Review: I Hate Valentine’s Day (2009)

There’s a scene where the couple spends one “romantic” date visiting an art gallery and making fun of someone else’s art. The gall.

It’s bad enough that in I Hate Valentine’s Day, we’re given yet another narrative that portrays someone who refuses to conform to conservative, heteronormative ideas about monogamous relationships as simply being traumatised / suffering from daddy issues / in need of fixing. What’s worse is thatI Hate Valentine’s Day adds nothing new or even novel to its genre.

(Side note: I Hate…‘s attempt at “diversity” comprises including a mixed-race gay couple, with the sole function of being the cheerleaders in Nia’s life, and with the character depth of Heckle & Jeckle).

I Hate… doesn’t even pretend to be more than a cash-in on the success of what’s proven to be Nia Vardalos‘s one thing to say, My Big Fat Greek Wedding – right down to her re-pairing with bland-pixie-dream-male lead John Corbett. This “effort” is across-the-board lazy and uninspired, from its premise to its execution. As with most sequels, I Hate… learned entirely the wrong lessons from the success of its predecessor, MBFGW: it wasn’t the love story between Valadros and Corbett. MBFGW managed to distract from its complete lack of conflict or character development with its portrayal of American immigrant culture that hadn’t really been seen before in a mainstream commercial film – and that added a vital layer of relatability to Valadros’s character, not to mention a reason for the film to exist at all, that is sorely lacking here.

With no such novel framework, this film is a whole lot of nothing – nothing new, nothing fresh, nothing fun, nothing sexy, nothing engaging, nothing endearing, nothing surprising, and certainly nothing worth watching. Nothing i could watch til the end, anyways.