New Year's Eve

New Year's Eve


Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson

Anyone daring to venture into the cinema to watch Garry Marshall's latest insult to the words 'romantic' and 'comedy' would be well advised to recallibrate their 'saccharine' settings first. Sentiment covers every moment like mildew, without ever once actually engaging the emotions, as the action plays out like a sort of Stepford Wives version of what Christmas films should be all about.

If you're wondering about plot, brace yourself. Even those with worst-case Attention Deficit Disorder will find New Year's Eve's hodge-podge of set-ups frustratingly perfunctory. It's as though Marshall and writer Katherine Fugate gathered together all the subplots from films that never got made or were left on the cutting-room floor and sticky-taped them together end on end to create this horror of a holiday centipede.

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The best of the stories - although even that word lends them far too much weight - concerns Michelle Pfeiffer's dowdy office type and Zach Braff's motorbike delivery guy. If someone somewhere had shown a little faith and an ounce of sense, this tale of a woman who decides to make all her resolutions come true in a day, with a little bit of imagination and help, could have gone somewhere. As it is, we have no clue as to what has caused her to snap - a problem that renders her character's emotional arc about as engaging as a Christmas decoration on the 4th of July.

I won't put you through the agony of the rest, although every character and set up - from pregnant mums competing to have the first baby on New Year's Day to Robert De Niro dying (and that's just his career), to Ashton Kutcher's will they/well of course they will won't they lift romance - is specifically designed to check every demographic and cliche in the known universe. I'm only amazed they didn't try to jam in a disabled Santa's elf.

One by one, actors who should know better - Halle Berry, Hilary Swank, Hector Elizondo, go to your rooms! - and quite a few who clearly don't, turn up for a day's work and collect their Christmas bonus. On paper this might appear to be a seasonal girlie or romantic treat but don't be fooled - that box of 24 mince pies may look tempting, but if you try to eat all of them at once you'll just end up feeling sick.

Reviewed on: 08 Dec 2011
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New Year's Eve packshot
Ensemble sentiment at Hogmanay.
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Director: Garry Marshall

Writer: Katherine Fugate

Starring: Michelle Pfeiffer, Zac Efron, Halle Berry, Hilary Swank, Hector Elizondo Robert De Niro, Cary Elwes, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jessica Biel, Jon Bon Jovi, Seth Meyers, Abigail Breslin

Year: 2011

Runtime: 118 minutes

BBFC: 12A - Adult Supervision

Country: US


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