Review: New Year's Eve
PLOT: The love-lives of a bunch of lonely New Yorkers intersect on New Year's Eve. Will everyone find happiness by the time the ball drops at 12? Meh, who cares...
REVIEW: Ashton Kutcher. Lea Michele. Katherine Heigl. Josh Duhamel. Sarah Jessica Parker. Zac Efron. Hilary Swank. Still with me? Yeah, well you shouldn't be because, my friends, NEW YEAR'S EVE sports a cast of the damned. It's as if all of these stars sold their souls to be famous, and the devil, in the guise of Garry Marshall, has popped around to collect by forcing them all to combine forces for the satanic, NEW YEAR'S EVE- a film which I think might have been foretold somewhere in the Book of Revelations (ya know, somewhere between forty years of darkness, and the dead walking the Earth). Along the way, they also coerced Halle Berry, Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, and even poor Jon Bon Jovi into appearing with them.
As far as films go, it doesn't really get much worse than this (well, other than PASSION PLAY of course). Really, I thought I'd seen it all, but NEW YEAR'S EVE just about takes the cake. In a way, I suppose it's our fault for allowing a film like VALENTINE'S DAY to go by without organizing mass protests about it, but NEW YEAR'S EVE is something else.
How bad is it?
Well, in the space off 100 minutes, you get Jon Bon Jovi singing a duet with Lea Michele, while pining over his lost love (Katherine Heigl, who inexplicably is still allowed to make movies, despite having a filmography that reads more like a rap sheet), while Ashton Kutcher and a sad Hilary Swank look on. Meanwhile, across town, Robert De Niro lies dying in his hospital bed, remarking to nurse Halle Berry, in a hilariously bad example of exposition, "well, I thought being a combat photographer in Vietnam would have made me used to death," while Berry tries (and mostly succeeds) in keeping a straight face (think Bobby D improv'd that shit?).
Meanwhile, in one of the few subplots that didn't make me gag, Michelle Pfeiffer is squired around town by Zac Efron as we're supposed to believe that Pfeiffer (who still looks about the same as she did twenty years ago) is a lonely middle aged woman who's never had any fun in her life (Marshall's idea of making her look frumpy is by dyeing her hair brown- yeah, it doesn't work). Ho-hum, but it's still just about the only part of the movie that kinda works- thanks to Pfeiffer, and a surprisingly non-offensive Efron.
As bad as the first two-thirds of the film are, nothing quite prepared me for the big Times Square finish, which features one of the most blatant pieces of cross-film promotion I've ever seen in a film. You see, the distributor, Warner Bros., has gone in and used CGI to superimpose a poster for SHERLOCK HOLMES: GAME OF SHADOWS over every single establishing shot of Times Square. I understand the need to get awareness of your product out there, but isn't a trailer attached to every print enough? Do the ads now need to be place INTO other films as well? Oh yeah, and Jessica Biel gives birth to the Blu-ray AND DVD of VALENTINE'S DAY (although, to be fair it happens in an outtake so I guess it's supposed to be funny)
Sigh, I suppose it's a sign of the times, and sure enough- I did leave the film with SHERLOCK HOLMES on the mind, so I guess it worked. All in all, NEW YEAR'S EVE is a positively dreadful holiday experience, and probably this year's LITTLE FOCKERS as far as bad films go (the fact that both feature the great Robert De Niro depresses the hell out of me). Hopefully people will wise up, and not reward this with their hard-earned dollars. That way, maybe we can avoid the inevitable COLUMBUS DAY, or God Forbid- LABOR DAY follow-ups. Time will tell...
|Extra Tidbit:||In between this and her shenanigans in Chechnya, Swank's having a year that's going to be tough, perhaps even impossible, to recover from. When NEW YEAR'S EVE is only the second worst thing you've done all year, you know things are bad.|