Director : Garry Marshall
Starring : Hilary Swank, Robert De Niro, Hector Elizondo, Michelle Pfeiffer, Jon Bon Jovi, Zac Efron, Jessica Biel, Abigail Breslin, Seth Meyers, Ashton Kutcher, Lea Michele, Sarah Jessica Parker, Josh Duhamel
Running Time : 118 minutes
Release Date : Out on DVD now
‘Let love be your resolution’
It’s New Year’s Eve 2011 in New York City. This movie gives us a snapshot of just a few hours in the lives of a variety of people as they go about their day during the last moments of the year. The ensemble cast is a veritable who’s who of acting talent, from the most revered and respected (De Niro) to the child star (Breslin) blossoming into a young woman.
The movie comprises a series of vignettes that ultimately interconnect in some way. There is the story of 2 couples about to have a child, vying for the $25000 prize money given for the first child born in the New Year. An aging rock star, maybe not at the top of his game but far from the has been pile yet, trying to woo back his one true love.
We have a dying man, desperate to reconnect with his estranged family and see the great crystal Time Square ball drop one last time. A frumpy, dowdy woman has been pushed to the end of her quietly unravelling tether and is shown a glimpse of herself she could only ever imagine. A young man, utterly self-absorbed, learns that giving someone else their dreams can fulfil dreams of your own. A girl on the verge of womanhood tries desperately to escape the overprotective clutches of a mother trying just as desperately to hang onto her child.
The young and the old, the happy and the sad, the beginning and the end all meet, mix, meld and mould into each other as the movie progresses. We start to see the connections as the stories naturally progress. There are a few twists but nothing too dramatic.
The movie is also a story of New York City. More specifically New York City on New Year’s Eve. A night (or day depending on where you are in the world) when the eyes of the world turn to this city that pulses and vibrates on the energy of it’s millions of inhabitants and visitors, all keen to share in this special event. We see the inner workings of the famous crystal ball that descends each New Year’s Eve and the behind the scenes work that goes into making this all run smoothly.
This movie has all the elements of a great movie. A wonderful Director, an unrivalled cast, great setting, fantastic city, a pivotal event most of us can relate to and feel excited about. But there is something lacking. Perhaps it is because it is so very similar to Marshall’s last Director’s outing, Valentine’s Day. I loved Valentine’s Day. I watch it every time it’s on Foxtel. Okay so I don’t sit down and watch it but I have it on in the background and glance at it as I do other stuff….like write movie reviews.
This movie just lacks the zing of Valentine’s Day. Maybe because it has been done before and this one tries just a little too hard.
I think there are just too many stories so you never get the chance to really relate to the characters. The setting and scenery is spectacular. New York City at night is beyond magnificent. There is nothing wrong with the acting…..okay there is one thing. Jon Bon Jovi, I love you. I have loved you since I was a teenager. You are an okay actor. You are. But you should never, ever, ever again accept a role in a movie starring the likes of de Niro, Pfeiffer or Elizondo. It’s just not a good idea. Strut your stuff on stage and sing your heart out. It’s what you do best.
I loved this movie more when I saw it at the cinema but in hindsight that may have had more to do with the circumstances than the actual movie. Now when I watch the DVD, I only like the movie. It is not a bad movie, not at all. It’s just not a really great movie. You will get a few laughs, shed a tear or two, have a couple of nawwww moments and a few scenes are really great. Pfeiffer and Efron dancing during the credits is truly a delight.
New Year’s Eve is a great DVD to rent on a cold rainy night and watch while snuggled under a blanket.