New Year’s Eve

New Year’s EveNew_Year's_Eve_Poster

So Gary Marshall has come up with a concept that works pretty well.  He gets an ensemble cast and crafts a story where the sub-plots are all intertwined and they all revolve around a holiday.  He’s already done “Valentine’s Day”, and now he presents us with “New Year’s Eve”.  The nice thing about these “Marshall Holiday Films” (as I have begun to call them) is that – if nothing else – they give us something to watch on these holidays.  The ensemble cast thing reminds me of an Altman film, but that’s fine with me because I love those!  What I don’t like about this one is that he uses Ashton Kutcher as a star again.

Kutcher annoys me.  He looks like a slob in this film.  He needs a bath, a haircut, and a shave.  Call me old-fashioned but I think this kind of appearance makes for a poor impact of a so-called star.  He was decent in “Valentine’s Day”, pretty believable in fact.  However, in “Eve” he plays a nobody.  He could be forgotten about entirely – except for his annoying factor.  The audience is expected to believe that Lea Michele falls for this slob after being stuck in an elevator with him.  Sure…and I also believe unicorns are real.

The best story with “Eve” has to be the Zac Efron and Michelle Pfeiffer story arc.  It’s heart-warming and touching, even if it is not explained why Michele’s character is so repressed and inhibited.  It doesn’t matter though, because it is just fun to watch her and Efron team up.  That was very fun to watch!  There is also a great bit involving Hilary Swank and the Times Square famous ball!  As many of you may recall from my review of “P.S. I Love You”, I am not a very big fan of Hilary.  Here though, she fits the role well and she plays up some comedic talent which was refreshing.

My wife and I found it hard to get past how much older Abigail Breslin in this film, but her role is fairly small.  Speaking of small roles, check out the number of BRIEF cameos in this movie by Alyssa Milano, Matthew Broderick, Jim Belushi, and Cary Elwes.  There all used fantastically!  The story arc of Halle Berry and Robert DeNiro is very heart-warming and touching.  It’s proof that great actors can make a scene in any movie memorable.  On a comedic level, consider the performances of Sofia Vergara and Carla Gugino and realize that these 2 actresses obviously enjoy making fun of themselves!

I thought Josh Duhamel was under-used, and he certainly could have done more with his character.  But hey – at least he was enjoyable to watch unlike Kutcher!  Jessica Biel is in there alongside Seth Meyers as a very pregnant couple for just some funny stuff, but isn’t there always a baby story involving New Year’s?  So, it was to be expected.  Sarah Jessica Parker plays mother to Abigail Breslin, but didn’t quite follow her story, especially the ending.  Watch it to the end and let me know your thoughts: did she really intend on going or not?

Over all, “Eve” is very fun and not too serious.  The arc of DeNiro’s character is a bit heavy but still heart-warming and not heart-wrenching.  A lot of critics bashed this one, but I guess they may have just been in a very negative frame of mind.  It’s been called “sludge”, “auld lang suck”, “the worst film of all time”, and a “sentimental sham”.  Really?  I guess I must be way more forgiving than these critics, because I thought it a fine movie to watch again this NYE.  Besides, it’s filmed in New York City and having just been there (right in Times Square!), I could really feel the city as I watched it.  I look forward to enjoying it again on Dec. 31st!

…and that’s it for this edition of THE REEL VOICE.



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