STARS/**** Image B Sound B Extras C
starring Jessica Alba, Kathy Bates, Jessica Biel, Bradley Cooper
screenplay by Katherine Fugate
directed by Garry Marshall
by Walter Chaw There are worse directors working today than Garry Marshall, but not many and then not much worse. I've vowed on a few occasions (like after Beaches, Pretty Woman, Exit to Eden, The Other Sister, Raising Helen, Georgia Rule) to never subject myself to another Marshall joint--certainly to never bother reviewing another one. What's the point, really, of taking the piss out of this guy and his movies? They're consistently, stridently tone deaf; unfailingly saccharine; morally suspect; visually uninteresting; casually racist/misogynist/classist/homophobic; and dangerously enervating to the point of meriting some kind of warning label. Marry Marshall's adorable dog/kid reaction shots and wholesale white-rape of Motown standards to a bloated ensemble cast (everyone from Jamie Foxx to Kathy Bates--yes, it's horrific) enacting a two-hour version of Marshall's career-launching TV series "Love, American Style" and what you get is every bit the horror movie the title Valentine's Day suggests.