Synopsis: In "I Hate Valentine's Day," Nia Vardalos stars as Genevieve, a romantic, carefree florist. She loves romance but keeps her relationships short with a "five date" rule. Her theory is tested when her whirlwind romance with Greg (Corbett), the charming new restaurateur in town, reaches the end of their fifth date, and she realizes she wants more. [Synopsis courtesy of IFC Films]
Round-up: The critics have come out in full force against writer-director-star Nia Vardalos and her directorial debut. In the Chicago Sun-TimeRoger Ebert makes a particularly convincing ... claim for Vardalos' character Genevieve's need for psychological help: "Genevieve is a woman beloved by all who encounter her, when in real life, I would be terrified of her. She is considered a source of great wisdom about romance, although Dr. Phil might advise protective custody." Stephen Holden of The New York Timestakes Vardalos' writing into his sights, "You might blame Nora Ephron, whose screenplay for “When Harry Met Sally” established the formula that “I Hate Valentine’s Day” runs into the ground. Compared with this, Ms. Ephron is Chekhov." Claudia Puig hands Vardalos the one-two-three punch in USA Today, "She doesn't write dialogue, she writes shtick. Her direction seems awkward and amateurish, her acting is more like mugging." At Salon, Stephanie Zacharek has developed a vivid metaphor for the un-likability Vardalos' character "Vardalos works so hard at being flirty, fun and charming, that at times you almost feel cajoled into buying her shtick: She's like a department-store cosmetics saleswoman who insists on spritzing you with perfume even as you try desperately to scurry past her." Though most reviewers conclude that the film is sub-par using the mediocre standards of romantic comedies, it is only The Hollywood Reporter's Stephen Farber who concedes that is a passable romcom. Though he is not enthusiastic about the film, he concedes, "The strength of Vardalos' movies is that she loves all of her fellow actors and allows large ensembles to flourish. The supporting players in "Valentine's Day" are delightful." He concludes, "No one will be thunderstruck by the insights buried in 'Valentine's Day,' but couples seeking romantic fluff probably will find just enough humor and heart to satisfy them."