New Year’s Eve: Predictably Predictable
If you’ve seen Valentine’s Day, New Year’s Eve should be no surprise to you. Director Garry Marshall, the king of sentimental, romantic comedy (Pretty Woman, Beaches, Georgia Rule), delivers yet another. Yes, it was predictable, and yes, at times it was cheesy, but I have to admit, I enjoyed it. It serves its purpose. Each story comes to a clean close, so it leaves no questions unanswered. Each story is unique in that they are all completely different except for one common factor (cue the cheese): they are all about love and taking risks.
I must say, I’m pretty sure the Zac Efron – Michelle Pfeifer storyline was my favorite. It was the most fun and the least predictable. It followed a sad, lonely woman for a day trying to fulfill all of her New Year Resolutions from last year. I will admit, though, that putting Michelle Pfeifer in a short, puffy, brunette wig and frumpy clothes was an easy way out to make her pathetic-looking. She could have acted it instead of having it shoved down our throats. Anyway, I enjoyed this storyline because it serves the purpose of the movie, to give the audience hope for a new year. Plus, Zac Efron is always nice to look at.
The storyline I disliked the most was the Ashton Kutcher – Lea Michele one. I know, you shouldn’t carry your personal opinions about movie stars outside of their professional lives into their work, but all I saw in Ashton Kutcher was skeezy. His character was annoying, and I might have found him amusing had I not known about the whole Sara Leal scandal. I really wanted to like this one, because I love Lea Michele, but it was underdeveloped and underwhelming.
The storyline that came in close second to the Efron – Pfeifer one was the competition between two married couples – Jessica Biel & Seth Meyers and Sarah Paulson & Til Schweiger – to have the first baby born in their hospital in 2012. It was funny, heart-warming and believable. Okay, so maybe two couples competing and having their babies born on January 1st is a stretch, but their acting didn’t seem forced or superficial. I enjoyed it.
Whether it’s a rock star (Bon Jovi) trying to win back the fiancee super-chef he dumped last year (Katherine Heigl), the dying father (Robert De Niro) who waits for the daughter he left to join him and watch the New Year’s Eve ball drop, the VP who saves the ball from mechanical failure (Hilary Swank), the nurse (Halle Berry) who dresses up to video chat with her Army husband (Common) at midnight, the teenage girl (Abigail Breslin) who wants to watch the ball drop in Times Square and share a kiss with the boy she has a crush on (Jake T. Austin) but her mother (Sarah Jessica Parker) won’t let her, or the playboy (Josh Duhamel) who is anxious to meet the woman he met on New Year’s Eve last year again, there’s a story for everyone.
Long story short, New Year’s Eve is a predictably predictable romantic comedy that everyone can enjoy as long as you don’t take it too seriously. Like the holiday itself, it reminds us that every new year means new beginnings, new hopes, new dreams and new attitudes. While this movie isn’t life-changing or cinematically gorgeous, it gets the job done. I’ll give it a B. If you’re up for a cheesy rom-com, head out to the movies with some girlfriends and enjoy.