New Year’s Eve (2011)
Directed by: Garry Marshall | 118 minutes | comedy, romance | Actors: Robert De Niro, Ashton Kutcher, Katherine Heigl, Sara Paxton, Carla Gugino, Sarah Jessica Parker, Abigail Breslin, Jessica Biel, Sofía Vergara, Josh Duhamel, Zac Efron, Michelle Pfeiffer, Alyssa Milano, Lea Michele, Hilary Swank
The already exaggerated New Year’s Eve gets a prominent role in Hollywood production ‘New Year’s Eve’: if you read between the lines, ushering in the new year is just about the most important moment of the year and during the countdown from ‘ten’ to ‘zero’ is close to the people you care about most. And preferably at a hip party, where the champagne flows freely and the music is too loud to be able to understand your dance partner. Or in New York’s Times Square, of course, where people gather early in the morning to ensure a spot to watch the famous ball drop at the supreme moment.
With ‘New Year’s Eve’, director Garry Marshall (‘Pretty Woman’) follows the mosaic film recipe he tried in predecessor ‘Valentine’s Day’. Although that film didn’t get much acclaim, everything – well, almost everything – was pulled out of the closet to make ‘New Year’s Eve’ a success. In any case, a well-known name more or less was not looked at, which ensures that a laundry list of familiar faces passes by, even in the smallest roles. Numerous characters are introduced in the film, who come back every few minutes to say a few sentences. For example, the scenario, which roughly comprises nine storylines, guides us through the last day of the year in New York.
Sadly, screenwriter Katherine Fugate, whose previous feat of arms is the aforementioned “Valentine’s Day” and teen romance comedy “The Prince & Me” (plus part two), doesn’t succeed anywhere in the spotlight to make the stories and the characters care. . A storyline or three less might have been better, then there would have been more room to let the audience get used to the characters, and maybe give them a little more background. Now they remain one-dimensional figures, who only conduct obligatory dialogues and perform extremely predictable or sometimes simply ridiculous actions. The effect of this is that ‘New Year’s Eve’ hardly manages to surprise, let alone warm the viewer’s heart (as the comparable ‘Love Actually’ does). You will have to train your laughing muscles in a different way, because when watching ‘New Year’s Eve’ they remain in the rest position.
As impressive as the names of the contributing actors and actresses may seem on paper, ‘New Year’s Eve’ proves that you don’t make a good film with a resounding ensemble cast. That doesn’t mean there’s bad acting, the source material just doesn’t give them the chance to make anything out of it. Michelle Pfeiffer is an exception to this, by the way, her portrayal of the gray mouse that finally wants to live has something memorable, although the credibility of the storyline in which she plays is hard to find. ‘New Year’s Eve’ is forced and uninspired. Don’t be fooled by the currants in this oliebol, because even they don’t know how to turn the bland, soggy bite into a tasty treat.