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"New Year's Eve" Movie Review

Movie Reviews, Interviews, Film Profiles

New Year's Eve Movie Review

If you think “New Year’s Eve” is very similar to 2010’s “Valentine’s Day,” you are absolutely correct! Director Garry Marshall returns with a movie about intersecting lives amidst the backdrop of the New Year’s Eve ball drop in New York City.

Like “Valentine’s Day,” “New Year’s Eve” is all about love. Some characters are struck by Cupid’s arrow and some are trying their best to avoid it. But scriptwriter Katherine Fugate, the same scribe who wrote “Valentine’s Day,” devised unpredictable twists and turns which make the second half of the film stronger than the first half.

In a star-studded film like “New Year’s Eve,” you can forget about character development, they simply exist to move the plot forward. But the ensemble cast tries hard to add full dimension to their characters. And most of the cast succeed.

Hilary Swank is Claire Morgan, she’s the newly promoted Vice President of the Times Square Alliance. This is her night and she will do anything to make it successful even though she’s struggling with the logistics of keeping it all on track.

But the ball drop is only part of the show. Claire is also charged with coordinating the evening’s headline act, rock superstar Jensen (played by surprise, surprise, Jon Bon Jovi), who is nursing a broken heart.

Meanwhile, Katherine Heigl is Laura, the Chef of the event who was Jensen’s former flame. There is some ho-hum tension surrounding Laura and Jensen but thank heavens for Sofia Vergara (ABC’s “Modern Family”) as the sous-chef Ava who makes this particular segment fun and entertaining.

But since New Year’s Eve is our chance to reboot, the film requires a character in need of redemption. Enter Michelle Pfeiffer as the overlooked secretary, Ingrid. She has a long list of unfulfilled New Year’s resolutions and embarks on a quest to cross off as many of the remaining items as possible before the clock strikes twelve. Helping Ingrid is the confident young bike messenger named Paul (Zac Efron).

But wait there’s more! There’s the mother played by Sarah Jessica Parker who wants to make sure her teenage daughter (“Little Miss Sunshine’s” Abigail Breslin) is safe during one of the busiest nights of the year.

There’s also Ashton Kutcher as Randy, the anti-New Year’s Eve guy who gets trapped in an elevator with Elise (“Glee’s” Lea Michele). And then there’s Jessica Biel who plays the pregnant Tess. She and husband, Griffin (Seth Myers) are trying to win the hospital’s $25,000 prize for giving birth to the first baby of the new year.

But my favorite is Halle Berry as the nurse who is taking care of Stan (Robert DeNiro). There’s a scene near the end featuring the actress that reminds us why she won a Best Actress Oscar. I am not going to reveal the particular scene but in one brief instant, we fall in love with her character Nurse Aimee; Thus, Berry singlehandedly saves the movie.

There are some surprising moments in “New Year’s Eve” which make up for some plodding scenes. Each actor is given a chance to shine but Berry gives the most memorable performance.

“New Year’s Eve” is a cheesy Holiday offering but like most gifts we get for Christmas, you know exactly what you’re going to get. If you want a laugh-out-loud experience, then stay through the closing credits where Marshall and company poke fun at “Valentine’s Day” among other things.

Transcripts / Production notes / Scripts

Genres: Romance and Comedy

In Theaters: December 9th, 2011 (wide)

MPAA: PG-13 for language including some sexual references.

Celebrating love, hope, forgiveness, second chances and fresh starts, in the intertwining stories told amidst the pulse of New York City on the most dazzling night of the year.

Cast & Crew


Halle Berry -- Nurse Aimee

Jessica Biel -- Tess Byrne

Jon Bon Jovi -- Jensen

Abigail Breslin -- Hailey

Chris 'Ludacris' Bridges -- Brendan

Robert De Niro -- Stan Harris

Josh Duhamel -- Sam

Zac Efron -- Paul

Hector Elizondo -- Kominsky

Katherine Heigl -- Laura Carrington

Ashton Kutcher -- Randy

Seth Meyers -- Griffin Byrne

Lea Michele -- Elise

Sarah Jessica Parker -- Kim

Michelle Pfeiffer -- Ingrid

Til Schweiger -- James Schwab

Hilary Swank -- Claire Morgan

Sofia Vergara -- Ava

Directed By: Garry Marshall


Language: English

Year of Production: 2011

Length: 2:00

Country: United States