Right now, you need to make a decision. If you continue to read this
review, you may hate me by the end. You have been warned.
Congratulations! New Year's Eve
might hold the record for wasting the talents of more Oscar nominees
and winners than any movie before it. Halle Berry. Robert DeNiro.
Michelle Pfeiffer. Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine is all grown
up!). Hilary Swank. How was Cuba Gooding, Jr. not available to play a
Much like director Garry Marshall and writer Katherine Fugate's earlier
movie, Valentine's Day,
New Year's Eve
follows the troubles, travails and turbulent twists and turns in the
lives of many New Yorkers on New Year's Eve. Of course, everyone has a
plan, but those plans are falling apart.
Elise (Lea Michele) loves the holiday and is off to the chance of a
lifetime, when she gets stuck in an elevator with Randy (Ashton
Kutcher), who hates New Year's Eve (Because he read the script? Ouch!)
Stan Harris (DeNiro, and I cried one, manly tear down my unshaven cheek
when I saw him in the commercials) is a man with one more day to live
who hopes to see the ball drop at Times Square one last time, and finds
himself comforted by a kind nurse, Aimee (Berry).
Ingrid (Pfeiffer) is a lonely, miserable lady with a list of New Year's
resolutions she wants to make happen, and Paul (Zac Efron) is the bike
messenger willing to help her.
And so on and so forth and so on and it just doesn't end!
New Year's Eve
is overloaded with too many tiny, inconsequential stories that are
extremely predictable and full of overly simple pratfalls and
resolutions. I should have left the theater as soon as Pfeiffer's
character fell into a pile of garbage bags. It was a sign of what was
to come. Then, seeing how the rest of the band abandoned Bon Jovi and
let him make this movie on his own, was a reminder that even Richie
Sambora has standards (Standards exceeding those of Mr. Robert DeNiro,
which brought on another tear).
This is not a movie looking to explore real emotions or difficulties.
It's full of cute, innocuous, broad, cheap emotions. Marshall even
brings out a puppy in one scene to score the easiest points since the
Jets ran up the score on the Redskins last week.
Sure, there is a place for simple movies that deliver happy endings,
but New Year's Eve
is so cloying it engenders the exact opposite reaction intended. It's
overkill. I love Marshall, but he is delivering a movie steeped in the
1960's and 1970's sit-com timing that made him a legend, but feels out
of place in the year 2011.
Pfeiffer and Sarah Jessica Parker are even more out of place. Try as
the makeup crew might, it's hard to imagine Pfeiffer as a dowdy woman
who regrets life. She was cast because she has the very recognizable
name, when someone else could have filled the role more believably.
Then, we have Parker playing an extremely age inappropriate character
(and I think this is in her contract for every movie as it seems she is
always playing a character 10 - 15 years younger than she is). I am
willing to believe she is the mother of a teenager in New Year's Eve,
but when you see who ends up playing her brother and who ends up being
her love interest, you will laugh as hard as the people in the theater
with me, and it wasn't laughing for joy.
New Year's Eve
has inspired me to stay at home sitting on the couch and eating Ben and
Jerry's brownie cheesecake this year. However, I won't be watching Ryan
Seacrest, since he, too, is in New
Year's Eve is rated PG-13 for language including some sexual references.