A Ranking of the 20 Main Characters in “Valentine’s Day”

Valentine’s Day is today, which means it’s officially an appropriate time of year to watch the iconic movie, “Valentine’s Day”. In case you didn’t know, it’s a 2010 rom-com featuring an ensemble cast of hella famous people. A lot of them. The movie begins the morning of Valentine’s Day, and then follows the lives of 20+ very different characters throughout the day, showing how their relationships form, change, and break on the (supposed) most romantic day of the year. It’s exactly the kind of cute feel-good movie you want to watch this time of year, but it may be tough to keep track of all the characters (unless you’re someone like me who has watched it pretty much every year since it came out). Fortunately, I have created an organized list of the 20 main characters, ranked in order from possible saint to human trash. Read on to find out who the best/worst characters are and why.

(Warning: Spoilers ahead. But this movie is 9 years old. If you haven’t seen it yet, that’s on you.)


1. Captain Kate Hazeltine (Julia Roberts)

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This woman is a selfless angel. We meet Kate on a plane with Holden. She’s a soldier on active duty, flying home to visit her son, Edison. To start off, she’s a soldier, so she’s serving her country and defying gender stereotypes, both of which are incredibly cool of her. Her ability to read people is impressive, but what’s even more impressive is that she’s willing to sit through a 14-hour flight just to see her son for ONE night. That is serious dedication.


2. Alphonso (George Lopez)

Alphonso is a florist at Siena Bouquet, where he works with his friend Reed. He’s super chill and proves to be a great friend to Reed throughout the movie. He’s always there to offer wisdom and advice when Reed is struggling. His one and only visible flaw is that he had sensed something was off in Reed’s relationship, but never warned him, leaving Reed shocked when it ended. However, Alphonso gets bonus points because the scene with him and his wife at the end of the movie is one of the cutest scenes in the entire movie.


3. Holden Wilson (Bradley Cooper)

Holden is Kate’s seatmate on the plane. He’s friendly, kind, and giving. He lets Kate sleep on his shoulder even though she’s a total stranger. Holden even goes so far as to try to close the window with his foot because the sun is shining in his eyes and he doesn’t want to move and wake her up. The ultimate sweet thing he does is let Kate take his ride from the airport when the plane lands and they see that there’s a long line for cabs and shuttles. 10/10 good guy.


4. Jason (Topher Grace)

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We meet Jason at his place the morning after spending a night with Liz, who he’s kind-of-sort-of newly dating. Jason’s got a few things going for him. Besides apparently being good in bed, he also shows he cares by remembering Liz’s favourite poet and quoting him to her. Unfortunately, he’s pretty oblivious, literally not realizing it’s Valentine’s Day until someone at work mentions it. Dude, have you seriously not walked through a mall lately or seen a single Valentine’s Day themed ad?? Nevertheless, he comes up with a last-minute date anyway, wanting to continue seeing Liz. Later, upon finding out that she works for a phone sex company to pay off her student loans, he handles it like an asshole. However, he owns up to it and shows up at her door later to apologize with a sweet hand-made card.


5. Julia Fitzpatrick (Jennifer Garner)

Image result for valentine's day jennifer garnerJulia is a teacher, friend to Reed, and girlfriend to Harrison. She’s a good teacher and handles a class full of fifth graders with a level of patience that I only wish I had. Like Alphonso, she suspected something was off in Reed’s relationship and didn’t tell him. She also chooses to believe her boyfriend over her best friend when Reed tells her that Harrison is married. However, her revenge on Harrison when she realizes Reed was right is iconic: She poses as his waitress at the restaurant where he’s out for dinner with his wife and describes a dish called “The lying, stinking pig”, before setting the plastic heart toy he had given her on the table in front of him. She then leaves, taking a bag of takeout with her, charged to the lying, stinking pig himself of course.


6. Reed Bennett (Ashton Kutcher)

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Reed owns the Siena Bouquet flower shop where he works with Alfonso. He begins his Valentine’s Day by proposing to his girlfriend Morley. It’s cute, but honestly so unoriginal. A Valentine’s Day proposal? Such a cliché. That said, he’s a total romantic and an absolute sweetheart. He’s also a great friend to Julia, which he proves by running through a filthy airport in bare feet to tell her that her boyfriend is married.


7. Liz (Anne Hathaway)

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Liz is a poetry grad who also happens to moonlight as a phone sex worker to pay off her student loans. She’s also kind-of-sort-of newly dating Jason. Overall, she’s pretty cool. I admire anyone hardworking enough to take on a second job. She’s also rather creative on the phone, and a talented voice actress. However, she sometimes takes those calls during her day job, which is rather unprofessional, and she leaves Jason for quite a long time to take a call during their date, which is pretty rude.


8. Sean Jackson (Eric Dane)

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Sean is a 35-year old professional football player whose contract has recently ended. Throughout the movie, the characters and the media speculate about whether he is going to retire. Eventually, at a press conference arranged by Kara, his publicist, Sean announces that he will not be retiring. He also makes an even more surprising announcement: he’s gay. Coming out takes a lot of courage for anyone, and perhaps even more courage for someone in the public eye, who will have to face the judgments and criticisms of not only the people they know, but millions of strangers as well. This level of bravery is what makes Sean an impressive character.


9. Edgar (Hector Elizondo)

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Edgar is the kind of stereotypical cute old man that makes you hope that you find someone like him to grow old with. Edgar is a loving husband to Estelle and grandpa to Edison. He starts his Valentine’s Day by bringing a gift and flowers to his wife in bed, and then continues to just be a generally good guy throughout the day.


10. Paula Thomas (Queen Latifah)

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Paula is Sean’s agent and Liz’s boss. While she doesn’t seem to be very well-liked by her employees, she’s actually a surprisingly chill boss. Of course, it’s also always great to see a female character in charge.


11. Kara Monahan (Jessica Biel)

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Kara is Sean’s publicist, Julia’s friend, and the host of an annual “I hate Valentine’s Day” party. Her character is best described by the phrase “hot mess”. She’s also very negative, spending her time complaining about being alone and hating on Valentine’s Day. That said, she does know how to throw a great party, complete with balloons, Indian food, and a giant heart-shaped piñata.


12. Kelvin Moore (Jamie Foxx)

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Kelvin is a sports newscaster, who, like Kara, hates Valentine’s Day. Unfortunately for him, he’s assigned to go out and spend his day asking people what Valentine’s Day means to them on camera. However, after complaining to his boss about it, he eventually does a good job with it and reveals a bit of a romantic side when reporting on Sean’s story.


13. Grace Smart (Emma Roberts)

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Grace is a high school student. She and her boyfriend, Alex, plan to lose their virginities to each other during lunch on Valentine’s Day. After their plan gets off track, Grace realizes that perhaps their reasoning may have been questionable, and they can’t force their experience to be “magical” as they had originally hoped. They decide to wait a little longer after all. Grace is a good student, a responsible babysitter, and demonstrates maturity in her decision-making.


14. Alex (Carter Jenkins)

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Alex’s story is pretty much the same as Grace’s, with the addition of one incredibly awkward scene. He goes to Grace’s house to set up before she meets him there. It starts off very sweet, with Alex scattering roses around the room and lighting candles. But then he decides to get naked to wait for Grace. Naturally, that’s when Grace’s mom comes home unexpectedly and finds him naked. The whole moment is made even more awkward when he accidentally steps on rose thorns, starts knocking stuff off of Grace’s shelves and has to fight with her dog over the underwear he dropped on the floor. Basically, Alex gets points for trying to be cute at the beginning, but he loses all of them for being as awkward as he possibly could have been when things didn’t go according to plan.


15. Felicia (Taylor Swift)

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Felicia is Grace’s friend and is dating Willy. She’s a little ditzy and is overly fond of PDA. But she’s a very sweet, supportive friend to Grace. Also, Taylor Swift’s song that plays at the end of the movie, “Today was a fairytale” is totally adorable, so her character gets bonus points for that too.


16. Willy (Taylor Lautner)

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Similar to his girlfriend, Felicia, Willy is overly fond of PDA, but is a supportive friend to Alex, offering him some (questionable but well-intended) advice for his lunchtime plans. However, we learn that Willy originally expressed interest in Felicia by shooting a spitball at her that said “Hi”. So immature. Also, Taylor Lautner never sang a rad credit song for the movie. Therefore, I had to rank Willy below Felicia.


17. Morley Clarkson (Jessica Alba)

Image result for valentine's day jessica albaMorley is Reed’s girlfriend, who he proposes to the morning of Valentine’s Day. She initially says yes, but changes her mind later because she’s not ready for that kind of commitment, and is more focused on her career. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with not wanting to get married, nor is it wrong for a woman to be focused on her career. However, when Reed unexpectedly stops at home in the middle of the day, he find Morley packing to leave him without so much as a call or a warning of any kind. And leaving your fiancé without even having a conversation about it is a pretty shitty thing to do.


18. Estelle (Shirley MacLaine)

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Estelle is a retired actress, grandma to Edison, and wife to Edgar. She seems like a perfectly decent character until it’s revealed that she had a brief affair and kept it hidden from her husband for years. Her eventual confession shows that she does feel guilty about it. But her logic when she asks for forgiveness is a little twisted. She says “When you love someone, you love all of them… You gotta love everything about them, not just the good things, but the bad things too.” That’s totally fair if you’re talking about some little habit your SO has that you find annoying, but a betrayal like infidelity is much bigger than that; You can’t just expect someone to forgive that instantly without hesitation.


19. Edison Hazeltine (Bryce Robinson)

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This kid is either incredibly stupid, or an incredibly smart mini con artist. He’s claims to be in love with a girl at school. So he goes to the Siena Bouquet flower shop and orders a musical card and a dozen roses to be delivered to his school. He pays $13, even though the flowers alone are $55, but Reed, the owner, accepts that anyway because he’s a nice guy and he thinks Edison is “the cutest kid in the world”. But Edison is in grade 5. He’s old enough to know how to pay the correct amount of money when he buys something. You might think a 9-year old would just seriously underestimate how much flowers cost, but when he asks for the flowers, he points directly at a sign saying they’re $55 a dozen. So he’s either really, unbelievably oblivious, or he’s purposely relying on his cute innocent act to con his way out of having to pay the full price for the flowers. Neither of these options make him a good character. We also later find out that the girl he’s “in love” with is his teacher, so that’s also real awkward of him.


20. Dr. Harrison Copeland (Patrick Dempsey)

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This is it. #20. Officially the worst character in the movie. Last, and least, is Harrison. We meet Harrison the morning of Valentine’s Day, when he’s telling his girlfriend, Julia, that he can’t spend the evening with her because he has to work out of town. Reasonable, right? Until we find out that he’s actually married, not divorced as he claims, and can’t spend the evening with her because he has plans with his wife. In addition to being a cheater and lying to both his wife and his girlfriend, he also puts Reed in an uncomfortable position when he asks him to deliver flowers to both women and keep each a secret from the other. That’s a tough spot for any florist, and even worse for Reed, who realizes that one of the women is his best friend. Anyway, Harrison is terrible, and easily the worst character in the movie.


Now that you’ve reminisced on all the great and not-so-great characters in the movie, go watch it before it’s no longer seasonally appropriate! Happy Valentine’s Day!