New Year’s Eve

Ball Drop

         
 

09 December 2011| No Comments     by Sean Chavel

 

The question isn’t whether you will hate yourself for liking it, it is if you will hate yourself for even watching. New Year’s Eve is a rom-com delivered as a shameless sitcom, with two dozen stars grinding through interlinking dopey plots. What a tremendous surprise that Zac Efron and Sarah Jessica Parker turn out to be brother and sister! I already don’t want to see anything Efron is in, and not only did I have to endure him but I also felt the passing gas of Katherine Heigl, Jessica Biel, and Ashton Kutcher. Those aren’t real actors, but at a cast of twenty-four something there’s hope. For veteran age respectability, Michelle Pfieffer and Robert DeNiro are the old movie star heavyweights, but I was shocked that they didn’t share a storyline.

I was more than surprised myself that I liked the Pfieffer story which depicts her as a middle-aged wallflower who has never done anything fun on her resolutions list and so employs bicycle messenger Efron to be her NYC tour guide. Efron is a douchebag playing a douchebag, but surprisingly it helped add poignancy to this particular story. DeNiro has the saddest story of them all as a cancer patient on his deathbed who strains with all his might to live to see one last drop of the New Year’s ball at midnight. It’s unintentionally comical that he’s so intense in anguish that it feels like he’s acting in an entirely different movie.

Hilary Swank is the high-powered and inspirational woman of the story, an exec whose job it is to preside over the drop of the ball in Times Square (Ryan Seacrest is the television host). Except that the ball goes into mechanical failure, and so Swank has to busy herself with finding the right man to repair it in time. America depends on her! Ludacris is preposterously the cop by her side to escort her… preposterously one of New York’s finest on detail, that is.

I’ve spared you of the worst storylines until now. See, “New Year’s Eve” can be approached as a guilty pleasure that you can ridicule, but where it becomes intolerable is the participation of Kutcher as a New Year’s party pooper, donning ugly pajamas, who gets stuck in an elevator with Lea Michelle for an interminable amount of time (the elevator is repaired just before they are about to kiss).

Or how about Jon Bon Jovi, as a rock musician, taking a good slap from Heigl, a caterer in a funny chef’s hat (ha ha, how dorky) and humbly taking justification in it because he walked out on her a year ago? Heigl as a photo presence has babelicious features, but observe her for a quarter of a minute and she is the ugliest actress in Hollywood, a sourpuss who over-embellishes every frown, pout and groan with unparalleled manifestation. Why would Bon Jovi or any guy less than him want her? She’s practically bellowing “I’m impossible to please!” before you raise a word with her.

Romantic? Nah. Other co-stars include Abigail Breslin, Alyssa Milano, Carla Gugino, Cary Elwes, Common, Halle Berry, James Belushi, Josh Duhamel, Seth Meyers, and features Sofia Vergara and Russell Peters as ethnic caricatures.

118 Minutes. Rated PG-13.

ROMANTIC COMEDY / MULTI-ENSEMBLE CAST / WEEKEND PARTY GAME RIDICULE

Film Cousins: “Playing By Heart” (1998); “Love Actually” (2003); “He’s Just Not That Into You” (2009); “Valentine’s Day” (2010).

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Sean Chavel

About The Author / Sean Chavel

Sean Chavel is a Hollywood based author and movie reviewer. He is the Executive Director of flickminute.com, a new website that has adapted the movie review site genre by introducing moodbased and movie experience based reviews.

 

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