Review of New Year's Eve


Movie Review: New Year's Eve

Rating: PG-13
Release Date: December 9th, 2011
Directed by: Garry Marshall
Genre: Comedy and Romance

"New Year's Eve" is a holiday that has two distinct sides. It celebrates both the new and the old. Director Garry Marshall uses the premise of New Year's Eve as the jumping off point for his witty, sparkling and lightweight romantic comedy. The star-studded cast provides enough glitter and shine to keep every viewer interested. Their intertwining stories range from bittersweet to hilarious, offering a poignant look at the end of one year and the beginning of the next.

Claire (Hilary Swank) has a lot on her plate on New Year's Eve. As the vice president of the Times Square Alliance, it is up to Claire to arrange the iconic ball drop. She enlists the help of her friend, Brandon (Chris Bridges). When something goes horribly wrong at the last minute, however, Claire will have to call on an estranged ex-employee (Hector Elizondo) to save the day. Thousands of people are waiting for the ball drop, including Stan (Robert De Niro). Stan is struggling with cancer and suspects he will not survive much longer, but his dearest wish is to see the ball drop. His nurses, Mindy (Alyssa Milano) and Aimee (Halle Berry), try to keep Stan's spirits up as they wait.

Meanwhile, Ingrid (Michelle Pfeiffer) is realizing that her life has not gone the way she hoped. On the dawn of a new year, the secretary decides to cut loose and change her own destiny. She decides to ask a delivery boy (Zac Efron) to help her cross key items off her bucket list before the clock strikes midnight.

In the same hospital where Stan is hoping to survive one more day, new life is coming into the world. Griffin (Seth Myers) and Tess (Jessica Biel) are about to welcome their new baby. They desperately want to win the hefty cash prize awarded to the first baby of the new year. However, they have some stiff competition. Grace (Sarah Paulson) and her husband James (Til Schweiger) are also expecting a baby, and they feel sure they can snatch the prize away from Griffin and Tess.

In other parts of New York City, Randy, a frustrated and lovelorn comic book illustrator (Ashton Kucher), is not too excited about the holiday. All the celebration only reminds him of his lost relationship. When he winds up stuck in an elevator, Randy thinks his evening cannot possibly get any worse. However, after he starts talking to Elise (Lea Michele), a vibrant young woman who is also trapped in the elevator, Randy's mood takes a turn for the better. Elise is just eager to get out of the elevator and make it to a New Year's Eve concert, where she will get her lucky break as a back-up singer for superstar Jensen (Jon Bon Jovi).

The film features a number of other plots, including the battle between a beleaguered mother (Sarah Jessica Parker) and her rebellious teenager (Abigail Breslin). The ending helps tie all the loose threads together. When it comes down to it, New Year's Eve is a perfect tribute to the holiday that gives the movie its name. It celebrates the old by drawing on romantic comedy tradition, with sweet, endearing love stories and happy endings. It celebrates the new by offering a fresh, funny perspective and a lively ensemble cast. There is a character in this movie to appeal to any viewer, and the heartwarming message is an ideal way to kick off a new year or just enjoy a movie night at home.