Susan Granger's review of 'New Year's Eve'
Published 2:50 pm, Wednesday, December 7, 2011
If you enjoyed Garry Marshall's "Valentine's Day," you'll want to celebrate the upcoming arrival of 2012 with "New Year's Eve," as love -- in one form or another -- fills the hearts of young and old. According to Marshall, "New Year's Eve is the perfect opportunity to take stock of things, to think about mistakes of the past year and how maybe you can do better ... It's also an exciting evening, full of hope and anticipation."
Set on December 31, the unabashedly sentimental story follows several interconnected New Yorkers as they prepare for the countdown. In charge of the Ball Drop is the nervous, newly promoted Vice President (Hilary Swank) of the Times Square Alliance, aided by an NYPD officer (Chris "Ludacris" Bridges) and a recently laid-off employee (Hector Elizondo). Headlining rock-star Jensen (Jon Bon Jovi) is carrying a torch for Laura (Katherine Heigl), whom he jilted, and she's catering a posh media event hosted by Sam (Josh Duhamel), who's planning to meet a special woman at midnight. But Jensen's new backup singer, Elise (Lea Michele), is stuck in an elevator with grumpy, cynical Randy (Ashton Kutcher).
After a terrifying brush with mortality, meek-mannered Ingrid (Michelle Pfeiffer) quits her job, determined to fulfill all her past New Year's Resolutions with the help of Paul (Zac Efron), an inventive bike messenger. Meanwhile, 15 year-old Hailey (Abigail Breslin) tries to persuade her overly protective, divorced mother (Sarah Jessica Parker) to allow her to join friends in Times Square.
More InformationFact box
In a nearby hospital, photojournalist Stan (Robert DeNiro) is dying of cancer, tended by lonely Nurse Aimee (Halle Berry). And over in Brooklyn, two pregnant couples (Jessica Biel/Seth Meyers and Sarah Paulson/Til Schweiger) vie over who will give birth to 2012's first baby.
Developing this flourishing franchise with screenwriter Katherine Fulgate, director Garry Marshall cheerfully declares, "I can do any holiday. I would like to do Father's Day or Mother's Day next -- or a combination of the two."
On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "New Year's Eve" scores a festive 5. It's timely, star-studded treacle.