by Abbie Goldring
If you’ve already seen director Gary Marshall’s Valentine’s Day, don’t waste your time seeing New Year’s Eve.
Set in cliché New York City, New Year’s Eve tells the story of various couples’ and singles’ lives overlapping during New Year’s Eve. It is yet another unoriginal attempt to entertain audiences through a cast of big-name celebrities and a plot that revolves around a manufactured holiday.
To start, the actors are cast as characters no different than the ones they usually play. Sofia Vergara portrays the same dim-witted, sexy Latina she plays on Modern Family, and Lea Michele cutely sings her way through the story, à la Glee. Zac Efron, like in 17 Again, is once again a confident, attractive young man who brings life to a lonely older woman, Ingrid (Michele Pfeiffer). Ingrid is significantly older than Paul (Efron), who accompanies her through the city to help her fulfill her New Year’s Resolutions list in exchange for tickets to a high-profile New Year’s Eve party.
This pairing is characteristic of the many relationships that lack chemistry and development. There’s sensitive rock star Jensen (Jon Bon Jovi), who wants to rekindle his love for Laura (Katherine Heigl), a self-assured caterer, and Randy (Ashton Kutcher), a New Year’s Eve hater who’s trapped in an elevator with an aspiring singer (Michele).
Furthermore, the tone of the movie is inconsistent. There’s a bizarre mix of laughable and depressing moments, when the focus of the movie seems to be the intertwining of various wacky relationships. For example, when President of the Times Square Alliance Claire Morgan (Hilary Swank) is forced to deal with a malfunctioning Times Square ball, she makes an inspirational speech that coincidentally relates to the troubles of her love life.
The plotline of Stan Harris (Robert DeNiro) also seems out of place; scenes of a man dying of cancer amid the hype of New Year’s Eve don’t evoke as much emotion as they should.
The storyline of New Year’s Eve is just like the confetti that litters Broadway after the ball drops: exciting for a second, but swept away moments later. Though the movie is undoubtedly entertaining, it’s hard to imagine it sticking around until next year’s midnight festivities.