All Things Valentine (2016, dir. Gary Harvey)

This film has the same soundtrack as a tampon advert. It’s quite the departure from sad Americana-infused music for the actress who looks enough like Lana del Rey to justify me making all these references to Lana del Rey. In hindsight it would’ve been a better use of my time just to listen to Lana del Rey, but I make these sacrifices for you my crap film fans.

Not Lana (Nana, if you will. I won’t.) is having a great slow-mo walk with novelty balloons but her boyfriend spoils it by cheating on her, just like most women’s first boyfriends in Hallmark movies. Now she’s all grumpy about love, and what better way to vent that bias against relationships than as the local newspaper’s Agony Aunt, The Coach? She causes a breakup that prompts one jilted boyfriend to consistently troll her online articles.

Meanwhile, Not Lana takes her dog (a super cute supporting cast member who probably trumps all other supporting cast for interesting traits) to a dashing newly single vet who happens to hate Valentine’s Day as much as she does! Could these events be relaaaateed? Yes of course yes these two men are the same man it’s a classic set up yes for God’s sake just cut to the dating montage.
Feet don’t fail me now…because I don’t want to fall over.

All Things Valentine is kind of like You’ve Got Mail, except instead of a natural business rivalry it’s online bullying- so more like You’ve Got Bitter Readers. The characters also seem to live in a world where there’s only room for one cynic, two maximum. Nobody will shut up about Love Actually or commitment or (in the case of one chocolatier/bit part actress who is milking those five minutes for what they’re worth) personalised candy. It’s almost as if the film company relies on making millions on sentimental greetings cards…

Like I said, the film’s saving grace is its moment or two of overacting. That and the hasty draped Apple Mac- who honestly glues chiffon to their laptop for a personalised interior design feel? Well, apart from Not Lana, that is. Terrible lines like “it’s time The Coach started thinking of the team” pepper an otherwise bland romp. Also, can we just chat about not Lana’s super contradictory dad? In the same conversation he tells her that “real men don’t send Valentine’s” and “you can’t just write off a whole gender”. I don’t get you Sir, are you defending or attacking men? Are you hitting that perfect balance of appealing to the women who’ve been cheated on by their token douchebag boyfriends and the women who are being wooed by the token love interests?

Overall, a poor choice of men to hang out with. Except the dog. He can stay.

Snog/Marry/Avoid: Avoid. Or Marry, gain ownership of the dog, divorce and flee to Rio. 



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