Huff Post Review: I Hate Valentine's Day

07/31/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Who is it that keeps making Nia Vardalos movies? Or is it a sign of impending apocalypse that two such terrible ones have been released in one month? Really, isn't it cheaper just to keep them on the shelf?

It seemed unlikely that Vardalos could star in a movie flatter or more desultory than My Life in Ruins. But she's outdone herself with I Hate Valentine's Day, which she not only wrote but directed, in addition to starring.

For good luck, apparently, she cast John Corbett -- her love interest in My Big Fat Greek Wedding -- as the male lead. But she could have cast anyone from Brad Pitt to a fencepost and it wouldn't have made a difference. The writing is that flavorless, the directing that inept.

The story: Vardalos plays Genevieve, a florist in Brooklyn who has a rule about men -- no more relationships. It's a daddy thing, related to her father deserting her mother -- which would make sense if it had happened when she was 12. As it turns out, Dad fled when Genevieve was 25 (which raises a whole other set of issues, but I'm making way more out of this ill-considered plot point than I should).

Anyway, her no-relationships rule includes a limit of five dates with any man -- then it's on to the next one. In her mind, this equates to a perpetual state of romance, minus the messy feelings that accompany actual connection. Plus the whole five-dates thing is the kind of hook that can be excerpted easily for a commercial, to make the movie seem more interesting than it is.

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