Today: April 23, 2024

New Year's Eve

By Helen Coffey – Lets get something straight. I am not a film snob, nor am I averse to sitting down in front of a movie that has no artistic merit whatsoever and having a jolly good time.

By Helen Coffey

Lets get something
straight. I am not a film snob, nor am I averse to sitting down in front of a
movie that has no artistic merit whatsoever and having a jolly good time.

I am the girl that cried at Made of Honour (more than once). I found Bride Wars to be a profound and moving experience. But even I found
it hard to stomach this year’s ‘feel-good’ multi-hander, New Year’s Eve, a
bloated rom-com in the style of Love
Actually
and Valentine’s Day,
packed with as many celebrities as apparently agreed to appear in it, combining
a multitude of storylines and characters on the eve of 2012.

Unlike Love Actually however,
it doesn’t have charm, wit or appealing characters on its side. The storylines
just aren’t developed enough to invest in, the characters are one-dimensional
and the script lacklustre. The biggest disappointment? Seeing the great Robert De Niro brought low as he plays a dying man keen to see the
ball drop in Times Square ‘just one last time doc’ before he pops his clogs.
It’s expected that Ashton Kutcher
should parade around with adolescent facial hair in such a spectacle. But
Bobby? Come on – he must have better
offers on the table.

Nearly every actor plays to type, with Jon Bon Jovi playing a rock star, Katherine Heigl a broken-hearted nice girl and Modern Family’s feisty Latina Sofia
Vergara
playing a feisty Latina, exactly
the same as her Gloria character in the popular comedy show. A more mature
yet disappointing Abigail Breslin
tries her hand at being a stroppy teen instead of a quirky wannabe child beauty
queen – but in growing up the Little
Miss Sunshine
star seems to have
lost a little of her natural confidence and onscreen presence. Michelle Pfeiffer is the only one to
really step outside her comfort zone, taking the role of a frumpy, socially
awkward, middle-aged woman who aims to achieve all of her New Year’s
resolutions before midnight, with the help of Zac Efron’s irritating delivery boy. But, as with all the
plotlines, there simply isn’t the room for it to breathe as it fights for
attention amongst all the others.

The real low point hits when Glee’s Lea Michele, who plays a backing singer
(of course), ends up singing Auld Lang Syne on the Times Square stage at
midnight through a cruel twist of fate. Sure you can smell it a mile off but
that didn’t stop me from wanting to tear off my own ears. And inordinately
annoying is the fact that Halle Berry’s
nurse character seems to have all day to hang out with Robert De Niro, watching
over him like a saintly Florence Nightingale as he sleeps. What happened to all
her other patients? If she’d been NHS, she’d have barely had time to grunt and
shove him his meds, let alone spend hours stroking his hand and welling up with
tears as he gives her his rambling life story.

There are just so
many bad storylines it’s almost impossible to mention them all here (couples
fighting to have the first baby of 2012 to win a cash prize anyone?).
Ultimately, New Year’s Eve is just
like the real thing – a lot of hype and expectation, followed by an
overwhelming sense of disappointment coupled with the knowledge that there goes
a whole evening of your life you’ll never get back.

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