This one’s worth skipping.

Kim (Parker) is concerned about the safety of her daughter (Breslin).

Tediously boring; over-crowded

Oh sure. Why have one cheesy, romantic story when you can have a dozen and why have one film like Love Actually when you can have three? Yes, this the second time Gary Marshall has attempted to do something similar to Love Actually, the first instance being Valentine’s Day, unseen by me. Do I want to? Not if it is as uninteresting as New Year’s Eve.

New Year’s Eve, like the other films mentioned above, focuses on a vast collection of characters all involved in different romantic stories on a certain holiday. I shall give you a cookie if you can guess which holiday New Year’s Eve takes place on.

Claire Morgan (Hilary Swank), the host of the annual ball drop ceremony at Times Square is working hard to prepare for the celebration, with the help of Brandon, who’s played by Chris “Ludacris” Bridges for some reason. A deliveryman named Paul (Zac Efron) is offered tickets to some annual Ahern Records party by Ahern Records secretary Ingrid (Michelle Pfeiffer), if he can help her complete her new year’s resolutions. Halle Berry and Alyssa Milano play two nurses at a hospital where Stan Harris (Robert De Niro) is dying of cancer, but he is not too worried and does not fear death. I wonder if De Niro instead fears the death of his career?

Comic book illustrator Randy (Ashton Kutcher), who hates New Year’s Eve, gets stuck in an elevator with a singer played by Lea Michele, with whom he falls in love after a few minutes or so. For a while, I could’ve sworn her character was supposed to be Rebecca Black. The pregnant Tess (Jessica Biel) and her husband Griffin (Seth Meyers) compete with another couple for a bonus that will be given to the first child born in the new year or something. Snore. A guy named Sam (Josh Duhamel, who seems unable to avoid boring romantic comedies) is supposed to deliver a speech at the Ahern Records party but has a hard time getting there on time. Uh-huh? A woman named Kim (Sarah Jessica Parker) is having trouble with her teenage daughter (Abigail Breslin) of whom she is very protective. Yawn.

Halle Berry as Nurse Aimee watching over the dying Stan Harris (De Niro).

The enormous enseble cast also includes Cary Elwes as Stan’s doctor, rapper Common as a soldier in Afghanistan (I would’ve liked to see more of his story), Carla Gugino as a spiritual doctor and Jon Bon Jovi as a musician who is meant to sing at the Ahern Records ball instead of the girl Randy’s stuck in an eleveator with, or something like that. See how nicely the stories are tied together? I guess that’s meant to make the film clever or something.

The main problem with having so many characters in a 115-minute film is that too little time is dedicated to developing any of them. When writing this review, as you might have spotted, I could not be bothered to remember what happened to whom or which character did what and with whom.  As for the cast, it is understandable that some of these actors would choose to parttake in a film so bad. Some of them, like Zac Efron, Josh Duhamel and Ashton Kutcher, come as no surprise, but what in the world is Robert DeNiro doing? Little Fockers in 2010 and now this? Is it only a matter of time before he stars in a film alongside Adam Sandler? Please don’t tell me he has succumb to that! Has he forgotten what kind of respected, magninficent actor he once was?

If there had been less stories going on and less characters, maybe then there would have existed more time for more character development and a chance for us to actually care about them? This kind of film can be good if done right. If only we were so blessed. Instead, New Year’s Eve is a tedious experience which I’m sure is still going to appeal to and move fans of the genre, even though there isn’t anything interesting about it, in terms of story, characters or anything else. If you think Efron is hot, Duhamel is handsome or that Rebecca Black look-alike is pretty, then maybe that’s enough for you to call it a good film. Or if you like Nivea, because the product placement is almost comically blatant.

If there is something enjoyable in the film it would have to be the rare funny scenes and the actors at times. Hilary Swank and Robert De Niro are both wonderful, but this fact only reminds me that they ought to spend their time on something better than sarring in  New Year’s Eve, just as you should spend your New Year’s Eve doing something better than watching this film. If you want to see a romantic comedy like this done right, see Love Actually. If you want to see a rom-com that is unlike anything you’ve ever seen, see Romance & Cigarettes. Just saying.

1.5/5 whatever.

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