How many of you ladies caught He’s Just Not That Into You around Valentine’s Day this year? Way too damn many of you, that’s for sure. It nearly made $100 million at the box office, which has made it the most financially successful romantic comedy of 2009 so far (at least until The Proposal comes along). Terrible goddamn movie, though. They just packed it with so many stars — Ben Affleck, Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Aniston, Justin Long, Bradley Cooper, Ginnifer Goodwin, Scarlett Johansson, Jennifer Connelly — that you just couldn’t resist the lure, huh?
Well, that’s New Lines newest strategy in its efforts to become to Valentine’s Day what Lionsgate and Saw are to Halloween. They’ve decided to make another ensemble romantic comedy and cram it full of enough high-profile celebrities to raise the female population’s collective estrogen levels, forcing them into the theater to satiate their fix. The next movie, titled appropriately enough, Valentine’s Day, will be directed by Garry Marshall, and get a load of this cast: Julia Roberts, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel, Jennifer Garner, Shirley MacLaine, Bradley Cooper and Ashton Kutcher.
That’s a lot of big names. The story will focus on five interweaving storylines (see, He’s Just Not That Into You) that all take place on Valentine’s Day. Here’s the cliched plotline sketches:
Roberts is an army officer on leave from Iraq on a flight to L.A. Cooper, on the same flight, is a gay man whose lover is a closeted football player.
Kutcher is an owner of a flower shop who proposes to his girlfriend (Alba), only to realize he is in love with his close friend, played by Garner, who discovers her boyfriend is married.
MacLaine plays Roberts’ mother, a happy retiree who reveals to her husband a long-ago affair.
Hathaway is an assistant working at the biggest talent agency in town and dating a mailroom assistant; Biel is a publicist unlucky in love (is there any other kind?) who has no date on Valentine’s Day.
And the only interesting thing there is Bradley Cooper playing a gay man, which should bring in the gay demographic, as well. All of which is to say: This movie can be absolutely atrocious (and no doubt, it will be) and it’ll still make a bazillion dollars. Now, if The Comedian comes out in the end with a blowtorch and torches all the characters do death, New Line would hit the demographic jackpot.