New Year's Eve 12A
It's really difficult to see this (sort of) follow-up to last year's Valentine's Day as anything other than a crass attempt to shove as many name actors in the one package as possible, and then wait for the box-office tills to kerching away. Pretty much every single role here has someone recognisable playing it. In fairness you can see the attraction for the stars; a few days work in a high profile production that you could ostensibly claim to be the lead of - why wouldn't you sign up? Well, if they had've read the script…
Chronicling the relationships and lives of a bunch of trendy New Yorkers on New Year's Eve, including Katherine Heigl's chef, Ashton Kutcher's grumpy artist and Lea Michele's aspiring singer, the hook is the audience has to figure out who'll end up with whom. There are characters and plots ahoy; including one that feels like it belonged in a different film (a dying cancer paitent played by De Niro). The gesture teen angle is also lumped in (a growing Breslin), while Michelle Pfeiffer and Zac Efron's thread could've been a thriller with a different soundtrack.
Put simply, you can't have Ryan Seacrest and Robert De Niro - playing a man possible minutes from death - in the same movie. Unless it's a heightened form of satire then it just screams nonsensical. Granted, Marshall is somewhat of a master at delivering a shiny package, happily devoid of depth, but there is too much drivel here to ignore. The De Niro subplot is an obvious attempt at balancing out the palpable superficiality of the whole package, but instead makes the production uneven.
If anyone comes out of it unscathed it's probably Zak Efron. His storyline is as silly and unlikely as any of the others, but he manages to inject his bike courier with enough charm to prove that he should be carrying more films of this ilk without the star padding. The weakest, or the lowest of the low, as you may want to call it, comes courtesy of Heigl and Jon Bon Jovi - find me someone who'd pay to see that movie.
The point may be for every story to feel like it could be from its own movie, but said point is void when the story is this lazily conceived and poorly written. Makes Valentine's Day look like Jerry Maguire.
Story by Mike Sheridan | 12:41 | Thursday 6th December 2012 | DVD review