Exactly one week after Christmas, we ring in the new year with celebration, drinking, love and streamers. And with films like “Love, Actually” for Christmas and “Valentines Day” for Feb. 14, it’s about time New Year’s Eve got a mention.
Like similar films before it, “New Year’s Eve” follows several love stories through the course of one night in New York. As the ball drops, these people fall in love. From finding new love with Ashton Kutcher and Lea Michele, or finding love in someone you never expected with Zac Efron and Michele Pfeiffer, or a father’s love for his daughter with Robert De Niro. Many other actors are involved in other stories and many cameos are made. Really – a lot of cameos. It’s like a Muppet movie – so many stars in cameos. But they all come together to make one great lovey movie that will be perfect for the season and become an instant classic – the “go to” movie for New Year’s eve.
I wish the studio would make a spin off movie of the love story between Zac Efron and Michele Pfeiffer. She is played down to be a weak, pathetic old loner but no matter what they do, she looks amazing. Not Cat Woman amazing, but still really beautiful. It is very hard to make her look bad. And to cast her opposite Efron was a great choice. They work really well together and he really gets to show off his acting chops. He has come a long way from “High School Musical,” and after “Charlie St. Cloud” we all knew he was capable of so much. Now it’s good to see him getting more work along side such great names.
Meanwhile, Katherine Heigl has hit her one note song again with her role as a romantically frustrated chef, just like every other movie she has done lately – the boss who has either no time for love or the boss who is thrown into her career after a bad break up. In this movie she plays the latter, opposite Jon Bon Jovi as the offending guy. Though she brings the same character to every film, Bon Jovi surprised this reporter as a pretty decent actor. The musician has had acting experience before in smaller parts, but to see him not only hold his own but surpass costar Heigl was nothing less than shocking.
Lea Michele is great as well. In her story, she is a singer who gets trapped in an elevator with obnoxious yet endearing comic book artist Randy (Ashton Kutcher). They are trapped in a broken elevator for several hours and develop a connection. It is very sweet to see them move towards what we all know is coming. Many of these stories are predictable like that, but we enjoy it anyway just for the ride. This kind of movie is not going to be a blockbuster. It will have few surprises as far as plot twists and storytelling go. But it is still a great movie because despite knowing the ending to the story (they fall in love), you are enthralled because seeing it play out is vicariously living it. And just like in life, you get the nervous feeling and your heart is warmed by the time we reach the credits.
Rated PG-13 and directed by legend Garry Marshall. I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars.