Thursday, February 11, 2010

Taylor Swift Gets Few Love Letters for 'Valentine's Day'..

Poor Taylor Swift. Turns out everyone liked her a lot better when she was an underdog struggling to get a word in. Now that the teen singer -- whose MTV VMA speech was famously, rudely, interrupted by Kanye West back in September -- has our undivided attention, she's facing a growing backlash that's getting stronger and snarkier by the minute.

The tide began turning for the statuesque country upstart after a less-than-dazzling (most frequently described as "pitchy") performance with Stevie Nicks at this year's Grammys -- where she won four awards including album of the year. Following the debacle, her label head -- and Naomi Judd -- came to her defense, which only rankled the masses including Kelly Clarkson.

Now, with Friday's release of "Valentine's Day," which nearly sags under the weight of so many Hollywood heavy-hitters, everyone's about to get a glimpse of her acting chops, which seemed more than passable when she hosted SNL in November. But early reports about the movie have been unkind, to put it mildly.

"Some teen viewers may be drawn by the lure of the two Taylors, but their time onscreen together arguably reps the film's low point," writes Variety's Todd McCarthy regarding Swift's performance alongside onetime boyfriend Taylor Lautner. "Swift, especially, seems entirely undirected, as she jumps around, makes faces and jabbers on inanely. If she's to have a film career, she needs to find a skilled director to tamp her down and channel her obviously abundant energy."

The Observer film critic, Rex Reed, is even more dismissive of Swift's "Valentine's Day" performance than he is of the movie itself: "This labored artifice strings together an 'all-star cast' (by today's dubious definition, anyway)," Reed writes in his review of the Garry Marshall-directed movie, "that runs the gamut from tone-deaf Flavor of the Moment Taylor Swift and movie werewolf Taylor Lautner to veteran Oscar winner Shirley MacLaine."

Even OK! Magazine, which spills endless ink charting Swift's every move, goes for the blond starlet's jugular. OK!'s movie critic, Mary Beth Quirk, dismisses Taylor as "not an actress," adding that Swift proves such a criticism by putting in a "regrettable" performance. "The movie isn't awful, and nor is it an award winner," the OK! critic declares, "unless you count Swift's frontrunner status to add a worst supporting actress Razzie to her shelf full of Grammys." Ouch.

The lone holdout seems to be Time Out New York critic, Joshua Rothkopf, who lauds Swift for, get this, convincingly appearing vacant: "Blond awards-magnet Taylor Swift reveals an unexpected gift for self-deprecating sunniness, chattering vacantly in an elevator to a stranger."

Taylor Swift's Wallpapar

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