Happy New Year! Here’s to an amazing 2012. Hope you’re having an awesome (and restful) holiday.I’m still in the throes of a major movie marathon and this past weekend was no exception.On account of the holiday I went and saw New Year’s Eve – one of those big silly movies with the gargantuan casts from the people who brought us Valentine’s Day. Now New Years Eve’s actually better than Valentine’s Day – although that’s not necessarily saying too much. Nor is that to say that I didn’t have a good time. In fact, the movie does exactly what it is supposed to do: it 1) entertains us lightheartedly, it 2) gives us a good look at lots of attractive and in-demand actors, and finally it 3) reminds us all that anything’s possible in a new year.
Hokey, occasionally funny, and above all earnest and sweet, New Year’s Eve boasts a truly formidable cast. Zac Efron, Ashton Kutcher, Lea Michele, Katherine Heigl, Jessica Biel, Sofia Vergara, Josh Duhamel and Sarah Jessica Parker I expected. Robert DeNiro, Michelle Pfeiffer and Halle Berry I did not, and am still wondering why they agreed to be in such um, frivolous fare (although everyone’s got a mortgage). Then of course there’s Bon Jovi – whose presence makes the whole thing just a little more worth it.
Like Valentine’s Day the movie has several (completely implausible) plotlines, awkwardly intertwined for maximum effect and to coincide with Manhattan’s New Year’s Eve countdown. Efron is a bike messenger, Swank is the exec who needs to ensure that the Times Square ball drops on time for the zillions assembled. Michelle Pfeiffer is a down on her luck homebody who hasn’t lived much, and Sarah Jessica Parker is a seamstress looking for love. Ashton Kutcher is a hipster cartoonist slacker, Berry is a nurse, Duhamel is scion to a big business family, and Seth Meyers is an expectant father. Heigl and Bon Jovi are a formerly engaged couple and Lea Michele actually gets to sing quite a bit. Part of the fun is actually seeing how many actors they managed to talk into making this movie, and everywhere you look there’s someone new.
The film is also a bald-faced homage to New York City during the holidays and especially on New Year’s Eve. Indeed, there are worse places to be during that time (as a part-time Manhattan dweller I think it’s the greatest city on earth). Now, whether or not boosting NYC tourism was actually part of the filmmakers’ plan, it’s a pretty appealing sell regardless. If you’re at all jaded and cynical, this movie will irritate you no end, although in the tiny carbon chip that is your heart you might get a certain kick out of it’s hackneyed plot and monolithic cast. One thing’s for sure: you’ll absolutely forget where you are for two hours, so if that equals sufficient escapist fun for 2012, do check out New Year’s Eve.
New Year’s Eve is in theaters now. Which of its stars is your favorite?
1) Ashton Kutcher
2) Halle Berry
3) Katherine Heigl
4) Zac Efron