When Robert Altman passed away in November of 2006, the subgenre of cinema known as the ensemble film lost its spiritual leader. Whereas Altman always utilized the depth and breadth of his cast of characters as a way to add richness and texture to his projects, in the hands of lesser talents, the ensemble film becomes little more than a way to get a lot of famous faces on a movie poster together. And while it’s still too early to totally slag the proposed New Line project known as Valentine’s Day as little more than a cash grab, the piece that ran in the New York Times this morning gives us precious little information to suggest anything to the contrary.
As we learn in the article, New Line was all smiles after He’s Just Not That Into You raked in some $28 million during Valentine’s Day weekend this year (on its way to a $94 million domestic gross). Then, when some enterprising young executive realized that V-Day falls on a weekend again next year (who knew that calendars actually worked like that?!?), the studio rushed to get another project in the pipeline that would appeal to the same target audience. Garry Marshall (Pretty Woman, The Princess Diaries) is lined up to direct the aptly, yet blandly, titled Valentine’s Day, an ensemble project that is set to star some of the most popular actresses that those baby eaters over at CAA have in their stable: Julia Roberts, Anne Hathaway, Jennifer Garner, Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel, and Shirley MacLaine (but, shockingly, no Drew Barrymore!). And although story details are loose, writer Michael Cieply reports that “the plot has something to do with a bunch of would-be romantics working their way through a tangle of circumstances in Los Angeles.”
Oh boy. Seeing as we will inevitably be dragged to see this on Valentine’s Day next year, we think we speak for everyone when we say that we hope this turns out better than that other Los Angeles–based, SEO friendly ensemble flick: Crash.
p.s Updates are gonna be slow until the 28th of this month, which is when i’m done with my exams, so see you guys then.