1: Why do I continue to pay to see movies like this? This one, I actually know the answer to, and it has something to do with Hollywood’s perpetuation of ridiculous romantic fairy tales that a perfectly intelligent person (if I do say so myself) still finds herself getting sucked into, even though she damn well knows better.
2: What does it say about a movie when the only part that made me laugh was the bloopers sequence over the closing credits? Well, friends, I’m pretty sure it says that this movie was ridonkulously (yeah, that’s a word) bad. I mean…I’m trying to find a redeeming quality, but I can’t. There are good romantic comedies (I’ll swear to it. See: Love Actually, When Harry Met Sally, etc.). But this ain’t one of them. Not by a long shot.
Since I mentioned Love Actually, I’ll start there. As I’ve said before, I love that movie. But, dammit, Garry Marshall – quit trying to replicate it. It’s not going to happen. Valentine’s Day sucked, and this movie sucked. The concept just does not translate. At least a good 50% of this – perhaps more – is due to the fact that everything is just more charming coming from bemused British people. Advantage: Love Actually.
The other thing about Love Actually is that it has actors who created characters I actually cared about. But New Year’s Eve? Well…let’s just say, I’m not a big fan of the vast majority of the actors in this film. This is off the top of my head (not really), but Katherine Heigl, Lea Michele, Ashton Kutcher, and Josh Duhamel are just a few of the people in this movie who I cannot stand (Lea Michele, especially. Why, God, why?!?). And the other actors in the film didn’t quite bring their A games either (notable exception: Halle Berry. I thought she did a nice job, and her storyline was the only remotely appealing one). But, Abigail Breslin? She’s not exactly maturing into a great actress – her performance consisted primarily of whining. Sofia Vergara? She’s hilarious on Modern Family, but she was essentially playing the exact same character here, a silly Colombian caricature. Really, writers? You couldn’t give her something (anything) better than this? And Robert Deniro…has your career really come to this?
(Can I be honest with you? Zach Efron was the only actor here that I found truly endearing. WHAT? Did I just type that? What is my life?!)
(But seriously. There’s this scene at the end where he does a silly dance, and it did make me smile. What can I say, I’m a sucker for a nerdy white boy dancing).
Okay. So I feel like I’ve really ragged on this movie a lot already, but…there’s more. As previously mentioned, it’s not funny (not even remotely). It’s not romantic – there’s not even the slightest bit of magic about it. It’s filled with all the most appalling cliches (meeting in a stuck elevator! Really?!). And it’s completely unbelievable (yeah, I’m sure they would broadcast some middle management bureaucrat’s motivational speech about the Times Square ball not dropping worldwide. Sure. That would totally happen). All in all, this is one of the worst movies I’ve seen in recent memory.
My grade: D