.

New Year's Eve

Robert DeNiro, Halle Berry

Directed by Garry Marshall
Rolling Stone: star rating
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Community: star rating
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December 8, 2011

Director Garry Marshall follows last year's Valentine's Day romcom crapfest with an even more puke-up-able sample of the species. This time it's New Year's Eve when an all-star cast lines up to collect paychecks – at our expense! Choke on it, greedy actors! As Ryan Seacrest preps to drop his ball in Time Square on the Big Night, with the help of Oscar winner Hilary Swank, countless lovers and losers interact. Or they would if screenwriter Katherine Fugate knew how the hell to do that. Instead we get an avalanche of clichés.  Will caterer Katherine Heigl forgive rock star Jon Bon Jovi for dumping her last New Year's Eve? And will her sous chef Sofia Vergara stop with the cha cha cha Charo voice already? Will Seth Meyers and Jessica Biel have their baby just in time to collect the hospital's first born in 2012 prize money? Really, Seth? Really? Will Lea Michelle get to Times Square on time to sing backup with Jon Bon Jovi? The impediment, besides the script, is that she's stuck in an elevator with Ashton Kutcher (even Glee would find this far-fetched). Meanwhile Sarah Jessica Parker fights with tween daughter Abigail Breslin and Michelle Pfeiffer, looking dowdy (impossible!), quits her thankless secretary job to live! live! live! with the help of delivery guy Zac Efron, who delivers the film's one appealing performance. Worst of all is Robert De Niro as a dying cancer patient, nursed by Oscar winner Halle Berry, who wants to watch the ball drop one more time before he croaks. It's amazing De Niro doesn't choke on his dialogue. "I'm sorry for the bad things I've done," he groans. If De Niro is referring to the lousy movies he's perpetrated in the last decade, he's unforgiven. Early in the film, Pfeiffer falls into a rancid pile of garbage. I can't think of a better metaphor for the movie, which leaves a stink on  everyone associated with it. What's Marshall up to next? President's Day with the stars, dressed as Washington and Lincoln, heading to a costume party. It can't be worse than New Year's Eve, which is bad beyond belief.

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