I’m not typing the cast list above the title like I usually do because, in this
case, it would take up the entire page. New Year’s Eve is the 2011 version of Valentine’s
Day. Director Gary Marshall lost his mind a long time ago, so now he is like one
of those overly happy old men in a rest home; he's just happy to be surrounded by
lots of people, and in this case, celebrities that he probably has never heard of.
I gave Valentine’s Day a C- (not an F because of one scene), and New Years Eve is
avoiding my fourth F of the year only because Zac Efron and Michelle Pfeiffer have
some cute chemistry together. I fully expect Marshall to continue to make these holiday
titled films, but I really dread to see what he does with St. Patrick’s Day.
It’s New Years Eve in New York City and everyone has a job or a task to do this busy
day. The head of the ball dropping festivities (Hilary Swank) has a big problem,
as the famous ball has gotten stuck. At the local hospital facing Times Square, a
bitter old man (Robert DeNiro) with no family eagerly waits to die. Soon to be parents
(Seth Meyers, Jessica Biel) can’t push that baby out soon enough to get the reward
for the first baby of the new year, while across town a sad woman (Pfeiffer) is checking
off her to do list with an energetic young man (Efron). But everyone will stop what
they are doing to ring in the New Year.
The opening voice over by Swank (who is a two time Oscar winning actress and should
not be remotely associated with a movie like this) talks about how “everyone” all
over the world comes together for one night to celebrate the new year. This is how
the movie begins stereotyping; not everyone celebrates New Years. I certainly don’t,
and I’m usually in the bed. Most of the people who do celebrate the turn of the year
seem to use it as one more excuse to get drunk, but thankfully as most Gary Marshall
films go, this one isn’t very realistic either.
These kinds of movies are nothing more than about 15 different ten minute stories
drug out over the length of a two hour movie to help those ADD people who don’t have
long attentions spans. In this fantasy world, it is so easy to get around in New
York, especially on one of the city’s biggest holidays; people seem to travel at
lightening speeds and have no problem accessing famous landmarks on a whim. DeNiro
continues his campaign for 'actor who used to be good but is now completely open
to any terrible role', while Halle Berry clearly just took this role to say she has
worked with DeNiro and to remind the world that she is still alive (way to put that
milestone Oscar to work, Storm). Marshall includes everything and everyone from Ryan
Seacrest (who has probably the worst performance) to his own sister, Penny Marshall.
Television stars are everywhere, from Glee to Modern Family, and these people should
really stay on their small screens.
Final Thought – Like having a bunch of random ingredients that cannot make one complete