An all-star ensemble cast comes together in "Valentine's Day," which follows the intertwining storylines of a diverse group of Los Angelinos as they navigate their way through romance and heartbreak over the course of one Valentine's Day. Couples and singles experience the pinnacles and pitfalls of finding, keeping or ending relationships in a day in the life of love.
Directed by veteran filmmaker Garry Marshall, the film stars Jessica Alba ("Fantastic Four"), Academy Award® winner Kathy Bates ("Misery"), Jessica Biel ("I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry"), Bradley Cooper ("The Hangover"), Eric Dane (TV's "Grey's Anatomy"), Patrick Dempsey ("Enchanted"), Hector Elizondo (the "Princess Diaries" films), Academy Award® winner Jamie Foxx ("Ray"), Jennifer Garner ("Juno"), Topher Grace ("Spider-Man 3"), Academy Award® nominee Anne Hathaway ("Rachel Getting Married"), Ashton Kutcher ("What Happens in Vegas"), Academy Award® nominee Queen Latifah ("Chicago"), Taylor Lautner ("The Twilight Saga: New Moon"), George Lopez ("Beverly Hills Chihuahua"), Academy Award® winner Shirley MacLaine ("Terms of Endearment"), Emma Roberts ("Hotel for Dogs"), Academy Award® winner Julia Roberts ("Erin Brockovich") and award-winning singer-songwriter Taylor Swift, in her feature film debut.
Marshall directed "Valentine's Day" from a screenplay by Katherine Fugate, story by Fugate and Abby Kohn & Marc Silverstein. The film is being produced by Mike Karz and Wayne Rice, with Toby Emmerich, Samuel J. Brown, Michael Disco, Diana Pokorny and Josie Rosen serving as executive producers.
The behind-the-scenes team includes director of photography Charles Minsky, production designer Albert Brenner, editor Bruce Green, costume designer Gary Jones and composer John Debney.
New Line Cinema presents, a Wayne Rice/Karz Entertainment Production, a Garry Marshall Film, "Valentine's Day," to be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.
ABOUT THE PRODUCTION
If you are happily in love, Valentine's Day is a day of hearts and flowers, romance and sentiment. If you are among those who are unlucky in love, it is just another day.
Director Garry Marshall, who has successfully captured the many facets of love in some of the screen's biggest romantic comedy hits, offers, "Some people think Valentine's Day is the best thing and others try to block it out. It means different things to different people. The other holidays are all clearer," he adds with his trademark deadpan delivery, noting, "Christmas, we decorate a tree, you give me a present, we sing nice songs, go home, go to bed. New Year's Eve, you drink, you kiss at 12 o'clock, sing Auld Lang Syne and cry, go home, go to bed. That's simple. Got it. Arbor Day…not the biggest holiday, but getting bigger because we're all 'going green.' But Valentine's Day is vague. It's a hard holiday to define because love is so hard to define and that's why it makes for a good story. Why not do a romantic comedy about the day we're all concentrated on romance, and that's 'Valentine's Day.'"
Seen through the eyes of a multigenerational cast of characters, "Valentine's Day" threads its way through a variety of relationships--from first dates to longtime commitments, from young crushes to old flames, and from perpetual singles to unrequited loves. To tell the interconnecting stories, the film brings together one of the largest all-star ensembles ever assembled in one film, including three Garry Marshall veterans, Julia Roberts, Anne Hathaway and Hector Elizondo, as well as Jessica Alba, Kathy Bates, Jessica Biel, Bradley Cooper, Eric Dane, Patrick Dempsey, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, Topher Grace, Ashton Kutcher, Queen Latifah, Taylor Lautner, George Lopez, Shirley MacLaine, Emma Roberts, and Taylor Swift.
Producer Mike Karz remarks, "We felt very fortunate to have such an extraordinary cast. But the fact that we were able to have this level of actors in the film is really a tribute to Garry Marshall and his reputation and skill. He is such a great leader and a brilliant comedian, which has been proven over and over again for decades. He is a genuinely funny guy who just knows how to deliver a joke. But, more importantly, he knows how to deliver a story."
"In order for any film to get made, the planets have to align," producer Wayne Rice adds. Certainly a lot of planets aligned for us to make this movie with such a remarkable roster of talent."
Julia Roberts and Anne Hathaway both count "Valentine's Day" as their third collaboration with Marshall, including their breakthrough roles in "Pretty Woman" and "The Princess Diaries," respectively. They agree that there are many reasons actors relish working with the famed director. "I've gotten to work on some wonderful films, but there's nothing like a Garry Marshall movie," says Hathaway. "He's generous and sensitive and fun, and he's a director you can trust. He's a passionate filmmaker; he's invested in every take and he works with you to craft a beautiful performance."
Roberts observes, "All Garry wants to do is tell a great story and make people laugh, and he's masterful at it."
The chance to work with the director was also a major attraction for the actors teaming with him for the first time. "Garry Marshall is a craftsman, and the opportunity to work with someone who can elevate your game and you can learn from--you don't pass those opportunities up," states Ashton Kutcher.
Bradley Cooper adds, "When I heard Garry would be at the helm, I jumped in with both feet. He's the perfect choice to direct this kind of movie."
"He is the king of romantic comedy," Jennifer Garner attests, "so it was a no-brainer for everyone in the cast. We all wanted to be in there."
Chart-topping recording artist Taylor Swift, who makes her film acting debut in "Valentine's Day," says, "It's amazing to be a part of something with so many names I've admired, but my favorite name has to be Garry Marshall. I was so excited to get to work with him. He's charming and funny, and he obviously knows how to make a great movie. And he took the time and effort to incorporate our mutual lucky number--13--into every single one of my scenes, which was awesome. I'll never forget that."
In fact, when asked what attracted them to the project, all the actors had one answer in common: Garry Marshall. However, before any of the cast was in place, what first drew Marshall to the film was the original screenplay, written by Katherine Fugate. He recalls, "Mike Karz and Wayne Rice told me they had a movie they wanted to make with me. They said, 'It's a love story; you do those things.' I read the script and liked it and said, 'Let's go.'"
Fugate says that she created the interwoven stories in the screenplay "to show how love was approached from different angles and different generations--from the unjaded 10-year-old boy with his first crush, to the thirtysomethings dealing with their relationship, or lack thereof, all the way to the older married couple looking back at the journey of love they have taken together. Love also takes on many different faces that go beyond romance, but at the end of the day, love always brings us back to what is most important in life."
Screenwriting partners Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein, who recently demonstrated their knack for ensemble comedy with the hit "He's Just Not That Into You," helped develop the story. "When we met with Garry and the producers, we were all interested in having the film cover a lot of perspectives, especially in capturing the different feelings people have about this holiday," says Silverstein.
Bringing another age group into the already multigenerational story, Kohn and Silverstein also recognized the importance of including a teenage romantic angle. "When you're a teenager, there are a lot of firsts when it comes to love and romance," Kohn says, "but it's not something you typically think of with regard to Valentine's Day. We wanted to make sure that the film had something that could speak to almost anybody."
Marshall states, "'Valentine's Day' covers various types of relationships, and I think they all work very well because all our actors were so good. The most important thing was finding the right chemistry. Nobody can define it, but the audience knows when it's there. The great actors and actresses can create it…and we certainly had a great cast."
"It's a day when your love life is put on display.Where there's always a chance for romance…"
"Valentine's Day" starts out on a romantic note between Reed Bennett, played by Ashton Kutcher, and his girlfriend Morley, played by Jessica Alba. Morley awakes as Reed is attempting to place a diamond ring on her finger, only to find her clutching her Blackberry. "I don't know if he's hopeless, but he is definitely a romantic," says Ashton Kutcher, who plays the role of Reed.
Reed is the owner of Siena Bouquet, a flower shop and café, which is the eye of the storm on the day devoted to expressions of love. Rice explains, "It's no accident that Reed works at a flower shop, which is a common denominator on Valentine's Day, the holiday for giving flowers and candy. It was the ideal epicenter for our story." Read more
"It's L.A. Nobody RSVPs."
"Valentine's Day" was shot entirely in and around Los Angeles, with locations including downtown L.A., Malibu, Hollywood, Venice, Burbank, Beverly Hills, and the San Fernando Valley. Some filming was also accomplished on soundstages on the Warner Bros. lot.
"I'm originally from New York, but I've been here a long time, so this was my love letter to Los Angeles," says Marshall. For certain scenes, the filmmaker chose some of the city's recognizable landmarks to serve as backdrops, including the magnificent Disney Concert Hall and the colorful Los Angeles Flower Mart, both located downtown; famed Hollywood Boulevard and the Hollywood sign; and the romantic Venice Canals. Read more
"It can be confusing. It can be complicated.
But at the end of the day, it's all about love."
In keeping with the film's title, "Valentine's Day" takes place over the course of only one day. Karz says that the timeframe adds to the pressures that are inherent to the day. "Valentine's Day is just so many hours, and there are expectations on both sides of the equation. If you go on a date, is it the right restaurant? If you buy a present, is it nice enough or is that putting too much pressure on the relationship? If I don't buy a gift, what does that say? It's a great holiday to celebrate, but there are certainly a lot of expectations that come with it, which is what we explore in this movie."
Marshall concludes, "We hope this movie inspires some people to take a chance on a relationship and maybe even fall in love. If you're in love it can be a wonderful thing; it's really nice when somebody needs you. Valentine's Day is a good day to give it a shot. But whether you're in a relationship or not, Valentine's Day can be stressful, so get ready."
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
GARRY MARSHALL (Director) is one of Hollywood's most respected writers, producers and directors of television, film and theater. He has also helped launch the careers of many film and television stars, including "Valentine's Day" cast members Julia Roberts and Anne Hathaway.
Marshall has directed a number of memorable box office hits, including the classic romantic comedy "Pretty Woman," starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere. His long list of film directing credits also includes "The Flamingo Kid," starring Matt Dillon, which Marshall also co-wrote; "Nothing in Common," teaming Tom Hanks and Jackie Gleason; "Overboard," starring Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell; "Beaches," starring Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey; "Frankie & Johnny," pairing Michelle Pfeiffer and Al Pacino; "The Other Sister," starring Diane Keaton, which he also co-wrote; "Runaway Bride," which reunited Marshall with Gere and Roberts; "The Princess Diaries" and "The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement," both starring Julie Andrews and Anne Hathaway; and "Raising Helen," starring Kate Hudson and Joan Cusack.
A Bronx native, Marshall began his career in television. He went on to create and executive produce some of the longest-running and most celebrated sitcoms in American television history, including "Happy Days," "Laverne & Shirley," "The Odd Couple" and "Mork & Mindy."
Marshall is also known for his work as an actor. Some of his notable film roles include the casino owner in "Lost in America"; the head of the network in "Soapdish"; baseball team owner Mr. Harvey in "A League of Their Own," directed by his sister, Penny Marshall; Mr. Gold in "The Twilight of the Golds," with Faye Dunaway; and Irwin in his son's directorial debut, "Keeping Up with the Steins." He has also made cameo appearances in a number of his own films and has guest starred on numerous television series.
In 1997, Marshall, together with his daughter Kathleen, followed his dream by building the Falcon Theatre, a 130-seat live theatre space in Burbank, California. The theatre has flourished since its opening. In 2005, Marshall directed his first opera, Jacques Offenbach's Grand Duchess, starring Frederica von Stade, which opened the season for the Los Angeles Opera. In 2008, he directed Donizetti's L'Elisir d'Amore (The Elixir of Love) for the San Antonio Opera.
Over the course of his illustrious career, Marshall has been the recipient of such prestigious awards as the American Comedy Awards Lifetime Achievement Award and the Publicists Guild Motion Picture Showmanship Award for Film and Television. In 1995, he was voted the Valentine Davies Award winner by the Writers Guild of America. In November 1997, Marshall was inducted into the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Television Academy Hall of Fame. He was honored in 2002 by Washington, DC's National Italian American Foundation.
Adams Publishing released Marshall's autobiography Wake Me When It's Funny, which he wrote with his daughter Lori in 1995.
KATHERINE FUGATE (Screenplay/Story) created and executive produced the hit Lifetime Television series "Army Wives," an ensemble drama about the relationships and struggles of a diverse group of women living on an active army base with their families. It is the most successful series in the network's 23-year history.
Fugate previously wrote the screenplay for the 2004 feature "The Prince & Me," directed by Martha Coolidge and starring Julia Stiles. She also wrote the largely autobiographical 2003 film "Carolina," starring Shirley MacLaine in the role of Grandma Mirabeau, who was based on Fugate's own late grandmother. Her script "The Senator's Wife" was named on the annual Top Ten Best Unproduced Screenplays list of 2006.
In addition to "Army Wives," Fugate's television credits include episodes of "Xena: Warrior Princess" and "Max Steel."
Raised in Southern California, Fugate began her career on the production side, where she learned the ropes as a production assistant. She later worked in the literary department of entertainment talent agency ICM. She also held studio positions at 20th Century Fox and Columbia Pictures before focusing her full attention on her dream of becoming a screenwriter.
In 2008, Fugate was chosen as one of 50 women in Daily Variety's Annual Women of Impact in Hollywood issue.
ABBY KOHN and MARC SILVERSTEIN (Story) most recently collaborated on last year's hit romantic comedy "He's Just Not That Into You," which featured an all-star cast under the direction of Ken Kwapis.
Kohn and Silverstein have been working together since they met at the USC School of Cinema and Television, where they both received MFAs in Film Production. While at USC, they co-wrote and co-directed a short entitled "Fairfax Fandango," which won the Best Short Film Award at the 1997 Los Angeles Film Festival.
Soon after their student film screened, the duo sold a romantic comedy pitch entitled "Never Been Kissed." A few months later, their script was being produced as a major feature film starring Drew Barrymore. The hit film also marked the first release under the banner of Flower Films.
Following the success of "Never Been Kissed," the writing team has written for Warner Bros., DreamWorks, Disney, Spyglass and UA. They are currently working on the screenplay for "How to Be Single," inspired by a book by Liz Tuccillo, which re-teams them with Barrymore's Flower Films.
Kohn and Silverstein have also collaborated on several television projects. They created, wrote and co-executive produced the FOX series "Opposite Sex," and also served as executive producers on the pilots "Close to Home" and "Splitsville."
THE ART OF ORIGINAL FILMMAKING