The world converges on Dec. 31 in Times Square to rejoice at the passage of another year. Celebrities are afoot, and they are looking to crank out a classic. The resulting cheese-fest of hastily conceived romances and grating pop-music is a minimally amusing look into the world of cinematic euphoria, at the cusp of 2012.
Another year, the same New York and a horde of celebrity actors and musicians are the main ingredients in Garry Marshall’s latest holiday celebration “New Year’s Eve.” Following the intertwining adventures of several, starry-eyed New Yorkers in Times Square, awaiting the famous ball to drop at midnight, Marshall looks to weave a hip and heart-warming homage to New Year’s cheer.
With Hollywood beauties Hillary Swank and Jessica Biel, playing an events coordinator and pregnant woman respectively, and hunks Ashton Kutcher and Zack Efron getting caught up in their own hijinks from one slacker one-liner to the next, the quirky attempts at comedy and false-chemistry, as actors attempt to outshine one-another, make up the majority of the flick. The actors’ stories somehow all connect as the fateful ball is set to drop – perhaps on their careers.
But don’t forget the montages.
When transitioning from scene-to-scene of campy dialogue, the film treats viewers to a sampling of over-blown, bubble-gum pop to chew on while they sit amazed as glorious images of New York City flash before their eyes. One’s psyche is suddenly awash with admiration for the big apple, and fluttered with a garbling of the classic MTV, auditory hedonism.
Perhaps fun for younger viewers and fans of reality television’s brain-drain effect, by the end of “New Year’s Eve,” the film is apparently nothing more than mere propaganda.
Dragging to the nearly two-hour mark, the sappiness seems to have one message: 2012 is going to be just fine; America and New York are going to be just fine. It is a movie where nothing happens, save more screen time for spot-light darlings.
Don’t let the glossy poster fool you, or the celebrity cast list entice you. This is not a movie. Don’t let them tell you it will be okay.