‘Valentine’s Day’ Flaunts Many Of Director Garry Marshall’s Essential Rom Com Signatures

Despite some seriously harsh reviews from critics, the highly anticipated romantic comedy “Valentine’s Day” scored big at the box office last weekend with a haul of nearly $70 million, deftly beating its closest competition “Percy Jackson & the Olympians.” You’ve gotta believe Cupid’s arrow so easily hit the bull’s eye thanks to the film’s star-studded cast, including Jennifer Garner, the Taylors (Swift and Lautner), Patrick Dempsey and the rom-com queen herself, Julia Roberts, whom director Garry Marshall has cast in three of his films. It’s obvious Mr. Marshall plays favorites (he’s also used Hector Elizondo, like, a bajillion times), but mega-watt muses are just one of Garry’s film-making signatures.

To help you recognize more “Marshall-isms,” Hollywood Crush has compiled a short guide we like to call, “You might be watching a Garry Marshall rom-com if…” Take a gander, and then add your own Marshall-ism in the comments section below.


1. You spot a pretty blonde actress named Kathleen

Does the face to the right look familiar? It should. Look close. In “VD” she played Ashton Kutcher’s long-suffering Siena Bouquet employee Nikki. In “The Princess Diaries” she was Queen Renaldi’s (Julie Andrews) assistant Charlotte and in “Runaway Bride” she played Julia’s boy-crazy cousin Cindy. You may also recognize her from “Raising Helen” and “Pretty Woman.” In short, she’s one of Garry’s go-to bit players. And for good reason. Her full name is Kathleen Marshall, and she’s Garry’s daughter. (Yay for nepotism!) The actress is part of a small pool of supporting actors Garry casts repeatedly. See also: Larry Miller and Sandra Taylor.

2. Someone’s reporting live

Garry holds a degree in journalism, which may explain his proclivity for including TV and/or radio personalities in his films. We’re thinking of characters like Cory “Wake Up With Flemm” Flemming from “Runaway Bride” or Genovia’s TV hostess with the mostess Suki Sanchez. In “VD,” Garry practically lets reporters run the show, from the late-night DJ whose voiceover opens and closes the film to Jamie Foxx’s sportscaster Kelvin Moore. In Garry’s world, it’s good to hold the mic.

3. Garry makes a cameo

Much like M. Night Shyamalan, Garry likes to include himself in his own films. You probably spotted him in “VD” as one of the singing telegram guys Topher Grace hires to serenade Anne Hathaway. He’s also made small appearances in “Runaway Bride” and “Pretty Woman,” in addition to a few of his less rom-commie films like “Beaches” and “Exit to Eden.” Hey, if you can’t cast yourself in a movie, what’s the point of sitting in the director’s chair, right?