NEW YEAR’S EVE (2011)
Running Time: 118 mins. Rating: 2 1/2 Stars/5 Stars
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Director: Garry Marshall
Cast: Josh Duhamel, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jessica Biel, Ashton Kutcher, Michelle Pfeiffer, Zac Efron, Robert DeNiro, Halle Berry, Cary Elwes, Alyssa Milano, Common, Seth Meyers, Matthew Broderick, Jim Belushi, Til Schweiger, Carla Gugino, Katherine Heigl, Jon Bon Jovi, Sofia Vergara, Russell Peters, Lea Michele, Abigail Breslin, Yeardley Smith, Drena DeNiro, Penny Marshall, Cherry Jones, Hilary Swank, Ludacris, Hector Elizondo, Ryan Seacrest, Larry Miller
Although I completely adore Garry Marshall’s ability to jam-pack as many A-listers as he can while celebrating the most trivial holidays in the year (if you haven’t seen VALENTINE’S DAY, do it), I was a little disappointed with NEW YEAR’S EVE. Maybe I was overwhelmed with all the beautiful people running amuck in a beautiful city, but I felt a little disconnected from them, like they were off in another world of their own. “Celebrities. They’re just like us.” Not in this case.
How can we ever comprehend a romantic comedy without Katherine Heigl? She plays a caterer named Laura that has this film’s noted celebrity, Jensen (Bon Jovi) coming back to her trying to win her back. Who wouldn’t want to be her right now? If the sexy sous-chef Ava (Sofia Vergara) can’t even sway him with her bodacious curves, he’s a keeper. Unfortunately, the slap, even the second time, was sub-par. It sounded more like she knocked his tooth out than slapping his face. Hello, can we call audio control?
But we really should be calling the lighting department. The whole movie surrounds itself around the famous ball drop in Times Square that is suspended due to a mysterious electrical glitch. Hilary Swank plays the night’s chief operator Claire Morgan who is so nervous she can’t even walk up a flight of stairs by herself. It’s no wonder we give the spotlight to the electrician Kominsky (Hector Elizondo).
On to more love stories…oh wait, there aren’t any! Okay, there’s two. The obvious, Lea Michele and Ashton Kutcher get it on. But it’s not as dramatic or nearly entertaining as it seems. And how can you blame them, this all occurs in an 8-hour elevator ride (yeah, I’d be exhausted too by then). And the other one, well, have fun figuring that one out. Zac Efron plays an excellent douchebag courier boy who decides to help out the pathetic Ingrid (Michelle Pfeiffer) who decides to quit her job (#1 on her New Year’s Resolutions list) and complete the list in less than 24 hours. Want to take a trip around the world? Apparently, New York City has everything in the world at arm’s reach, especially on New Year’s Eve.
Moreover, Jessica Biel should never play a pregnant woman. She’s unfortunately too boring and too sexy, none of which are pregnant-woman characteristics. Let’s call back Jennifer Lopez! Speaking of butts, Halle Berry is incredibly conservative throughout most of the movie. Another fail — Sarah Jessica Parker in CLOGS? How dare you. Other random famous people include Russell Peters (who isn’t as funny when he’s talking in a foreign accent), Ryan Seacrest playing himself, Josh Duhamel, Robert De Niro (really?), Ludacris and Common. Like the out-of-towners heading to the big city and hearing about some mysterious love story, we always hold too high expectations for the beautiful lives of others. “It’s going to have a goosebump ending!” Yes, if you count the bloopers after the ending credits. That almost gives me my money’s worth. Oh, and the two songs that occur, because Lea Michele can make anyone’s skin crawl. Just saying.
If you like this recommendations: Valentine’s Day, No Strings Attached