Film Review: Shallow, Garish ‘New Year’s Eve’ Ruins Your Holiday

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CHICAGO – “New Year’s Eve” is so garish and manipulative that it doesn’t really qualify as a film – it’s a product, no more an actual movie than a Hallmark card is a piece of poetry. It is corporate junk at its worst, so shallow that it’s almost remarkably thin, as if director Garry Marshall were trying to win a contest for lack of subtlety. Even the typical tropes of the genre can’t be successfully accomplished in that the bare minimum of romantic energy isn’t even achieved in half of its dozen or so subplots. A few less loathsome characters than “Valentine’s Day” make it a notch better but only because it’s so boring it’s not as easy to get infuriated.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 1.0/5.0
Rating: 1.0/5.0

Even more cluttered with characters than the last Marshall holiday movie, “New Year’s Eve” does have a couple of subplots that feature the bare minimum of entertainment that one wonders if they couldn’t have been extended into their own feature. However, without exception, every single storyline in “New Year’s Eve” is so easily summarized in one sentence that their impact in this feature is non-existent. “Dying man and his nurse.” “Two beautiful people stuck in an elevator.” “The singer and the girl who got away.” It’s like a game in which the writers struggled to see how many clichés they could squeeze in one movie. And we all lost.

StarRead Brian Tallerico’s full review of “New Year’s Eve” in our reviews section.

Where do we begin to recap the plot? Of course, everything takes place on the titular date and many of the plotlines circle around the ball dropping in Times Square. Claire Morgan (Hilary Swank) is in charge of making sure the internationally-watched event goes off without a hitch. Of course, the ball gets stuck halfway up and poor Claire has to fret and panic while they try to fix it. Lucky for her, she’s got a supportive NYPD friend (Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges) to cock his head and nod reassuringly.

One of the most famous singers in the world, Jensen (Jon Bon Jovi), is scheduled to perform at both a party early in the evening and then in Times Square later. But Jensen has romantic drama in that the head chef for the party happens to be Laura (Katherine Heigl), a woman to whom he proposed and then, with no explanation other than this, ran away. Now he’s back, realizing the error of his ways while Laura tries to get over her understandable hatred of him and Ava (Sofia Vergara) pops by for goofy comic relief.

StarContinue reading for Brian Tallerico’s full “New Year’s Eve” review.

“New Year’s Eve” stars Hilary Swank, Jon Bon Jovi, Katherine Heigl, Lea Michele, Ashton Kutcher, Halle Berry, Robert De Niro, Sarah Jessica Parker, Abigail Breslin, Josh Duhamel, Michelle Pfeiffer, Zac Efron, Cary Elwes, Sofia Vergara, Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges, Carla Gugino, Seth Meyers, and Jessica Biel. It was written by Katherine Fugate and directed by Garry Marshall. It opens on December 9th, 2011.

New Year's Eve
New Year’s Eve
Photo credit: WB

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