In Pretty Woman, director Garry Marshall's personal cinematic high score, the opening credits close (and the closing credits open) with the voice of a street freak, barely noticeable in wide shot, chanting an absurd mantra—"Welcome to Hollywood, land of dreams!" Twenty years later, Marshall dips into the same well to bookend his embarrassingly star-studded stiff, Valentine's Day. Both movies brand the city of Los Angeles as the ground zero of romantic fantasy.
This time, the disembodied voice of a radio DJ promises the people of L.A. that he'll soundtrack their day with "the songs you love, and the songs you love to love to." And the movie is a kind of jukebox musical—a greatest rom-com hits compilation painted over with layers of gloss, as if in the hope that the pastiche won't show.
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