Though Garry Marshall hasn’t made a decent flick since 1990’s Pretty Woman he still apparently wields a not inconsiderable amount of clout in Hollywood. What else could explain the all-star ensemble of actors who gathered for Valentine’s Day? Among the major names found probing the turgid depths of the nearly 80-year-old director’s insipid rom-com are Julia Roberts Anne Hathaway Ashton Kutcher Jessica Alba Jamie Foxx Jessica Biel Taylor Lautner and various other prominent actors who either owe favors to Marshall or whose incriminating photos he holds in his possession.
A slice-of-life tale unfolding in Los Angeles over the course of a single Valentine’s Day the film chronicles the romantic adventures of a diverse cast of characters at various stages of relationships and encompassing virtually every conceivable demographic category. Their ages backgrounds and perspectives often dramatically differ but they each share one trait in common: Almost without exception they are all ceaselessly painfully disastrously unfunny.
Some temper their dishumor with a dose of the annoying like Kutcher whose dopey florist Marshall unwisely chose to anchor Valentine’s Day’s story around. Others add a dash of the preposterous like Roberts dressed in military fatigues in a laughable attempt to play a U.S. Army Captain on leave from the front. Still others add cloying sentiment to the mix like Bryce Robinson’s lovelorn 10-year-old whose grandparents played by Shirley MacLaine and Hector Elizondo ply him with nostalgic romantic tips pre-fabricated for maximum inter-generational cuteness. Whatever your preferred method of cinematic torture may be you’ll undoubtedly encounter it in this film.
In addition to challenging the pain threshold Valentine’s Day offers a test of endurance as well its story requiring over two hours to satisfy the narrative demands of its swollen cast. If you didn’t despise Hallmark’s ersatz holiday before you certainly will after enduring this Bataan Death March of rom-coms.
Tom Cruise and Steven Spielberg (who just finished shooting Minority Report, set for June release), are set to team up again for Ghost Soldiers, a World War II film about the Japanese prison camp survivors of the Bataan Death March, Variety reports. The film will be based upon the bestselling book by the same name and will be produced by Cruise's company, C/W Prods.
Julia Roberts' production company, Shoelace Prods., is teaming up with Revolution Studios to create the CBS drama Queens Supreme (no, not a Taco Bell burrito for royalty). According to The Hollywood Reporter, the show will take a behind-the-scenes look at the trial court system in New York.
Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese, who worked together in the upcoming film Gangs of New York, will team up again for a film about legendary movie mogul Howard Hughes. According to Variety, Jim Carrey and Christopher Nolan (Memento) are also said to be working on a separate Hughes project.
Gene Hackman's absence from recent award shows like the AFI and the Golden Globes is due to his new purchase: an island! Variety reports the land is off the Washington coast, but the actor has been in the Caribbean shopping for a boat. Maybe being the "Royal" of The Royal Tenenbaums will prompt him to pick up a scepter for his new kingdom.
The appropriately named Jennifer Love Hewitt will star in Fox's new comedy My Romance that her own LoveSpell Prods. is co-producing, according the Hollywood Reporter. The show is about an artist who gives up on love, only to realize love ends up finding her. (Makes you wonder what the show would be about if Hewitt's name had "Forest" or "Frankfurter" in it.)
Speaking of names, Rosie O' Donnell ought to change hers to "Accident Prone." People reports the comedian told Rosie show guest Kate Winslet that she "may have broken a toe" after falling down several steps of her 112-step home Wednesday night.
The words "canceled" or "terminated" seem interchangeable, don't they? Not according to Mariah Carey's attorneys, who claim they're ready to sue record giant EMI for using the "T" word instead of the agreed-upon "C" word when they publicly announced their $28 million contract break from Carey. The BBC reports EMI is ready to counter-sue, if necessary.
The 66-year-old singer Loretta Lynn will soon be Dr. Loretta Lynn, according to The Associated Press. The University of Kentucky will bestow the honorary doctorate in arts to Lynn at the Society for American Music's 28th annual meeting March 6-10 on the university's Lexington campus.
Conan O'Brien's Late Night contract with NBC expires in Sept., and Fox is up for the chase. PageSix.com reports Fox could offer O'Brien substantially more than the reported $2 million a year paycheck he gets now from NBC. Negotiations have yet to be finalized.
Rapper Jay-Z and R&B star R. Kelly have collaborated for The Best of Both Worlds, a CD set to hit shelves March 26, the AP reports. Both artists are Grammy winners and multi-platinum artists.
Antonio Banderas will star in the Broadway revival of Nine, a 1982 musical based on Federico Fellini's film 8 1/2, Variety reports. The show will open in Jan. 2003, with David Leveaux directing.
Liza Minnelli begins her European tour beginning April 2, according to the AP, after she weds 55-year-old producer David Gest on March 16. The wedding will be Minnelli's fourth and Gest's first.
Rocker Stuart Adamson of Big Country reportedly had a blood alcohol content of 0.279, three times the legal limit, when he was found hanged in Hawaii in December, according to Reuters. The Honolulu Medical Examiner's office ruled the death a suicide.
Actress Rebecca Gayheart has settled a wrongful death lawsuit out of court, People reports. When the actress struck and killed a 9-year-old boy last year with her car, she was sentenced to three years probation and ordered to produce a safe-driving video.
Survivors recount how they were forcibly marched over 50 miles by their Japanese captors who regularly shot, bayoneted and beheaded their starving and sick captives -- often without provocation. One survivor returns to Bataan with his son to revisit the scene of suffering.