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‘New Year’s Eve’ Has an All-star Cast but Zero-star Reviews

Posted on the 20 December 2011 by Periscope @periscopepost

‘New Year’s Eve’ has an all-star cast but zero-star reviews

Robert De Niro is in New Year's Eve: This man won two Oscars

New Year’s Eve: a night to pull on your party clothes and pop open the Champagne, or an evening to huddle at home and avoid the crowds? However you choose to celebrate the beginning of 2012, one thing is certain: you will hate New Year’s Eve, the follow-up movie to Valentine’s Day. At least, that’s according to the critics, who have given the film the kind of beatdown not seen since, well, Valentine’s Day.

Like its predecessor, New Year’s Eve is a series of vignettes following the romantic lives of a range of characters, and is stuffed with star power, from Sarah Jessica Parker and Hilary Swank to Robert De Niro, Ashton Kutcher and Halle Berry. Valentine’s Day actually did decent box office business, despite the critical shoeing it received; can New Year’s Eve repeat the same trick?

So bad it’s bad. “Structured weirdly like an old-fashioned disaster movie, this also features an all-star cast phoning in dead-eyed performances as their characters’ disparate lives cross-cross round a clunky premise building to an uninteresting climax: a towering inferno of awfulness,” wrote The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw, who, The Periscope Post senses, did not enjoy the film. Bradshaw was particularly dismayed by the participation of De Niro, and accused director Garry Marshall of “breathtaking cynicism” in including a military storyline.

Too much plot. “By my count the film features nine interlinked plot strands, each one more galling than the last,” wrote Robbie Collin in The Telegraph. Collin described the script as “heinous” and was unimpressed by the performances, particularly that of Jon Bon Jovi. “New Year’s Eve is a film that fires off a few napalm rounds of utter ghastliness… amid a constant barrage of more minor horrors,” he shuddered.

Lack of realism. Pointing out that the film’s stars all end up in Times Square at the end, Stephen Holden slammed the lack of realism of the scenario in The New York Times: “No one is visibly drunk or shivering in the cold, and except for a few friendly officers, the police presence is minimal.” Then again, this seems to be the least of the film’s crimes for Holden: “The screenplay isn’t written so much as assembled in carefully slotted little blocks, following the rules of a screenwriting textbook,” he said.

Nausea-inducing. “Director Garry Marshall follows last year’s Valentine’s Day romcom crapfest with an even more puke-up-able sample of the species,” is how Peter Travers opened his Rolling Stone review, nailing his colours to the mast early on. And just in case readers didn’t get the message, Travers called New Year’s Eve “bad beyond belief”.

Ugly. “New Year’s Eve may be the ugliest movie of the year, from the garish lighting to the heavy make up and bad costumes,” wrote Mary Pols in Time, presumably another non-fan of the film. Pols also criticised inconsistent chronology and poor character development, and felt the star power was a let-down: “The film’s use of character and celebrity familiarity as crutches produces a constant state of disappointment.”

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