I Hate Valentine's Day

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
I Hate Valentine's Day Movie Poster Image
Uninspired romcom is no My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
  • PG-13
  • 2009
  • 98 minutes

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 4+
Based on 2 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

The movie's friendships are quite enduring and very supportive; its ideas about romance are less refreshing (see Role Models section).

Positive Role Models

Everyone behaves as nicely as can be, given their relationship insecurities and individual peccadilloes. That said, there's some stereotyping (the men working as florists are gay, etc.) and Genevieve’s ideas about love start out superficial, highlightingromance but not the hard work that goes into keeping relationshipsgoing. Ultimately, the film perpetuates romantic myths and assumptions (including somediscussion about how women need to be wooed with flowers and presentsand wined and dined to keep the romance heated), which makes for cutesyscenes that aren’t entirely realistic.


Some scenes of couples arguing.


A couple kisses passionately; they’re later shown in bed, ostensibly after having had sex, under the covers with bare shoulders and legs revealed.


“Suck” is about as salty as it gets.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some social drinking; no drunkenness.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this tepid romantic comedy reuniting the stars of My Big Fat Greek Wedding is actually quite tame in terms of age-appropriate content. There’s no swearing or violence, only a little bit of social drinking, and not much sexy stuff aside from some kissing and one scene showing a couple in bed (only shoulders and legs uncovered). But while the movie's friendships are portrayed as sweet and supportive, it perpetuates corny, superficial ideas about romance and relationships.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byCommonSense4All December 2, 2020

Packed with stereotypes and tired jokes

This movie could be educational if used to explore all of the stereotypes and racist overtones it presents, for example in an intercultural communication class.... Continue reading
Adult Written byMovieluver101 August 16, 2011

Ehhhh Okay

I think that this movie was OK. One seen of them shown in bed, and earlier he screams out onto the street, I wanna have sex with you. Genevieve smiles to much,... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old April 20, 2011
Teen, 13 years old Written bygreenactress July 9, 2009


wow, never heard of this movie 'till now, looks pretty good, i might see it, who knows i know nothin about it.

What's the story?

Genevieve (Nia Vardalos), a Brooklyn florist, believes in romance -- but not long-term relationships (perhaps thanks to a philandering father...). She thinks a perfect pairing runs just five dates, and she has the perfect formula for them: swap family histories on the second, go for an adventure on the third, and have "the best date ever” on the fifth. Meanwhile, Greg (John Corbett), the new restaurateur on her street, has just discovered that his girlfriend doesn’t consider him her only boyfriend. Charmed by Genevieve’s approach to coupling, he asks her out, determined to stick to her script. But, to paraphrase John Lennon, love is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans. ...

Is it any good?

Don't watch this movie if you're lactose intolerant -- it’s that full of cheese. Though it means well -- the premise, if unexciting, is at least interesting, and the supporting cast, particularly Rachel Dratch, is charming -- its whimsy is forced and its momentum nonexistent. Romantic comedies, even the most formulaic ones, succeed when they carry you aloft on a giggle and a ride -- even if you know how it’s going to end, it should at least get you there with the wind behind your back.

But I HATE VALENTINE’S DAY doesn’t. Vardalos and Corbett, who once exhibited great chemistry in the justly vaunted My Big Fat Greek Wedding, don’t work here. The banter is strained, the delivery anemic (especially Vardalos, who seems to have recently attended the smile-brightly-and-everything-will-be-fine school of acting). There’s nothing offensive enough here to inspire outright hate, but there’s nothing to love, either.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how the movie portrays relationships. What impact does parents' relationship have on their kids? How important is romance in long-term relationships? Do you think the movie takes a realistic view of love?

  • Families can also discuss the movie's gender expectations and stereotypes. Are guys really the only ones who should do the wooing in heterosexual relationships? Do women need to be pursued?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love romcoms

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