'New Year's Eve': What the Critics Are Saying
New Year’s Eve, the new romantic comedy from Garry Marshall, features a star-heavy cast and multiple story lines as a group of New Yorkers rush to make the most of the last few minutes of the year.
The cast of the Warner Bros. holiday film features Ashton Kutcher, Lea Michele, Hilary Swank, Zac Efron, Abigail Breslin, Josh Duhamel, Halle Berry and Katherine Heigl.
Many critics emphasized the amazingly star-heavy cast as a benefit of the Warner Bros. film, which opens in theaters on Dec. 9, much in the same vein as Marshall’s other holiday romantic comedy, Valentine’s Day. However, some critics were not impressed with the dialogue or plot of this current film. Several critics pointed out a touching scene with Halle Berry, but felt that many of the storylines and characters were too on-the-surface.
FILM REVIEW: New Year's Eve
“A remarkably maudlin affair that possesses scant evidence of Marshall’s trademark brisk efficiency, the trite romantic comedy may technically take place on the last night of 2011, but it feels stuck at least 30 years in the past,” wrote The Hollywood Reporter’s Michael Rechtshaffen.
“Despite the attempts of a sprawling all-star ensemble to lend their flimsy characters any sort of involving definition, the majority end up lost in the perpetual shuffle,” added Rechtshaffen.
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“New Year’s Eve is neither nicely written, nor nicely acted nor nicely made,” wrote Time’s Mary Pols.
“The film’s use of character and celebrity familiarity as crutches produces a constant state of disappointment,” added Pols. “New Year’s Eve may be the ugliest movie of the year, from the garish lighting to the heavy make up and bad costumes.”
“None of the characters are more than cardboard clichés, but the cast is likable and pretty enough (there are some rom-com pros here, including Heigl and Josh Duhamel) that most are able to swallow the pallid dialogue without causing inadvertent laughs,” wrote The AP’s Jake Coyle, who added, “If there is some kind of world record for schmaltz, this may have set it.”
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“How is it possible to assemble more than two dozen stars in a movie and find nothing interesting for any of them to do?” wrote Roger Ebert.
"New Year's Eve is a dreary plod through the sands of time until finally the last grain has trickled through the hourglass of cinematic sludge,” added Ebert.
Michael Phillips of The Chicago Tribune wrote, “Marshall knows a certain kind of comedy, but his technique has a way of pitting performers squarely against their own material.”
“Near the end of New Year's Eve Berry lands a moment of genuine emotion, sharing a brief scene with her beloved,” added Phillips.