Thursday, 8 December 2011

New Year's Eve: Movie Review

New Year's Eve: Movie Review

New Year's Eve
Rating: 4/10
Cast: Ashton Kutcher, Lea Michele, Zac Efron, Michelle Pfeiffer, Hilary Swank, Jon Bon Jovi, Josh Duhamel, Sarah Jessica Parker, Robert de Niro, Katherine Heigl, Sofia Vergara, Halle Berry, Abigail Breslin, Ryan Seacrest, New York
Director: Garry Marshall
Ah, New Year's Eve - the end of another 12 months and the endless possibilities of another 12 ahead.
But in reality, it's always a desperate scrabble to find a good party or make sure you're somewhere with a loved one.
So into the fray of New Year and with an ensemble cast that seems to have just about everyone involved comes the latest from the guy who brought us the slightly sappy Valentines Day. This latest is the intertwining tale of several New Yorkers coming together on that night, weighed down with expectation - and is once again, into chick flick territory we go.
All of the various stories are captured here; from Hilary Swank's Claire Morgan, who's in charge of ensuring the ball drops tradition in New York's Times Square goes ahead to Jessica Biel's Tess Byrne who's about to give birth; there's also Ashton Kutcher's New Year hating grinch Randy who ends up stuck in a lift with Lea Michele's singer Elise; and there's Robert de Niro's Stan who's dying alone in hospital - and Katherine Heigl's Laura who was dumped by Jon Bon Jovi's rockstar Jensen...the list really, really does go on. But to be fair, it's a truly stellar cast gathering for this romantic drama. And once again Sofia Vergara is playing the same role she does in the ever brilliant Modern Family.
The bottom line with a film like this is pitching it to the right audience - and I am not the right audience. And the right audience who were in the screening of this actually loved it. The intertwined nature of the stories actually works reasonably well. Sure, many of them are predictable and inevitable eg, two people in a lift who initially have differences but find common ground, a mum who finally bonds with her daughter, a father looking for forgiveness at the end of his life - you can see what's coming a mile off in this sentimental schmaltz fest.
When you're faced with a film which throws out the line "Second chances - they don't expire till midnight", you know exactly what you're going to get. And when it's set in New York and one of the characters has a wishlist of things to do, you can guarantee there'll be an ad for the city in some form or other...There's so much talk of that famous ball dropping in Times Square during this flick, it's almost as if the writers dropped the ball when it came to an original script.
On a final note though, the product placement is this is utterly shameless - and the closing shots which include a poster for an upcoming release from the same studio probably takes it to a new level.
Overall, personally, I found New Year's Eve one of those bland, nicely put together, over indulgent and quite manipulative at pulling at your heartstrings films which get made by Hollywood studios from time to time - but like the much (rightfully) maligned Valentines Day, it'll find its audience.

It just won't include me.

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