New Year’s Eve
May 16, 2012

It was kind of weird watching a movie with such a specific timeframe on a spring Sunday afternoon, given how much it fetishizes the magic of the titular holiday. The earlier Valentine’s Day had more universal appeal, since that holiday is more anticipated by more people. Everyone wants to be in love then, while most sane people I know don’t want to be anywhere near Times Square for New Year’s.

There are lots of likable actors involved, but I would have enjoyed this more if I was more of a Jon Bon Jovi fan, since he plays a rock star everyone’s crazy about, except for his ex (Katherine Heigl — and she really is the brand marker for this kind of movie, isn’t she?).

The plots are sitcom-ish: An overprotective single mother (Sarah Jessica Parker) can’t cope with her daughter (Abigail Breslin) growing up. A pair of opposites (Ashton Kutcher, as a comic book artist, and Lea Michele, as a singer) get trapped in an elevator. The woman running the ball drop (Hilary Swank) is afraid of heights. An expectant couple (Seth Meyers, Jessica Biel) wants to be the first to have the New Year’s baby. A woman (Michelle Pfeiffer) who just quit her job is trying to complete her bucket list with the help of a courier (Zac Efron). They all play out as you’d expect, with few surprises.

Now, a few days after seeing it, I don’t remember much of it at all — yet I know a couple of people who want to borrow my DVD, just to check it out. It’s comfort viewing, where we all know exactly what we’re going to get.

The special features include a commentary with director Garry Marshall, which I didn’t listen to, and a gag reel, half of which has already been included in the bloopers shown during the credits. The Blu-ray edition has all the extras, with three short promotional featurettes with cast and crew plus deleted and extended scenes with Marshall’s commentary. I bought the DVD because I didn’t really want more of this film.

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