New Year’s Eve (A review)

Picture from disneydreaming.com

It’s that time of the year again–when you can no longer go outside without shivering or seeing your breath. White coatings of snow are beginning to appear on the ground, and the most exciting part of all–Christmas decorations adorn every block.

In the midst of the Christmas festivities, your nearest cinema, since yesterday, is calling attention to a holiday seldom paid attention to in the vast Christmas experience–New Year’s Eve.

A lot of big names in the industry–Sarah Jessica Parker, Jon Bon Jovi, Robert De Niro, Josh Duhamel, Hilary Swank, Lea Michele, Michelle Pfeiffer, Zac Efron, Halle Berry and more come together with director Garry Marshall on one of the biggest nights in New York City–the ball drop. The movie follows various people on December 31: Two expecting couples hoping to be the first to give birth in the new year, a back-up singer and the Scrooge of New Year’s who get stuck in an elevator together, an overbearing Mom and her teenage daughter, a chef catering the ball-drop event, and the crew in charge of making sure the whole thing goes smoothly. As the movie progresses we learn the characters are all connecting to one another in some way.

Plenty of big stars, one of the most celebratory nights of the year, a “Love Actually” kind of vibe, and a message of hope, taking chances, and new beginning. All these things going for it, “New Year’s Eve” had tremendous potential. As much as I hate to say it, though, this flick falls short of “Love Actually”, the holiday movie it seems to look up to and yearn to be. My main complaints are as follows:

The characters were not believable or developed enough. Sure, there were a few moments in this movie where it attempted to tug at my heart strings (the majority of which were when a puppy came on screen), but unfortunately overall I did not feel connected to the characters, or anything beyond a mild desire to root for them. There were many moments where history between characters was implied, and beyond a line or two explanation, I couldn’t believe the plot, let alone sympathize with the situation. “New Year’s Eve” had the surface of what could have been a good pie, but we failed to get to the crust in this one, and we needed it.

It was predictable. Predictability isn’t a deal breaker for me when it comes to movies,  but “New Year’s Eve” did not leave me feeling surprised in the least. In “Love Actually”, we appreciated the cleverness of the connections between characters, we let out a light gasp when we saw who’s sister was involved with which man. But it became more and more obvious as the movie went on what was going to happen. And none of it was a turn off the road it appeared to be driving the whole time.

It was cheesy. Again, some cheesy is good (I’m from Wisconsin after all), but this movie took the cheese to the extreme in some parts. The cheese has to balance out the reality, and when it doesn’t, that’s just a whole lot of cheese.”New Year’s Eve” had every happy ending, every one-liner that you’d expect in a Disney fairytale.

Overall while “New Year’s Eve” will leave viewers thinking about the end of the year and making new year’s resolutions come true, it didn’t entertain me as much as it could have. If “Love Actually” is the cool one in a group of friends, “New Year’s Eve” is the adoring friend, looking up to and hopng to be just like the cool one. It’s cute how the friend tries. The potential was there, but unfortunately I was left un-intrigued.

For it’s feel-good vibe, a decent flow, and a cheesy, unrealistic and rushed plotline, “New Year’s Eve” gets 3 fireworks out of 5.

I guess someone kind of “dropped the ball” on this one.

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3 comments

  1. Haha, I really like this review!

    I totally agree on the pros and cons you outlined, and want to put in a bit too:

    In a movie like this with all generations of Hollywood coming together on one project, I can understand why the people behind the picture would want to make sure everything goes smoothly. That said, everything, especially the casting, was played TOO safe. Not only were we not wowed by any plot turns, but all the talented (give-or-take) actors were basically reprising roles we’ve already seen them in. The entire cast was type-cast. Sure, they’re cast as such because we know they can play the part well, but it comes off less as an amalgamation of talent and more as a giant crossover of better movies we’ve seen.

    That said, I loved your explanation of the movie Meg, you hit the nail on the head!

  2. I haven’t seen New years eve or the movie you were comparing it too, but I read a review in USA Today and your review. I think three fireworks are too generous unless 2 are duds.
    Good day.

  3. Good review. I was pleasantly surprised that I actually enjoyed myself with this flick, even though I do feel like Garry Marshall didn’t really try to do anything with all of these stars instead of just have them show up and do something. Still, a fun film that is a crowd-pleaser for sure. Check out my review when you get the chance.

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