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Movie: New Years Eve (2011)

As this will be my last post on this blog for 2011 I thought I'd write something about the appropriately titled movie New Years Eve which I saw at the cinema yesterday.

As always this won't be a review but more a commentary of my thoughts. If you haven't seen this film and don't like potentially having the film spoiled then stop reading now - come back when you've seen it. Though having said that, there are no major spoilers below.

The movie is pretty much a formula ensemble piece of intertwined 'relationship' stories. For me the best of this kind of film is Love Actually (mostly for Bill Nighy's performance).

In the case of New Year's Eve the entire story happens over the course of the day leading up to the New Year and is focused around events linked to the New York City, Time Square, Ball Drop (a world famous New Years event but somewhat over rated unless you're actually at Time Square I suspect).

Ensemble films with plenty of big stars (and this one is filled with them - even in cameo roles) is always hit and miss as to whether it's going to work. At best, usually one or two of the sub stories will pan out and be really interesting whilst the rest will be mostly 'meh'.

New Year's Eve is kind of like that. You may connect with some of the stories but others probably not so much. Though, to the film's credit, it did keep me guessing as to who the mystery girl meeting up with Sam (Josh Duhamel) would be out of the women from several of the other stories.

Generally why I like this kind of film is not for the deep and meaningful stories - which usually aren't that deep - but for the light humor sprinkled throughout all (or at least most of) the stories. There are some really funny moments between Katherine Heigl and SofĂ­a Vergara whose characters are catering the Time Square event. The two couples competing to have the first New Years baby makes for some good humor too. There's also a great scene between John Lithgow (surprisingly uncredited) and Michelle Pfeiffer, where John plays her self centered boss.

One other reason to like this kind of film is seeing how all the stories are linked. It's not obvious straight away but, over the course of the film, each story does become a little more linked to one or more of the others going on. The only problem I had with this in New Year's Eve was that it felt like the people in the stories that had a link didn't really know anything about the other characters in those stories.

For example, though we find out Sarah Jessica Parker's character is Zac Efron's character's older sister, you get no sense that she knows anything about Zac's best friend, played by Ashton Kutcher who's in another story of his own.

I did appreciate the bloopers played through the end credits, though this film does suffer from having some of the best moments in the bloopers - which is always a risk when showing bloopers.

I'm glad I saw this movie on 'budget Tuesday'. It's not a bad film - certainly not as bad as many reviewers have said - just don't go in expecting it to be anything more than very light entertainment.

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