At least 25 recognizable actors have turned out for New Year’s Eve, the familiar holiday-centric cheese-filled chick flick that revolves around two dozen people’s barely connected lives on a single romantic day. Made by the same people who gave us Valentine’s Day, New Year’s Eve features a few of the same cast members, but not playing the same characters.
Once again, there’s too much light, fluffy, unfun and unfunny predictable content bogging this movie down. Hopefully I can get them all, but here’s the rundown of the characters and their stories:
- An orange fake-baked Zac Efron is helping Michele Pfeiffer to complete her list of last year’s resolutions before the ball drops. Of course, Efron dances and sings a bit. Despite it starring Efron, this is the only story I cared about. John Lithgow plays Pfeiffer’s rude boss.
- Robert De Niro is a dying old man in a hospital bed and Halle Berry sticks around to keep him company until he passes. Cary Elwes and Alyssa Milano briefly play his doctor and another nurse, respectively.
- Jessica Biel and Seth Meyers play a couple trying to have their baby at 12:01AM so that they can win the hospital’s $25,000 “new year’s baby” prize money. They go head-to-head in a race against that Inglourious Basterd Til Schweiger. If he would have said “say Auf Wiedersehen to your Nazi balls” at one point in the movie, I would have given it an extra star. Carla Gugino plays the alternative medicine doctor delivering the baby.
- Katherine Heigl plays a high-end caterer handling the food for the city’s biggest party. Her rockstar ex-boyfriend (Jon Bon Jovi) is headlining the party and the Times Square festival, so she’s forced to deal with him as he tries winning her back. That annoying caricature of a Latina girl Sophia Vergara plays Heigl’s assistant. That woman’s schtick needs to hurry up and fizzle out. Her 15 minutes of fame are almost over.
- Ashton Kutcher plays a holiday-hating single guy who gets stuck in an elevator with Lea Michele, who also manages to squeeze in a song or three.
- Sarah Jesssica Parker plays the single mom of an aging Abigail Breslin, who for some reason lifts her shirt and shows us her bra – completely inappropriate for a still-young star that we associate with her child roles in Signs and Little Miss Sunshine. Just like Emma Roberts in Valentine’s Day, Breslin is looking to have a “first” with a boy from school – only this time it’s just a first kiss. So she runs away from home and her mom tries to track her down.
- Josh Duhamel plays a wealthy guy who crashes his car far from the city and is trying to get there any way possible to give some sort of speech. Considering how much this movie revolves around this fictitious record label party and the ball dropping, you will assume that his intended speech is for one or the other.
- Hilary Swank plays the great PR person behind the entire ball-dropping Times Square ceremony. Uh-oh! When an electrical malfunction stops the ball from raising, she’s put in the stressful hot seat. Ludacris plays a cop buddy of hers who really has no reason to be near the Swark character. Ryan Seacrest and Matthew Broderick also pop up during the festivities.
I believe that’s it. If I missed any of the storylines, you’re better off not knowing about them.
On actor who receives more screentime that some of the cameos in the movie is Robert Downey Jr.. Posters with his mug are constantly popping up throughout the film, advertising the studio’s next big movie – Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. Had New Year’s Eve acknowledged the shameless cross-promotional product placement and placed Downey Jr.’s name in the credits, I would have given it another star.
An odd cameo that doesn’t quite fit in is CG effects – I’m talking CG cheeks, lips and mouth on Katherine Heigl in one scene. I didn’t foresee CG playing much of a role, but during an odd close-up of Heigl’s face while she’s stuffing it with truffles, the queer look of her digitally enhanced mouth region will catch your eye. I can only assume that they did it to remove wrinkles or perhaps a some peach fuzz. Who knows.
Nothing original or creative happens here, it’s a weak rip of Valentine’s Day. Most of the content is emotionally manipulative and rarely worthy of watching. No actors shine, they all mail it in for their collective 14-minute collective segments.
Photo credit: New Line Cinema