New Year’s Eve

17 12 2011

There’s something magical about New Year’s Eve. Unfortunately, very little of that magic makes its way into New Year’s Eve, the movie. Filled with a ridiculous number of celebrities and twice that number of corny lines, New Year’s Eve falls far short of the mark that other classic holiday movies have set.

There are a few different storylines at play. Sarah Jessica Parker is inexplicably trying to prevent her daughter, Abigail Breslin, from enjoying an innocent night out with her friends, and a rock star, Jon Bon Jovi, competes for the attention of a chef, Katherine Heigl.

new-years-eve-movie-review-2011

Meanwhile, Seth Meyers and Jessica Biel are trying to make their baby the first one born in 2012, Robert De Niro is dying in a hospital, and Ashton Kutcher is trapped in an elevator with that girl from Glee (Lea Michele).

There are several other celebrities as well, but I need to get on with the review. I’m also not going to bother listing the names of the characters, because, let’s face it: with so many different celebrities running around, was anybody really paying attention to their names?

The storylines are hit and miss. Some of them – like Zac Efron’s promise to fulfill Michelle Pfeiffer’s list of resolutions before the night is up – are cute. Others seem pointless, and are so little developed that I wonder why they were included in the movie at all.

Why are there so many storylines? I guess the idea was to cater to every possible demographic. There’s a single mom, a young couple, a rebellious teenager, an attractive 20-something guy who likes to party, and an attractive 30-something guy who wants to settle down, among others.

Unfortunately, instead of being able to relate to any of the characters, I just had to laugh at some of the decisions they made. Why does Seth Meyers, a young graduate struggling with debt, give thousands of dollars to a middle-aged business owner? Why does Heigl suddenly decide that she likes Jon Bon Jovi?

And why, after treating her to a nice afternoon around New York City, does Efron loudly call Pfeiffer ‘pathetic’ while talking on the phone just a few feet away from her?

None of these decisions are explained, which makes New Year’s Eve a frustrating movie to watch.

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The idea is that, by the time the ball drops in Times Square, each storyline will have happily concluded. However, despite the movie’s promise to bring each character’s story together, the ending felt forced and silly.

The few high points of the movie – like Russell Peters’ hilarious Indian accent and the storyline between Efron and Pfeiffer, are criminally underdeveloped. With a little bit of tweaking, New Year’s Eve could have been at least slightly more enjoyable.

As far as Hallmark-type movies go, New Year’s Eve isn’t that bad. It’s not that good either. Despite having a star-studded cast and a nearly two-hour running time, it falls far short of its goal in nearly every category.

2 stars out of 5

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