Movie Review: “New Year’s Eve”

Published by Clay Cane on Friday, December 9, 2011 at 12:00 am.

(Photo: New Line Cinema)

Summary: A band of pseudo-New Yorkers are scurrying around Manhattan on December 31, 2011. Love, death, teen drama, family, pregnancy and any other sitcom-type hoopla are stuffed into the Garry Marshall film. Characters include: A nurse (Halle Berry), dying cancer patient (Robert De Niro), New York police officer (Ludacris), lonely teen who wants a boyfriend (Abigail Breslin), New Year’s scrooge (Ashton Kutcher), background singer (Lea Michele), soldier (Common) and the list goes on.

Review: I thought 2010’s Valentine’s Day was bad, but New Year’s Eve managed to sink the all-star comedy ensemble bar even lower. Yeah, it’s fun to play spot the A-lister, but attempting to connect the dots of a messy and hokey storyline is quickly exhausting. Directed by the legendary Garry Marshall, New Year’s Eve drags on with its flavorless gumbo of plots that bizarrely merges after school special laughs and Lifetime movie drama.

The story is dopey and the moral lessons are useless, but I doubt any moviegoer who would actually pay to see New Year’s Eve is expecting a good movie. Furthermore, I’m convinced the actors know the Marshall film is a dud, but it is seasonal entertainment and the actors involved can make a nice check for only a few days of work.

One of the most annoying aspects of New Year’s Eve — and there are many to choose from — is the waste of good actors. For example, one scene includes Hilary Swank, Robert De Niro and Halle Berry — three Oscar winners and some of the most respected actors in Hollywood. When would any of us get all three of them in a film? But their talent wasn’t utilized. Couldn’t their one scene have just a tad of soul?

The worst sin of New Year’s Eve is the insulating presentation of New Year’s Eve in the Big Apple. Hopefully, no one thinks New Year’s Eve in New York City is this boring, clichéd and common. A true New Year’s Eve in New York? You wouldn’t even remember it on January 1.  There is one great piece to the movie — the end credits, which included hilarious bloopers that got the most laughs.

New Year’s Eve is in theaters today.

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