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December 10, 2011
Review - " New Year's Eve "  -  (in theaters) By Roland Hansen
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New Year's Eve
Directed by: Garry Marshall
Starring: Halle Berry, Jessica Biel, Jon Bon Jovi, Abigail Breslin, Chris
“Ludacris” Bridges, Robert De Niro, Josh Duhamel, Zac Efron, Hector
Elizondo, Katherine Heigl, Ashton Kutcher, Seth Meyers, Lea Michele,
Sarah Jessica Parker, Michelle Pfeiffer, Til Schweiger, Hilary Swank,
Sofia Vergara,

With an all-star cast including Robert De Niro, Ashton Kutcher,
Michelle Pfeiffer, Halle Berry, Jon Bon Jovi, Sofia Vergara, Katherine
Heigl and more, it was no surprise to me that “New Year’s Eve” was a
great movie. Then again, I’m a sucker for a good chick flick, so there’s
that too.

If you’re a fan of movies with intertwining story lines, such as
“Parenthood” (1989), ”Love, Actually” (2003), “He’s Just Not That Into
You” (2009),  or “Valentine’s Day” (2010), then you will probably enjoy
“New Year’s Eve” as well. I found that the movie itself wasn’t as
interwoven as some of the others I mentioned, where it seemed like
the characters and their respective plot lines came in a full circle, but it
was satisfying nevertheless.

It tells the story of several different characters, centered around New
Year’s Eve 2011 in New York City. The highlight of the movie, for me,
was Zac Efron and Michelle Pfeiffer, as the enthusiastic young 20-
something (who wants to get the tickets for the hottest party in town)
and the 40 or 50-something woman who has an epiphany (or breaks
down, depending on how you look at it) and makes a deal to give him
the tickets he is looking for in exchange for helping her cross off items
on her bucket list. Ashton Kutcher, who hates everything about New Year's Eve, get's stuck in an elevator with Lea Michele,
who is missing the most important engagement of her career. Josh Duhamel looking to reconnect with a woman he met just
once .... one year ago.

The rest of the stories are all very standard chick-flick-kind-of-plots, which means they are nothing that you would be
surprised by, but all of them trying to make you cry, especially Halle Berry’s overseas husband. The only plot line that I think
could easily make viewers misty was Robert De Niro’s sad tale of a dying man who just wants to make it to midnight.

In a tried and true formula, Garry
Marshall does what he does best in
creating a character-driven movie with
many heart-warming moments and feel
good factors in honour to this special
occasion. There are tears, laughter,
love, hope, forgiveness, second
chances and fresh starts – enough to
make you look forward to your own
kind of New Year (Eve) and be inspired
to do something extraordinary. Clear to
see though, the star-studded cast tries
very hard to repress their celebrity
status by playing ordinary people and
while some succeeds (like Michelle
Pfeiffer playing a miserable office
secretary), some leaves you thinking
they might as well use their own name
(like Bon Jovi playing a rock star!)

New Year’s Eve is shot entirely on
location in and around New York City and you can see this from all the different stories and scenes taking place to weave
this magical tale. From the heights of ‘Ball Drop’ to the hustle and bustle at Time Square; the typical apartment lifts to
suburban style homes; the quiet outskirts of town to the glamorous inner-city party venues; and ordinary train station to the
hospital, a fine attention to detail is given to let us peek into what may be the everyday life in this legendary city (like a
deeper ‘New York I Love You’ offers insight to).  Thus we cannot help but think of Love Actually shot in UK which may have
started this whole phenomenon of multi-tale films.

New Year’s Eve is a sweet movie
and definitely not a waste of money
- just don’t go expecting an
Oscar-worthy performance and say
I didn't warn you!