I know, I know, I’m a little slow off the mark with this one. But much as I wanted to see this film as soon as it came out, I struggled to find anyone who was willing to see it with me (let’s all pause briefly for a moment’s silence in honour of my pathetic life). In the end I went to the cinema with my younger brother, who probably wouldn’t be overly impressed if he knew that that fact had just been broadcast to everyone on the internet. He’d probably be even less impressed if I let on that he actually enjoyed it!
As did I, although not as much as I had expected to. New Year’s Eve lived up to my expectations of being an American version of my favourite holiday movie of all time, Love Actually. However, the fact that it was American counted against it, at least in the humour stakes, and for the same reason neither did the cast inspire me in the same way, although it was undoubtedly well-acted. I also felt that the film suffered due to the brevity of its time-scale (all of the events taking place on New Year’s Eve itself), which allowed less room for character development.
New Year’s Eve features a veritable ensemble of characters, with a variety of heart-warming stories and cutesy morals about the importance of love in our lives. At the centre of it all is the Times Square ball drop, organised by Claire Morgan (Hilary Swank), who is understandably neurotic about the whole thing going according to plan. Across town, Laura (Katherine Heigl) is preparing to cater the Ahern Records Masquerade Ball, while also trying to avoid her ex-boyfriend, rock star Jensen (Jon Bon Jovi). Also in attendance at the ball are heir to the Ahern dynasty Sam (Josh Duhamel) and courier Paul (Zac Efron), who has won his tickets by helping Ingrid (Michelle Pfeiffer) to tick off her lengthy list of New Year’s resolutions.
The other storylines are those of Hailey (Abigail Breslin) who is trying to shake off mother Kim (Sarah Jessica Parker) in order to spend New Year’s Eve in Times Square, cancer patient Stan (Robert De Niro) and the nurse (Halle Berry) who stays by his side, two expectant couples who compete to win a prize for the first baby born in the new year, and holiday hater Randy (Ashton Kutcher) who ends up stuck in an elevator with back-up singer Elise (Lea Michelle). What strikes me though is the way in which the lives of all of these characters are woven together in time for midnight, with a few surprises along the way.
It may not be the best film I’ve ever seen, nor even one of the best, but if you’re trying to prolong the holiday season just a little, or just looking for a feel-good film, New Year’s Eve could be worth a watch!