Thursday, 8 December 2011

New Year's Eve - review

I didn't think it was possible for a franchise to be more cynical, jaded and unfunny than the spoof "insert genre" Movies e.g Scary Movie, Epic Movie, etc, but it seems that Garry Marshall is trying his hardest with the Love Actually-inspired ensemble film centred around a public holiday theme because after Valentine's Day, he is bringing us New Year's Eve.
Do you know what the problem with New Year's Eve is, or as us Scots call it Hogmanay? Everybody makes such a big deal about this one particular night, a lot of time and effort go into making these lavish plans and it gets hyped up to such a degree that it normally turns out to be something of a disappointment.
The same goes for this movie which easily grabs the top spot in my Worst Films of 2011 list. A film that is so unfunny and hard-going that it should have been called Slog-manay!
(that bad pun is officially funnier than anything in the film).
To try and sum up the "plot" of the movie, several A-List actors with clearly nothing better to do sign up for 20 minutes of screen time to solve some form of romantic problem whilst people sponsored by Nivea and a giant poster for Sherlock Holmes 2 (also distributed by Warner Bros and released on 16th Dec) worry about a malfunctioning ball in Times Square.
During two turgid hours we get to see the following:

  • Hilary Swank, in a plotline cut from Boys Don't Cry, spends time worrying about the fact that her balls won't drop.

  • Michelle Pfieffer get Zac Efron help her cross items off her New Year's Resolution list, the top of which should be to never make a film like this again.

  • Robert DeNiro plays a man whose career is slowly dying.

  • Ashton Kutcher, clearly depressed about his upcoming divorce, hates New Year's Eve (just like the audience) and spends the film trapped in a lift with that annoying girl from Glee. Why he hasn't commited suicide by the end of the film is anyone's guess.

This sentimental, schmalz-fest Richard Curtis type affair could really have benefitted from just a touch of his class. I'm not the biggest fan of Love Actually but it had moments of genuine warmth such as Andrew Lincoln silently declaring his love to Keira Knightley via cue cards, or as hilarious as Bill Nighy's ageing rocker Billy Mack. Unfortunately the script is completely bland, tired, cliched and devoid of laughs. I don't think I've ever sat in a screening of a romantic comedy where the entire auditorium sat in stoney silence for the entire duration before having to suffer through Ryan Seacrest telling us about the true meaning of New Year's Eve before the "hilarious" outakes during the end credits rub in the fact that the actors had more fun making the movie than we had watching it.
One can only hope that in the sadly inevitable fact that New Year's Eve makes enough money for yet another holiday related rom-com, it is mash-up with Eli Roth's Thanksgiving and all those responsible for this Christmas Turkey of a film are killed off in a variety of vicious, nasty ways so that we won't have to sit through the likes of this again.

1 star

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