Garry Marshall, how could you?
You have made a mockery of a movie that bears the name of my birthday. I take this as a personal affront.
I knew this would happen with another holiday-type observance after the awful "Valentine's Day" did brisk business at the box office. I nearly had to be physically restrained when I discovered that director Marshall had selected "New Year's Eve" for his next debacle. It's essentially the same movie, set this time in New York City instead of California, with stars who either were visiting or simply live in New York. They made easy money in this movie that's set days before and during the famous New Year's Eve celebration in Times Square.
Robert De Niro stars as Stan, a man who is sorry for the way he has treated most of the people in his life. He now lies dying in a hospital where a loving nurse named Aimee (Halle Berry) stays beside him because there "isn't enough time for hospice," whatever that means.
Also in the hospital setting are two couples, both expecting babies to be delivered within the next few hours, who challenge each other to be the first so they can win the "first baby of the new year" cash prize.
Elsewhere, in Times Square, Hilary Swank plays event manager Claire, who is under tremendous pressure when the iconic lighted ball that signals the arrival of the new year has technical problems.
Hailey (the always wonderful Abigail Breslin) is 15, and she wants to be in Times Square to see the ball drop as well as possibly enjoy her first kiss. But her overprotective mother (Sarah Jessica Parker) refuses to let her go. In the meantime, Randy (Ashton Kutcher), who hates New Year's Eve, is stuck in an elevator between floors with a pretty backup singer (Lea Michele from television's "Glee.")
Meanwhile, Katherine Heigl and her ex-boyfriend (Jon Bon Jovi) continue to squabble after a messy breakup.
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I won't even go into the other "storylines." They're silly and unrealistic, cheap and frail as the tinsel on a discarded Christmas tree. It's an ensemble piece that's a money-grubber, with this thought in mind: Throw enough stars up on the big screen and viewers will go simply to see them in action.
But you don't have to be one of them.