New Year’s Eve Reviewed

As 2011 draws to a close, filmmakers have decided to give us a feel good film done Valentine’s Day, Love Actually style – With a star studded cast. Sure, a huge cast means plenty of reasons to watch the film but what is it about New Year’s Eve that appeals.

Trust me, it shouldn’t be just the cast. There is magic in this film, especially if you’re a New Yorker or a New Yorker at heart, like me.

The Plot

The film chronicles the lives of several individuals in New York on New Year’s Eve, including two people who become trapped in an elevator, a couple preparing to give birth and a man who enjoys his last New Year’s before dying.

New Year’s Eve celebrates love, hope, forgiveness, second chances and fresh starts, in the intertwining stories told amidst the pulse and promise of New York City on the most dazzling night of the year

The film stars Jake T. Austin, James Belushi, Halle Berry, Jessica Biel, Jon Bon Jovi, Abigail Breslin, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Robert De Niro, Josh Duhamel, Zac Efron, Hector Elizondo, Cary Elwes, Carla Gugino, Katherine Heigl, Ashton Kutcher, Seth Meyers, Lea Michele, Alyssa Milano, Sarah Jessica Parker, Russell Peters, Michelle Pfeiffer, Til Schweiger, Ryan Seacrest, Yeardley Smith, Hilary Swank and Sofía Vergara.

The Verdict

This is repeat business for the filmmakers of Valentine’s Day. At first glance you might as well call it Valentine’s Day 2 since even Ashton Kutcher is in it. I’ll be honest with you, I think there were many people who skeptical about this film. It’s got a vibe that screams “Yet another star stuffed cast movie with no real plot”, like a bunch of  short stories put together to make a full length feature film.

Well yes and no. It is somewhat like that but personally I love New York City and perhaps that’s why I enjoyed the film. You see, you have to understand that New Yorkers as hard as they may be, believe in the power of the human spirit, banding together at the right time to beat the odds. It’s a city where dreams come true, a city of hope like Frank sang it.

That’s what this movie is about. It tells so many different short stories that are nicely inter-linked, the characters are in someway related and they don’t play over the top significant roles but roles that keep you guessing in anticipation of what role they play in the lives of everyone else. I particularly liked that story involving Zac Efron and Michelle Pfeiffer about how a young stranger helps an older woman fulfill her resolutions with the selfish intentions of earning tickets to a gala NYE party and in the process, they both find themselves. Pfeiffer’s acting was as always simply brilliant. Ryan Seacrest appearing as himself was also a nice touch, although I wonder if he’s really like that in real life. Haha!

Lea Michele’s performance and significance in relation to Jon Bon Jovi’s character is pretty important too. Without giving away too much, think of it as making way for a new generation, something I’m sure many struggling artistes can relate to as they seek a chance to be heard.

For those of you are particularly picky about story lines, plots and proper humor, my advice would be just look at Russel Peter’s face. That ought to make you start laughing!

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars 

There was a particular line that stuck out of me

There are many things in this world that we cannot control, like earthquakes, floods and disaster. But with the hope of a New Year, remember the things that we can control, like forgiveness, second chances and new beginnings.

Let that be the take home from this film for you and Happy New Year!

By Elliott Danker

New Year’s Eve opens in cinemas 8 Dec

Photos courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures Singapore

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