Love is in the air, but unfortunately there’s garbage At the Movies this Valentine’s Day weekend. Of course Peter Travers knows your perfect date involves a film and maybe pizza afterwards – because let’s face it, you couldn’t get a reservation at a restaurant either – but Hollywood’s offered up some seriously slim pickings for you and your special someone this year.
First up is Endless Love, a remake of the 1981 Brooke Shields film of the same name (that’s also essentially Romeo and Juliet) that stars Alex Pettyfer and Gabriella Wilde as two young lovers whose parents won’t let them be together. “I’m gonna throw up. I just wanna puke at how bad this is,” Travers says. “It was bad in 1981 when it was first made and now it’s even worse!”
Next up is the truly bizarre, Winter’s Tale, which is based on Mark Helprin’s 1983 novel of the same name and takes place in both the present day and the early 20th century. The movie stars Colin Farrell as Peter Lake, an immigrant who feels angels are telling him that he’ll find the true love of his life – which he does, though his lady, Beverly Penn (Downton Abbey‘s Jessica Brown Findlay) is dying of tuberculosis. If that’s already sounding a bit too saccharine, Russell Crowe suddenly appears in the movie as an Irish demon who is trying to prevent true love from happening. To do so, he puts on his demon face – “he looks like he did in Les Misérables, but he doesn’t sing, so you’re safe there,” Travers notes – and goes to meet Lucifer played by, wait for it, Will Smith. “I am not making any of this up,” Travers says. “But this one is way beyond the scum bucket. This one is going into worst of all time. You are not to go near any of this.”
Lastly, there’s About Last Night, an adaptation of a David Mamet play that features another top notch performance from one of today’s rising stars, Kevin Hart. It tells the story of two couples, Danny Martin (Michael Ealy) and Debbie Sullivan (Joy Bryant) who think they’ve found true love, while their friends Bernie Jackson (Hart) and Joan Derrickson (Regina Hall) provide the comic relief. Like Hart’s other recent film Ride Along,it doesn’t quite work, but again the comedian is firing on all cylinders, making About Last Night pretty much the only choice you really have this Valentine’s Day (unless you want to go see the RoboCop remake).