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New Years Eve

December 10, 2011 by staff 

New Years Eve, First off, don’t we all have enough of a challenge making New Year’s Eve a holiday we actually enjoy? Well meaning Director Gary Marshall’s latest holiday offering, while clearly attempting to get us into the spirit of hope and optimism, falls so short it feels like a cinematic hangover without the delightful drunk the night before.

Watching New Year’s Eve is a bit like watching an old episode of Love Boat, only on land, with cell phones, and with a much bigger budget. A budget big enough to attract actors and actresses who should know better and aim higher. There are Oscar winners in this movie, for pity’s sake!

It’s most disappointing for those expecting to see anything akin to Love Actually. That movie is the perennial high bar Gary Marshall clearly attempts to reach, first with 2010′s Valentine’s Day, and less failingly (by a small margin) with New Year’s Eve, partly because with VD we’ve been numbed into lowered expectations, and because they make New York look so darn holiday festive in this… Those looking for a mostly feel-good holiday trifle won’t leave entirely deflated, but might do better to DVR one of the dozens of Hallmark seasonal offerings and toast to saving the cost of admission.

Let me be clear here. I have actually made Siren Spouse sit through a number of cheesy made-for-TV holiday movies, so I walked into this movie with an open chick flick loving girlie mind, having seen and not having thoroughly hated Valentine’s Day. I still wanted to turn back the clock to get my valuable holiday viewing time back.

What we have is a mishmash of mini-stories and subplots, made into uber-schmaltz by trying to take about 10 stories that have already been made far better in far less cliched ways as full, feature-length films, then shortening, simplifying, and whitewashing them so as to reduce each one to forgettable, incoherent and plastic messes.

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