I thought nothing could top Spinning Into Butter, the leaden, completely uninspired race drama starring Sarah Jessica Parker, who’ll surely live to forget it. But we already have a new nadir in ’09 cinema: I Hate Valentine’s Day written by, directed by, and starring three-time loser Nia Vardalos, who has a big, fat bomb here.
It’s bad enough that Vardalos plays a florist with two pseudo-campy, completely stereotyped and sexless gay assistants who seem fresh out of an early ’90s sitcom. It’s even worse that the film lamely makes fun of such ancient targets as modern art and karaoke, for God’s sake. And that Vardalos and John Corbett meet cute, fight cute, and go through some contrived breakups just so they can patch things up and make the film’s 90 or so choppy minutes seem very much longer.
But the worst offense is that Vardalos, in some extraordinarily weird acting choice, plays every single line smiling like a lunatic! Even when she’s angry, the harpie is grinning like some crazed hyena! After 20 minutes, I couldn’t look at the screen anymore because the woman could not stop her bizarre habit of smiling through every single shitty line! It became unbearable and was, in fact, the opposite of infectious!
Nia’s grin will surely fade when she reads the reviews, one of which suggested that, given the poor box office potential here, she will learn to hate Independence Day too.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 6, 2009