All of this film is rubbish. The only good thing I can find to say about it is that the cast seem to have had fun while making it. Is that any use to us? Not really. Does it stop it being empty, commercial, lazily written drivel. Not at all.
Following the format of Gary Marshall’s last funeral of culture Valentine’s Day, this has lots of people discovering or rediscovering love on a famous calendar date. The movie is set on New Year’s Eve (as you may have guessed) and observes the life of several characters as they prepare for the night’s festivities in New York.
Jessica Biel is having a baby. Katherine Heigl is in love with Jon Bon Jovi. Ashton Kutcher gets stuck in a lift with the annoying girl from Glee. Josh Duhamel needs to meet a girl from the past at midnight. Sarah Jessica Parker thinks she’s still in that old TV show about shoes and blowjobs. Michelle Pfeiffer and Zac Efron have a creepy Hairspray reunion as they try to tick off new year’s resolutions before the midnight countdown (they seem confused as to how and when these resolutions should be completed). There are probably more celebrities that I haven’t mentioned, but if I continue to list them I may lose the will to live.
The performances are all dire, apart from that of Robert De Niro (ah, there’s one I left out, sorry Rob), who gets to do a post-Notebook style illness moment with his usual attention to detail. Sadly the script is an insult to his talent. Mr. Marshall seems to think the height of humour is a woman slapping a man, or asking the audience to laugh at funny accents (don’t foreign people talk funny, eh!).
I was so bored that at one point I resorted to the ‘spot the Broadway and movie posters in Times Square’ game, and became deeply interested in the large prominence of Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows posters everywhere. But this movie is released by Warner Bros., and Sherlock is released by Warner Bros., so it doesn’t take a genius to work out why we are constantly shown Robert Downey Jr.’s printed face.
At the end of this sickening affair we are treated to a plug for Valentine’s Day on Blu-ray and DVD via Jessica Biel’s vagina. Ah, now that’s what my Christmas was missing.
New Year’s Eve (2011), directed by Gary Marshall, is distributed in the UK by Warner Bros. Pictures. certificate 12A.