DIR: Garry Marshall • WRI: Katherine Fugate • PRO: Richard Brener, Toby Emmerich, Mike Karz, Wayne Allan Rice, Josie Rosen • DOP: Charles Minsky • ED: Michael Tronick • DES: Mark Friedberg • CAST: Sarah Jessica Parker, Jessica Biel, Ashton Kutcher
Chances are you’ll already know if you’re going to go see New Year’s Eve, regardless of what this review has to say. If you went to see and somehow enjoyed the effervescent but hollow Valentine’s Day, then this sorta-sequel will no doubt be on your Must-Watch list. If, however, the thoughts of another Magnolia-for-tweens fills you with dread, then avoid. It’s even worse than you could imagine.
On the plus side, whereas Valentine’s Day was solely about love stories, New Year’s Eve is only about 90% about love stories, so while you have Katherine Heigl, Jon Bon Jovi, Ashton Kucher, Lea Michele, Sarah Jessica Parker, Abigail Breslin and a whole host of others looking for their midnight kiss, we also have Halle Berry dealing with Robert De Niro’s cancer, Hilary Swank dealing with work woes, Jessica Biel dealing with an impending birth and Zac Efron dealing with Michelle Pfeiffer’s bucket list. Also, the film really, really makes you want to be in NY for NYE.
However, there aren’t any stories even nearly as ‘edgy’ or ‘interesting’ (using both terms very loosely) as the Bradley Cooper/Julia Roberts plotline from Valentine’s Day. Everything seems vaguely daytime tv soap drama-y, and even some of the Who-Will-End-Up-With-Who? guessing game fun is gone, as everything is so obviously spelled out from the get-go. Plus there’s a singing montage scene that will literally have you squirming out of your seat.
It’s not the absolute worst film of the year, but you know you’re in a bad place when even the end credits gag reel doesn’t even make you smile.
Rated 12A (see IFCO website for details)
New Year’s Eve is released on 9th December 2011