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Movie Review

I Hate Valentine's Day a.k.a. “Eu Odeio o Dia dos Namorados”

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some sexual content.

Reviewed by: Laura Busch

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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens, Adults
Romance, Comedy
1 hr. 38 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
July 3, 2009 (select—3 theaters)
DVD: February 9, 2010
Copyright, IFC Films click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, IFC Films Copyright, IFC Films Copyright, IFC Films Copyright, IFC Films Copyright, IFC Films Copyright, IFC Films
Relevant Issues
Copyright, IFC Films

DATING GUIDELINES—What are the biblical guidelines for dating relationships? Answer

Should I save sex for marriage? Answer

How can I deal with temptations? Answer

How far is too far? What are the guidelines for dating relationships? Answer

What are the consequences of sexual immorality? Answer


True love

What is true love and how do you know when you have found it? Answer

Sex, Love & Relationships
Learn how to make your love the best it can be. Discover biblical answers to questions about sex, marriage, sexual addictions, and more.

What’s wrong with being gay? Answer
Homosexual behavior versus the Bible: Are people born gay? Does homosexuality harm anyone? Is it anyone’s business? Are homosexual and heterosexual relationships equally valid?

What about gays needs to change? Answer
It may not be what you think.

What does the Bible say about same sex marriages? Answer

Read stories about those who have struggled with homosexuality

Featuring: Nia Vardalos, John Corbett, Stephen Guarino, Amir Arison, Zoe Kazan, Gary Wilmes, Mike Starr, Jason Mantzoukas, Judah Friedlander, Rachel Dratch, Jay O. Sanders, Lynda Gravatt, Olive, Suzanne Shepherd, Dan Finnerty, Ward Horton, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Salvador “Wally” Corona, Howard Feller, Autumn Ready Potter, Rose Abdoo, Ian Gomez, Ben Schwartz, Tracy Thorpe, Kapil Bawa, Wali Collins, Miriam Tolan, Rachel Hamilton, David Beach, Gaetano Iacono, John Tormey
Director: Nia Vardalos
Producer: Blue Star Pictures, I Hate Vday Productions, ICB Entertainment Finance, Lakeshore Entertainment, My Bench Productions, Dominic Ianno, Madeleine Sherak, William Sherak, Jason Shuman, Marianne E. Titiriga
Distributor: IFC Films

“She had him at get lost.”

Nia Vardalos’ directorial debut, “I Hate Valentine’s Day” tells the story of Genevieve (Nia Vardalos), the owner of a charming flower shop, who loves romance and Valentine’s Day but fears commitment and long-term relationships. Genevieve’s fear of relationships has caused her to live by a strict five-date-only approach to romance. When Genevieve meets the handsome and goodhearted Greg (John Corbett), a new restaurateur in the neighborhood, she must confront her relationship fears and past heartaches, as she finds herself falling for Greg and wanting a more committed relationship that goes beyond five dates.

Positive Elements

Genevieve learns to face her fear of commitment, as she falls for Greg. She discovers that her parent’s failed marriage, due to her father’s infidelity, is at the heart of her commitment-phobia. Genevieve begins to conquer these fears with the loving support of her circle of friends, as they help her open herself up to a lasting relationship and true love. When Greg learns about Genevieve’s commitment-free philosophies about love, he tells her that her ideas seem unnatural. Genevieve’s middle-aged friend, Tim (Jay O. Sanders), encourages her by sharing that even though it is easy for him to complain about his marriage and kids, the commitment that they have to each other is special, and he could not imagine life without them.

Throughout the film, we see Genevieve and Greg extend themselves to one another with thoughtful and caring gestures of true love. For example, Genevieve sincerely wants to support and help Greg with his new restaurant, by offering to provide him with floral arrangements to make the restaurant more inviting, and Greg gives her small, yet thoughtful, gifts that show he truly cares about her.

Objectionable Content

“I Hate Valentine’s Day” is one of the cleaner romantic comedies by today’s standards, however it is still peppered with some suggestive and thematic content that is cause for concern.

Genevieve’s philosophies regarding relationships are reflective of the secular world’s outlook on dating. Genevieve believes that couples can only have five dates before the romance is gone and the relationship becomes difficult and ultimately ends in heartache. She describes committed relationships as “emotional cages” that are filled with unhappiness. She is interested in fun, commitment-free, short-term relationships that do not require any of the hard work that comes with relationships that last a lifetime. She wants to be wooed and romanced by a man.

What are the biblical guidelines for dating relationships? Answer
God wants the best for us in every area of our lives.

As most romantic comedies do, this one also ends up in the bedroom. There is a brief montage of different shots of Genevieve and Greg lying in bed together in various positions, covered only by sheets. (In all of these shots, it is implied that they have just slept together.) Some of the suggestive content in the film includes mention of “making love,” “booty calls, and “b*ning” someone. Greg also sends Genevieve a pair of boots and a card that says he would like to see her in “nothing but those boots and a smile.”

Should I save sex for marriage? Answer

How can I deal with temptations? Answer

What are the consequences of sexual immorality? Answer


“I Hate Valentine’s Day,” also, tries to subtly normalize homosexuality with its inclusion of two gay characters, who work at Genevieve’s flower shop. At the beginning of the film, one of Genevieve’s friends, a middle-aged straight man, jokes around about Genevieve’s gay coworker, giving him a “dirty kiss” to “see if he can turn him.”

The name of Greg’s new restaurant, “Get on Tapas,” is a play on words and could be interpreted in a suggestive manner. In one scene, Genevieve lifts up her skirt while she is on a public sidewalk, so that she can adjust her tights. (The scene of her adjusting her tights and skirt was not played in a sexual manner.) “I Hate Valentine’s Day” is almost completely free of profanity, save 2 or 3 uses of the Lord’s name in vain.

Summary and Recommendations

This predictable romantic comedy lacked the charm that was present in Nia Vardalos and John Corbett’s first film together, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” but it was still funny and entertaining, at times. While it is commendable that “I Hate Valentine’s Day” ended with its protagonist, Genevieve, reconciling her negative ideas about committed relationships, I can only cautiously recommend this film to mature adult audiences, due to the moderate amount of sexual content throughout this romantic comedy.

Violence: None / Profanity: Minor / Sex/Nudity: Moderate

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

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Movie Critics
…This romantic comedy is charming, but there are scenes of implied sexuality that merit caution. …
—Ted Baehr, Movieguide