New Year’s Eve is, simply put, an anthology of bad ideas. You can almost list them one by one. And it’s not just that this film exists, or that it’s reteamed director Garry Marshall with screenwriter Katherine Fugate to — like last year’s Valentine’s Day — co-opt Richard Curtis’ Love Actually, effectively making them, again, the Goofus to Curtis’ Gallant. There’s also the ensemble cast, a parade of B-listers, former Academy Award winners in the full-on death throes of their post-Oscar careers, cameos that range from the painful to the confusing, with a smattering of aging stars here to collect a paycheck. New Year’s Eve is middle-of-the-road excess of the worst kind: overlong and overstuffed, with nothing going for it as either cinema or entertainment. I’m not being harsh here, either. This is 118 minutes of tedium, as we go through the intertwined lives of a handful of affluent New Yorkers and their romantic entanglements on the last day of the year. The movie’s real draw is its star-studded cavalcade of vaguely famous performers, ranging in notoriety from Sarah Jessica Parker to (of course, since it’s a Garry Marshall picture) Hector Elizondo. Remember when Halle Berry was famous? Yeah, me neither, until I saw this movie. For the most part, the cast list reads like a People magazine hot list from 2004. The closest thing we get to a genuine star is Robert De Niro, presumably because Pacino was too busy making Jack and Jill. At least De Niro has enough sway to get one of those roles where he has movie cancer and gets to lay in bed throughout the entire movie. Plus, bonus points for him, since he looks like he didn’t even have to shave or shower for the role.
Director: Garry Marshall
Writer: Katherine Fugate
Producer: Toby Emmerich, Samuel J. Brown and Michael Disco
Cast: Halle Berry, Jessica Biel, Jon Bon Jovi, Abigail Breslin, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, Robert De Niro, Josh Duhamel, Zac Efron, Hector Elizondo and Katherine Heigl