comes onscreen. Wait, does Ashton have a boner or something? Really, a marriage proposal is giving you a hard-on? Cut to Ashton telling his BFF George Lopez about it all as they get inside a pink van together and almost get into a car accident because Ashton is so in love, or whatever. Also, the guy driving the car Ashton almost hits is Eddie LeBec (Carla’s second husband) from Cheers, making this the third Rum & Rom-Coms in a row to reference an actor from Cheers. I have never been more proud of myself.

Next, we take a break from Ashton’s fascinating storyline to check out Jamie Foxx in a newsroom. Uh-oh, our boy Jamie got an assignment he don’t like. He’s pulling the “I’m a serious sports journalist” line on his boss (Kathy Bates), but she’s all like “Ratings, bub”. Oh no, he’s got to walk around the streets and ask strangers what Valentine’s Day means to them, like a common whore. In his head I bet he’s all like, “DID I GO TO SERIOUS SPORTS JOURNALISM SCHOOL FOR NOTHING?”

Okay, now Jamie is talking about how much he hates Valentine’s Day (what is he, a girl?!?! LOL) and says to Kathy Bates, “Listen, I’m a player but I shut down my playerness from New Years to St. Patty’s Day just so I can avoid this day.” First of all, why would you keep it shut down up until St. Patty’s day? That’s a whole month after Valentine’s Day. That’s probably the best time to up the playerness because Valentine’s Day is a year away. Second, why did Jamie go along with the word “playerness” in this script as if that is something black people actually say?

Great we’re already back to Ashton Kutcher, who is a florist (explains the pink van). Oh I see, the Jamie Foxx and Ashton Kutcher worlds are about to collide with an on-the-street interview. Ashton is the Rain Man of flowers and knows that 110 million roses are sold every year on Valentine’s Day, which really impresses Jamie Foxx…not! Boy, I sure am having a lot of fun with this movie. Time for another shot. I still have half my vodka soda by the way.

New storyline: Patrick Dempsey and Jennifer Garner. Dempsey starts juggling three apples as Jennifer Garner says something about him having a flaw and he’s all like “what?” Uh, dude you’re juggling, that’s your major flaw. Obviously don’t act shocked, you dweeb. Shit, Jenn doesn’t even bring it up. His job? That’s the flaw? Oh she’s mad that he’s a rich, successful heart surgeon who has to fly out of town on Valentine’s Day? Much worse. My bad, Jenn. You do you.

Doctor Dempsey turns on the TV and sees Ashton Kutcher being interviewed about love. He says, “Love is the only shocking act left on the planet.” The f*ck does that even mean? Has this guy heard of murder-suicides? War? Drug trafficking? Child prostitution? Police brutality? All those things are way more shocking acts than two people deciding they tolerate one another enough to be boring together for a few years until they break up. Wow, and again I am being told that I am wrong. Jamie Foxx says that Ashton Kutcher has to be right because he is a florist. What the shit is this movie.

Alright, on to plot number four. Topher Grace and Anne Hathaway on a bed. The only place couples hang out I guess. Anna Hathaway just let out the most obnoxious cackle, and is taking Polaroid pictures. Artist alert! Do we got a photographer on our hands? Nope, turns out she is a poet. Even better. Anne Hathaway leaves in a hurry and turns out she is a phone sex operator. From her cell phone? To be a phone sex operator you have to have a landline. Also, they don’t just call whenever they want. You get to schedule the time when you want to do it. I know all of this because I have a lot of free time, and instead of making money being a phone sex operator I look up everything that being a phone sex operator entails without actually doing it.

Now there’s old people and a kid. Shirley Maclaine and Hector Elizondo are the grandparents of a little boy who has a dead mom I think. Also the boy is in love, and not really that sad about his dead mom. Wait, didn’t we already do this in “Love Actually”?

Moving on now to an elevator scene with Jennifer Garner and Taylor Swift. Taylor Swift is some sort of dumb, idiot, teenager and has a giant stuffed teddy bear that looks extremely emo. I have finished my vodka soda and am making another. So that’s three shots of vodka, and one completed vodka soda drink. I’m also eating more because that Clif bar was not enough.

Cut to an airplane with Bradley Cooper and Julia Roberts sleeping on each other and nope wait moving on again to Jennifer Garner in the flower shop where Ashton Kutcher works. Oh my god, they know each other! What a wonderful web of interconnecting stories blah de blah bloop bloop whatever.

Okay, pause. A very pointless scene just happened where a woman with a baby is told by one of the employees that she can’t put her baby on the counter. So two nuns are like “we’ll hold her”. The mom says “thanks, and just so you know we’re Jewish”. Was that supposed to be funny? Wonder if in the director’s commentary Gary Marshall mentions that he cut off a whole minute of Julia Roberts resting her head on Bradley Cooper so he could keep that hilarious “nuns holding a Jewish baby” bit.

Ashton, being the romantic that he is, tells Jennifer Garner she should fly to San Francisco to be with her doctor-boyfriend. FYI ladies, if you have a boyfriend and he is a doctor you can only refer to him as your “doctor-boyfriend” and nothing else according to my mom who calls all my boyfriends “losers.” Another gem uttered from Ashton, “It’s Valentine’s Day. You don’t think, you just do.” What is this, like the Twinkie defense or something? Sorry, officer, I know I was going 85 in a school zone and am extremely high on cocaine right now, but what can I say…it’s Valentine’s Day! You just do!

Yikes! We soon find out that Patrick Dempsey isn’t in San Francisco. He’s at his real home in Beverly Hills with his wife and daughter! You see that ladies? This is why I don’t date doctors. They’re all married and juggle.

While I was typing that another ten second scene happened between Bradley Cooper and Julia Roberts where Brad asked Julia if she was on Facebook. Damn, coming on strong dude. It’s kind of turning me on.

Back to Ashton, again. Jessica Alba enters the shop and isn’t wearing her wedding ring and it is becoming clear that she does not want to get married. Uh oh…

Boring scene with grandpa and little boy.

All these different story-lines last less than a minute giving this film a strobe light effect of sorts and I feel like I’m going to get some sort of seizure.

Back to Ashton in the flower shop, now with the little boy in there. Okay this kid has like $10 on him and orders a dozen red roses to be delivered to his school, but the sign clearly says the roses are $55. This kid is definitely old enough to read, and is legit pulling some bullshit scam on Ashton who is all in “don’t think, do” mode because, say it with me, it’s Valentine’s Day. Also, where did this kid’s grandpa go? How is he just in the flower shop all of a sudden when he was on his way to school?

Topher Grace forgot it was Valentine’s Day today. Anne Hathaway does phone sex at work. Her boss is Queen Latifah. Queen Latifah is a sports agent.

Now it cuts to a shirtless dude at the beach (Eric Dane). He is a football player. The athlete client Queen Latifah was talking about three seconds ago perhaps?

Now we cut to Jessica Biel on a treadmill in her office. She accidentally makes the treadmill go really fast instead of stop because she is an idiot. All treadmills have a stop button. How do you accidentally make it go faster? To make it go faster there is an up arrow. Why would you press that if you want to stop? Gosh, can you say neurotic? I mean she must be! She doesn’t know how to stop the treadmill she uses every day! Did I mention she is eating a donut while on the treadmill and her office is a mess? Send this girl over to neurotics anonymous, who by the way, are never anonymous. Also, she is the  football player’s publicist.

And now yet another storyline, this time with Emma Roberts, who straight up tells her teacher (Kristen Schaal) she is going to have sex with her boyfriend during lunch. Actually this might be the one genuinely funny scene in the film thanks to Kristen Schaal.

Alright a bunch of boring shit again. More stupid ten second scenes. You know a movie is shitty if you think to yourself, “I miss Anne Hathaway”. Wait, back to the airplane where Julia Roberts and Bradley Cooper play backgammon, and Julia–who is a Captain in the US army by the way—tells Brad she can read his body language. Ugh, every single one of these movies does something like this. The whole, “I know everything about you through these subtle hints. They show me what a deep person you are.” Of course, she notices no wedding ring. At what age am I supposed to be checking a man’s fingers for wedding rings? Do people really do this?

Jennifer Garner is an elementary school teacher, and that little scam-artist boy is her student. Wow, more everything coming togetherness. Story-lines colliding like an asteroid that I wish would hit earth right now so I wouldn’t have to keep watching this. I feel like I am pretty drunk, but am adding more vodka to my drink just to make sure that I am definitely drunk. Actually, Jennifer Garner asked the class if they knew what Valentine’s Day is, and one cool as hell kid just said that Valentine’s Day was a “massacre in Chicago where they killed everybody and a put a curse on the Chicago Cubs”. Then he took his shirt and pulled it over his head. Why can’t the movie be about this kid?

Of course we’re now back in the flower shop and of course Patrick Dempsey goes into Ashton’s flower shop to order two bouquets: one for his wife, the other for his girlfriend. Ashton figures out that this guy is two timing his friend Jennifer Garner.

I am again losing interest in the movie and more focused on my drink but just heard a teen say, “All us virgins are pulling for you, woo-hoo!” and I can’t stop laughing. He literally said “woo-hoo”. Was that in the script, or did he improvise that one? “Hey Gar, mind if I put my own spin on this line? You know, make it a little more fun?” Uhm the teen boy that Emma Roberts is going to lose her virginity to is naked in her room and holding an acoustic guitar. He’s waiting for her to arrive, but her mom comes home and enters the room so he runs out of the house. Naked! Ha, wow this is quality comedy!

Jesus Christ, more of Anne Hathaway’s horrible phone sex. She has to pretend to be the operator after the sex stuff happens? She just hung up on him without getting his credit card information, which she claimed the operator would get off him? This is so dumb. You are making a mockery of the phone sex profession.

More not caring. George Lopez gets into a car accident with the football player, but no one is dead. Ashton proceeds to have a crisis over whether or not he should tell Jennifer Garner about her married doctor-boyfriend. Don’t think buddy, do!

Ashton goes home to deliver flowers for Jessica Alba while she’s at work, and George Lopez, in the van with him, says he is going to fish while he waits? Emma Roberts is that little boy’s babysitter, and she has to remind him how to breathe. Jessica Biel and Jennifer Garner are on the phone together as Biel freaks out that no one is gong to her Anti-Valentine’s Day party. Then she breathes out of a paper bag. Ha, what a hot mess!

Back to Ashton who finds Jessica Alba at home and she is packing her bags. Dang, she is dumping his ass. Didn’t see that coming! Jessica Alba is too business to be a wife. She even admits that the first phone call she made after Ashton proposed was to her office, to confirm her ten o’clock meeting. So business. We don’t even know what she does, but boy is it business. Dang, okay what happened just now is truly the most f*cked up thing I have ever seen in a movie, and is legitimately breaking my heart. It doesn’t help that I am drunk as shit, but I am tearing up over what just happened. Ashton Kutcher goes over to their dog and says, “Me and Carmine will be fine”, but the dog runs over to Jessica Alba. Ashton then calls Carmine over again, and she doesn’t budge. This is true heartbreak. God damn this is so messed up.

Romeo Midnight is back, thank God. Dude gave us a hot Rumi quote and stopped talking. George Lopez is legit fishing over a bridge in front of Ashton Kutchers house. Where the hell in Los Angeles does this guy live that he has a bridge in his front yard, and water with fish in it? This sure as heck ain’t the LA River, which is 95% concrete. How can a florist afford a home like this? Is it because of all of Jessica Alba’s business money?

Ashton goes from being mildly crushed that the woman he proposed to just dumped him to downright not giving a rat’s ass when he realizes he has to stop Jennifer Garner from going to San Francisco. You know what this means don’t you? That’s right, an airport scene! Ashton rushes to the airport in a comical neon car that does the hydraulics thing that of course, he borrowed from George Lopez. He gets to the airport, and I am pretty sure I have seen the guy playing the ticket guy at a Jerry’s Deli (Hollywood livin’ baby). Of course the ticket service guy makes a joke about how this isn’t some romantic movie they’re in an he can’t just get Ashton a ticket. You know what is even more cliché than an airport scene? An airport scene that acknowledges how cliché it is. How about just don’t have an airport scene?

Ashton is going on some rant about how wonderful Jennifer Garner is, and the ticket service guy doesn’t give a shit until Ashton says that she is “like sunshine”. Now Ashton gets a pass to get into any gate. The ticket guy says, “like sunshine huh? In that case it’s on me.”


Ashton goes to stop Jennifer Garner but she is not buying it. She’s all like, “You don’t like any of my boyfriends. You said my ex-boyfriend Eddie was gay.” Ashton is all like, “Eddie is gay! He has a cat named Babs.” Hot tip folks, only gay men name their cats “Babs”. Straight men give their cats manly names like “Crusher” or “Hitler”.

Realizing now that there is a whole other hour of this bullshit. This movie is incredibly boring. Chugging my vodka. Almost done with it. So the little boy is playing soccer and the coach asks him what’s wrong and he says, “I’m in love”. Ugh. But the cool kid who brought up the Chicago massacre is doing the shirt over his head thing again and I still wish this movie was about him. Or, perhaps he is just embarrassed to be seen in this film? Either way, he is chill as f*ck.

Jamie Foxx needs to talk to Jessica Biel about her football sports client because Jamie Foxx is a serious sports journalist who needs the scoop. He goes to her office and she is physically ill on her couch eating chocolate because this day is soooo depressing! Oh and here we go. She said it! “I’m neurotic to the nth degree”. Not only did she say it, but she was also stuffing chocolate in her face. Wow, her and Jamie Foxx both hate Valentine’s Day. I bet this means they are going to fall in love.

Okay more boring crap. Taylor Swift can’t dance. Emma Roberts tells the old people that she wanted to have sex with her boyfriend, but didn’t. He is going to Stanford, and she is going to Yale apparently. The only universities that exist in movies are Ivy Leagues and NYU. I think I have complained about this before. Shirley MacLaine tells her husband that she had an affair with his business partner decades ago. Back to Bradley Cooper and Julia Roberts being boring. Jennifer Garner is at the hospital and the nurse confirms that her doctor-boyfriend is a married lying asshole. The football player comes out as gay, and says he won’t retire. “I’m gay and I’m gonna play”. This is something I will be saying to myself forever now.

Jennifer Garner delivers an epic diss scene by surprising Patrick Dempsey who is with his wife at a fancy restaurant. She pretends to be their waitress and describes the night’s special, which is pig testicles chopped up into a pig’s butt. I guess that’s supposed to be some sort of metaphor? Like Patrick Dempsey is the pig, and has chopped up testicles in his butt? Feel like she should have actually done it rather than just describe it. This would again, make for a much better movie. Perhaps with the cool boy who wears his shirt over his head cheering her on in the background. She smacks down a little toy heart that he gave her on the table, and an old man at the table next to them says to his wife, “do we get a toy?”

How is Dempsey’s wife so dumb that she doesn’t even realize Jennifer Garner wasn’t really a waitress? Also, why didn’t Jennifer Garner just say exactly what was going on? Oh good, you scared him into thinking he was about to get caught. Then you ordered food and told the server to put it on his bill. Girl power! Way to fucking stick it to the man.

So now it cuts to Jessica Biel’s party which is at an Indian restaurant. The 750 bus just drove by, which is a bus I take to get to Metro. I guess this movie is pretty relate-able after all. Anne Hathaway and Topher Grace are on a date. Jessica Alba gets a hotel room for her and her dog. George Lopez has a wife and reads Rumi.  Back to Topher Grace and Anne Hathaway—who went away to take a “business call”. Topher looks for her and catches her doing the phone sex thing. He freaks out because he is a good boy from Indiana and phone sex operators are devil-worshiping freaks.

Topher then gives his ticket to the old guy mad at his wife who cheated on him eighty years ago to see a movie at the Hollywood cemetery. He tells the old man that he has the worst Valentine’s Day story of all time. The worst Valentine’s Day story of all time? Not even close! The only two times I’ve been with someone on Valentine’s Day double as my most romantic Valentine’s Day stories as well as my worst Valentine’s Day stories. The first was in college, when a man I was madly in love with (but he could care less about me of course) booty called me at 2am, which was technically not even Valentine’s Day anymore, to get drunk and watch “Kids” with him. We watched “Kids”, and then had sex. Do you realize how sad and pathetic a person has to be to have sex after watching “Kids”? That’s like eating lunch after watching Guy Fieri eat lunch. After all was said and done he asked me to leave because he had to be at work in a few hours. I was kind of drunk, but too embarrassed to say anything so I drove two blocks to 7-Eleven and sobered up with taquitos and coffee. My only other Valentine’s Day after that was with a guy I had been on three dates with who revealed to me that he wanted to be my boyfriend, but then also revealed that he was kicked out of his apartment due to the return of his heroin addiction and needed a place to live. The best part is that I still didn’t downright reject him. I told him to call me, and he never called me. Don’t you just love love?

The little boy is back at Ashton’s flower shop and Ashton promises to help him deliver the flowers finally. Back at the Indian restaurant, Jennifer Garner shows up to the anti-Valentine’s Day party Jessica Biel is throwing and she beats a heart shaped pinata to a pulp. After it bursts open she says, “now that’s open heart surgery.”  Nope. No it’s not.

Okay I’m taking another shot. Hardcore craving some diet coke right now but don’t want to leave my house. It is embarrassing the amount of times I have gone to the Domino’s website and gone through most of the process to just order a 2 liter bottle of soda, but then backed out last minute because just ordering soda from Domino’s would be some sort of new low maybe? By the time it got here the movie would be over anyways. Oh so the old people just got back together. Yeah, real shocking there. Jamie Foxx is at the Anti-Valentine’s Day party. The little boy tells Jennifer Garner that he loves her. Yikes! Jennifer Garner tells him to give the flowers to his classmate who happens to work at this Indian restaurant her family owns. “I like her a lot too. She’s the only other fifth grader who has Frank Zappa on her iPod”.

Jennifer Garner is just realizing now she loves Ashton Kutcher. He’s been my best friend my whole life but only now that we’ve both been dumped on the same day do I realize this! Okay there’s some choreographed Indian dancing. Emma Roberts doesn’t want to have sex with her boyfriend, because it has to be “special” and not “forced”. This is the number one worst thing movies perpetuate is the idea that your first time has to be amazing. Losing your virginity is the worst, most uncomfortable, and awkward experience of your life and I for one am glad I never saw that guy again. It didn’t help that I was drunk and it was during my own birthday party and all my friends kept walking in to watch and giggle.

Taylor Swift is happy. A Taylor Swift song is playing. Queen Latifah gets a phone call from a horny man who thinks he is calling the phone sex operator (again, not how it works). This is her love story. She gets into phone sex. Bradley Cooper is gay too and his boyfriend is the football player. Okay we all know how this shit is going to end. Jessica Biel and Jamie Foxx fall in love. Ashton Kutcher and Jennifer Garner are in love. Topher Grace and Anne Hathaway are in love. Everyone lives happily ever after as long as they’re not Queen Latifah. Oh also Julia Roberts is the mom of that shitty little boy who likes Frank Zappa. Romeo Midnight closes out the film and we’re done. We’re finally done. The movie I never thought would end has finally ended, and I couldn’t be happier.

Let’s sum up, I had four shots, and two vodka sodas. Light dinner, mild snackage. I’m drunk, but not wasted. This movie was horrible, but not Hallmark movie bad. Close though. Too close for comfort, actually. I’m gonna give this film a 6 on the drunk scale. This is Romeo Midnight signing off.

Alison Stevenson is a writer and stand-up comedian based in Los Angeles. Aside from Filmdrunk, she also writes for VICE and has contributed to Death + Taxes, Heeb, Oyster, and more. Her comedy has been featured on Huffington Post, HelloGiggles, and Splitsider. You can read more about her on her website,