A formula for creating a movie with stink on it

Take this to the bank: the more big stars cast into a single movie, the more likely you’ll be making your grocery list while watching it. Here’s a great example, opening this weekend: Valentine’s Day (keep an eye on the MetaCritic site for the latest reviews). Before breaking down this bag of turd, let’s go to the preview:

I saw that preview last weekend when I went to the movies, and was so shocked I screamed out, “I don’t like any star in that movie!” Really. There’s not one star in Valentine’s Day that makes me buy a movie ticket. That’s why studios cast stars into movies; people buy movie tickets because of their favorite stars. Kind of sad, really. Story and script can have so little influence for some people, they’ll skip a great movie like The Cove.

That preview has red flags all over the place:

  • towhead kids in a romantic “comedy” (why can’t adults have a romance without kids muscling in on the action?)
  • amusing absentmindedness (“it’s Valentine’s Day today? I thought it fell on a Thursday?” … that’s funny?)
  • old and young people talking about sex (aren’t the generational differences cute … but non-threatening).
  • “At the end of the day, it’s all about love.” (really, is my life reduced to that? I have to depend on love from someone else to feel good about myself?)
  • The woman that is too good for the guy (well, the guy is Ashton Kutcher, so I’ll buy that).

One element to creating a crappy movie is having a reviewer mark it as “the perfect date movie,” which Toni Gonzalez from WNBC-TV did. A “date movie” means that you’re paying attention to your date, not on the movie, so who the hell cares about it. A great example of this is Date Movie, which is listed as one of the worst movies of the decade on MetaCritic. For movie lovers, the studio did us a huge favor with that title.

What other signs let you know a movie stinks?