First Hit: I don’t know how Garry Marshall created such a vapid film about a great subject with great actors.
New Year’s Eve is a perfect subject and so many things can or don’t happen on that infamous night of nights.
Here we follow various people and their experience of this storied night. You’ve got Tess and Griffin (played by Jessica Biel and Seth Meyers respectively) in a race to win $25K for having the first baby of the new year against Grace and James (played by Sarah Paulson and Til Schweiger respectively).
You have Ingrid (played by Michelle Pfeiffer) who is a homely, afraid and not living her life. She breaks away, quits her job and hands her to do list to Paul (played by Zac Efron) who is a bike messenger. They climb on his scooter and he, being creative, finds ways to deliver all of Ingrid’s dreams in one night.
Then there is Kim (Sarah Jessica Parker) who works all the time and is very protective of her daughter Hailey (played by Abigail Breslin) who wants to be trusted to meet up with her friends. Kim tells her "no" but Hailey steals out of her room anyway and heads down town with Kim desperately following and trying to find her.
There is Laura (played by Katherine Heigl) a caterer preparing food for the most famous and luxurious New York New Year’s Eve party where the entertainment is being provided by her former boyfriend Jensen (Jon Bon Jovi).
Also there is Claire Morgan (played by Hilary Swank) who is in charge of the famous ball drop and who is linked to a dying Stan Harris (played by Robert De Niro). There are more many more stars in this movie but to be quite frank this is what killed the film. Too many actors vying for limited shallow parts having limited characteristics and story lines..
Biel had a couple funny lines as a pregnant wife. Meyers was mediocre as Biel’s husband. Paulson was the better pregnant wife as was Schweiger as her husband. Their story was more interesting. Pfeiffer was hard to watch as she played Ingrid too close to the chest. Efron was the best of all the actors and he made the film interesting. Parker was useless to watch and was uninteresting. Breslin was OK as the teenage girl wanting to experience her first New Year’s Eve kiss. Heigl was alright as the jilted woman. Jovi was more or less just being himself, a musician. Swank was in the worst role I’ve seen her in, in quite some time. De Niro gave the worst dying person act I’ve ever seen on film. His eyes were too alert and his actions too fast to be on his death bed. Katherine Fugate wrote a painfully soft, sophomoric, and generic script. Marshall’s direction shows he needs to retire. How can one direct so many wonderful actors (and there were more that I didn’t mention) into a wastefully sentimental uninteresting film.
Overall: This film goes for the easy sentimental story and in doing so made me wish it was over sooner than later.