New Year’s Eve

Art & Culture

I have made a strategic decision not to go and see this film. Contrary to normal practice, true, but since I know exactly how it will be, there seems little point in wasting my time and money. What follows is not a review but a prediction.

There are a whole lot of actors with familiar names and faces – Ashton Kutcher, Michelle Pfeiffer, Sara Jessica Parker, Zac Efron and Robert de Niro among them – most of whom should know better than to appear in this dreck. The characters they play include the old,  the young, and the neither-one-thing-nor-the-other and they all have Issues and/or a Love Problem. As they approach New Year's Eve, these challenges appear insurmountable, but fear not, because in the course of a 2 hour film, everything will be sorted out for everybody, mostly by pairing them off with someone else, along the lines of race gender age and attractiveness.
How do I know all this? Well, I saw Valentine's Day, which is the exact same film, set 45 days later (or 320 days earlier, with much the same cast. I know that Hollywood film stars are shameless, and that for $1 million, or whatever they're paid to appear in this, they will happily turn up for their cameo performance, gurn at the camera and run back to the trailer chuckling, to enjoy their easily-earned loot. I know this because it's a formula. Make a film like this, and it'll earn money when it's released at the appropriate time of year – mainly with an audience of women going with their friends or forcing dumb boyfriends to accompany them – and then will make more money every year when it's rereleased on dvd/bluray at your local supermarket. It's a no brainer – in every sense of the word.
As directed by Garry Marshall, who specialises in shallow superficial romcoms (see also Valentine's Day), it will have the acerbic wit of a marshmallow, the profound insights of a pancake, and the charm of a turnip. By reading this non-review, you have saved yourself time and money, but if you still insist on going to see it, please let me know if I'm wrong – and how.

Phil Raby

Front Row Films

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