Sadly, none of this was enough to blind me to how fucking awful New Year’s Eve was.
This romantic vom-edey was directed by Garry Marshall. The film boasts a cast including Halle Berry, Hillary Swank, Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer (who I couldn’t identify at first because she looks totally different these days) and scores of other A-list actors with Oscars at home on their mantles. How do the casting directors convince these talented people to tread through such fuckery? Sarah Jessica Parker starred as the mom of the girl from Little Miss Sunshine. Ludacris, Common and Bon Jovi all agreed to associate their faces, and, in Bon Jovi’s case, his singing voice, with this. Why, fellas?
The first few minutes of the film are essentially a commercial for New York City. I guess they thought a cheesy holiday montage, including shots of Times Square, the NYPD and portable toilets on a flat bed is a nice way to start a film.
There were so many major plot lines that I actually stopped caring about the outcome of most character’s stories before the film was over. Many of the characters in New Year’s Eve are forgettable, despite the talented actors and actresses who portray them. Everyone turned out to have some kind of connection to another character’s story, which works well in movies like Happenstance. Not in this film, though. New Year’s Eve just doesn’t have an inkling of what good character development is, nor does it have enough time to give it too much thought for the scores of major characters. This sloppy plot-soup is the same formula used for Garry Marshall’s other shitty, holiday-specific romantic comedy, Valentines Day.
Rachel from Glee plays a backup singer who gets stuck in an elevator with a frumpy artist played by Kelso from That 70’s Show. Michelle Pfiffer reprises Selena Kyle and Catwoman as a mousy executive assistant who has all of her new year’s resolutions granted by that kid Zach Efron, from High School Musical. Dr. Izzie Stevens works as a caterer and Gloria from Modern Family is her sous chef. Oh and, Dr. Stevens used to date Bon Jovi.
Kevin Bacon wisely escaped the wrath of this romantic comedy marathon.
I want to send a barf-out to the writers of this film. They did a great job of ensuring that there were just enough people of color cast in the movie in supporting roles to keep me from saying this film completely ignored the ethnic diversity of New York City. The racial disappointments were still there in full force, though. None of the actors of color guide their own story lines. They’re all support or comedic relief for white characters, and it’s terribly exhausting. Dr. Izzie Stevens gives Gloria some shit over showing too much skin in her new year’s dress. Ludacris plays a NYPD white shirt whose sole purpose in the movie is to validate Hillary Swank’s faltering ego.
I found it difficult to really give a damn about most characters. I did some heartfelt swearing at Ryan Seacrest and Michael Bloomberg. I really hate Glee, so I was hoping Rachel Berry and Kelso would remain stuck in that elevator forever. I did have some emotional moments when Robert De Nero’s dying character watched the ball drop on the roof with The Next Karate Kid. By the time I finished my second beer, I was missing New York City.
There were several moments that stood out in their artificially-flavored cheesiness:
- There’s a boring, tedious speech about the meaning of New Year’s over a montage of the film’s characters doing boring things.
- Ludacris stands in his NYPD uniform at a window overlooking Times Square next to an American flag.
- Ryan Seacrest.
- Ryan Seacrest trying to act.
- Leah Michelle’s nobody, backup singer character singing in place of Bon Jovi’s superstar character on New Year’s in Times Square and not getting booed or thrown off the stage.
- Sarah Jessica Parker stepping out of a carriage while wearing a princess dress at the end of the movie.
- Everything else.
1 out of 5 unicorns for this travesty.