New Year’s Eve: Movie Review

In February of 2010, many moviegoers may remember the star-studded Valentine’s Day flick. Although the cast ranged from Jessica Alba to Patrick Dempsey and Queen Latifah, the interwoven stories lacked a theme and fluidity, which created confusion amongst viewers. Needless to say when previews for yet another film revolving around a holiday began to appear once again, I think I was justified in expressing my views to proceed warily.

This time around, members of the December New Year’s Eve 2011 cast consisted of veterans; Ashton Kutcher, Jessica Biel and Hector Elizondo, along with newcomers; Jon Bon Jovi, Abigail Breslin, Robert De Niro, Josh Duhamel, Zac Efron, Katherine Heigl, Seth Meyers, Lea Michele, Sarah Jessica Parker, Michelle Pfeiffer, Hilary Swank, and Jake T. Austin.

Whether it was the New York City setting or the anticipation of an unforgettable 2012, director Garry Marshall significantly redeemed himself. Although the characters may have been searching for a cliché unrequited love once again, unlike Valentine’s Day, the overall feeling of hope dramatically changed Marshall’s sequel.

Parallel stories in New Year’s Eve ensued, but all revolved around the annual midnight ball drop in Times Square at midnight with accompanying scenes leading up to the event.

A series of story lines included young, loud-mouthing Paul (Efron) guiding a despaired and newly jobless Ingrid (Pfeiffer) in fulfilling her New Year’s resolutions in the aspiration of gaining tickets to the hottest party in town. Tess and Griffin (Biel and Meyers) continuously attempt to duel for the prize of successfully having their baby right as the New Year rang in. Randy and Elise (Kutcher and Michele) are stuck in an elevator forced to face each other’s past. Feuding mom Kim (Parker) and daughter Hailey (Breslin) each have a man of their own to find for the night, Sam and Seth (Duhamel and Austin). Claire Morgan (Swank), Vice President of the ball dropping struggled to organize the complex event while the help of Kominsky (Elizondo), while also expressing her feelings to her cancer bed-ridden father, Stan (De Niro) on his last night alive. Master Chef Laura (Heigel) caters the party while former flame and entertainer for the night, rocker Jensen (Bon Jovi), vied to win her love back.

The premise of New Year’s Eve is clearly to remind viewers that rather than rushing straight into the much anticipated 2012, stop and reflect upon the memories you have already created. Claire Morgan demonstrated this idea when announcing to the public around the world this same reason for why the ball stopped in mid-air (a great excuse for the ball actually not functioning).

If you are completely against seeing a movie anything like Valentine’s Day, I would definitely not recommend this motion picture. However, remember to keep an open mind. Yes, it is somewhat intended to be an uplifting and relatively predictable movie. But is there anything wrong with a film coming along every once in a while where everything happens just as you wish it would in real life? So go out, buy a ticket, and experience the optimism that New Year’s Eve can bring you.

Rating: 4/5 stars