New Year’s Eve
Direction: Garry Marshall
Actors: Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer
Rating: * 1/2
It’s that time of year. No Christmas stocking has arrived but a hello-2012 has. And Garry Marshall of Pretty Woman dispenses with the straight, singular storyline format for New Year's Eve. Once again, after Valentine's Day, the director looks at the life and love pangs of an ensemble of characters that cross each other's path and go their separate ways. The many-in-one movie, in fact, has become a sub-genre of sorts, overused in this case to the point of tedium. Hence, we are introduced to two dozen or so New Yorkers, each one of whom is a stereotype. Cut then to an antsy sort (Ashton Kutcher) who has a mysterious reason for detesting every turn of the calendar year.
The femme quotient includes a time-strapped careerist (Hilary Swank) and a ditzy office secretary (Pfeiffer). For an element of pathos, there's a terminally ill senior citizen (De Niro). More star power is crammed in with Halle Berry, Jessica Biel, Katherine Heigl and Sarah Jessica Parker flitting in and out of the movie on flimsy pretexts.
It's a pleasure to watch such seasoned stars as Michelle Pfeifer and Robert De Niro even if the scatty screenplay does not provide them enough time to fully develop their characters. In effect, New Year's Eve is as avoidable as a January 1 hangover.