Generally speaking, anytime Garry Marshall heads up a film, it nearly guarantees fun time at the theater. Each time I see one of his films, I’m its fairy-tale qualities enchant. Some of his works are family-friendly (or at least appropriate for teens) and some are very “adult.” The pre-cursor of this flick, Valentine’s Day certainly leaves something to be desired. This follow-up (of a sort) has its flaws but it is ten times better than Valentine’s Day was – or could ever hope to be.
New Year’s Eve (2011) Film Review
Despite a world of differing opinions, for one night, the whole world gathers together on New Year’s Eve. It’s the one night in the entire year when the entire world join together to celebrate the start of a new day; a whole new year of fresh starts, and a magical moment can be captured in a kiss… the one kiss that might change everything for someone.
Ingrid (Michelle Pfeiffer) is an anonymous New Yorker who does her job well, but is underappreciated. Unexpectedly, Ingrid finds herself at the office on the one day she didn’t plan to be. As a result, she meets the courier service guy who delivers packages to her building. Paul (Zac Efron) wants to cheer up his buddy and roommate, Randy (Ashton Kutcher). He’s not in festive mood, but Paul determines to get his friend into the city for a night of fun. His answer comes when Ingrid offers him four tickets to the hottest party in town, contingent upon him working for her for the day. She has a bucket list you see. At the same time, Randy gets stuck in an elevator with an aspiring singer (Lea Michele) who is supposed to be singing back-up vocals to the hottest act at Time’s Square, Jensen (Jon Bon Jovi).
It was just one year ago when Jensen made a mess of his life with his girlfriend. After a proposal, the superstar ran out, leaving Laura (Katherine Heigl) all along. Now, on the same night as his NYE gig, she caters the same party. Much to his disappointment, their reunion isn’t one of forgiveness, but despite her anger, Jensen bets on the chance to make things right. Single mom Kim (Sarah Jessica Parker) is at her wit’s end raising a teenage daughter, Hailey (Abigail Breslin). All Hailey wants is to stay in the city where she might share her first kiss with the guy she crushes on. Across town an expectant young couple (Jessica Biel, Seth Meyers) competes for the prize money for the first New Year baby; while a lonely man (Robert De Niro) fights to see one last New Year.
Meanwhile, Claire Morgan (Hilary Swank), the woman in charge of the NYC ball, deals with an unexpected snag with the ball. And finally, Sam (Josh Duhamal) hopes that a chance encounter from the year before turns into more than just a one-time twist of fate; and this time he won’t let her walk away.
In case you didn’t catch it, nearly every A-lister is in this cast list – and there’s more. In addition to the “main stories” in the movie, there are other familiar faces such as Carla Gugino; Halle Berry; Jake T. Austin; Sarah Paulson; and Sofia Vergara. Big-name stars like Jim Belushi; Matthew Broderick; Alyssa Milano; and Cary Elwes also make appearances. (Plus, you’ll recognize many other faces from Marshall’s works.) Movie trivia: Kutcher and Biel are also a part of the Valentine’s Day ensemble.
TV FILM REVIEW | A Midnight Kiss – A New Year’s Eve Romance
Apart from its setting, there is something about its infectious energy that’s magical. Unlike its predecessor, this romcom is better than Valentine’s Day. Apparently the writers take into consideration everything that is wrong in their first attempt, and apply it to New Year’s Eve. Is it perfect? Ummm, no. But then, what is? New Year’s Eve does deliver poignant message, and I dearly love all of the characters. Efron sheds his teen idol image as Paul, and I thought his character was fun; SJP is surprisingly decent in this role and Abigail gets her first on-screen kiss here (without making it seem trashy). I also have to say that Heigl and Bon Jovi are adorable together. Initially, I was sure I’d hate him the role, instead they share some cute chemistry, and in fact, their story is one of my most favorites.
Most of the time, I don’t like a multi-arc story, but this one is really well done, and I like how the stories inner-relate. Some of them even throw in a surprise or two, which is not something to expect from this genre. To top all that off, New Year’s Eve has heart and a lot of goodness even in the imperfections. Although it won’t be in theaters, I am already eager to see this one again. It encourages “new beginnings,” has fun characters, and the glitter popper on top is the adorable end (bloopers and all). Recurring as a theme, it promises its viewer that a new year can be seen as a “gift” of hope; of new beginnings, and if we want this enough, we can make it so.Enjoy a charming and romantic #NYE romance with Garry Marshall's New Year's Eve - A One Night #Romance With Magic and New York! Click To Tweet
(Disclosure: this post does contain affiliate links; if you buy anything through these links, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Read the disclosure page for details.)You can digitally rent or own New Year’s Eve on Amazon Video
(There’s a handful of tacky sexual innuendos – some of which have no basis, others are true. Mild implications reference childbirth. There is a handful of swearing [bi*ch, h*ll, etc] and one misfortunate use of the f-word. There are some kisses.)