The story lines include: a couple awaiting the birth of their child, two people who become trapped together in an elevator and a gentleman who is trying to enjoy his last New Year's Eve on earth as he sadly lays on his deathbed.
Much like Valentine's Day, Marshall's latest film seems to forget the importance of character development and indeed sure-footed narrative; these films feel like the audience are watching Ashton Kutcher flirt with Lea Michele, or Zac Efron helping Michelle Pfeiffer, which – in all honesty – they are. Never are viewers able to break away from the celebrities portraying these supposed characters, which cause great issues when trying to build and present emotion.
The film also has some bizarre cast members, including the incredibly pointless Jon Bon Jovi who slinks about, and may as well be promoting a new Greatest Hits album when he enters the frame. Stars like Halle Berry and Robert De Niro are incredibly redundant here, even though they do benefit from moderate screen-time. Performers like De Niro are worthy of a solid script and something more important to do rather than just stand around holding a theoretical sign saying 'And Robert De Niro'.
Contrary to the opinion of the majority of critics (or males), 'Valentine's Day' was yes fluffy, gooey and forgettable two hours, but also entertaining. It did try very slightly to be different – with a gay romance amongst other things – and whilst this was all still "Hollywood", there were far worse movies released in 2010.
To be fair to 'New Year's Eve', it is not amongst the worst of the year. This might be due to the fact that most of the audience had or have extremely low expectations upon arrival. Expecting a film to be bad makes it all the less painful if the final product is indeed poor and consequently, makes it seem much better than it truly is if a viewer is not disappointed.
'New Year's Eve' felt mechanical and forced, a project merely designed for profit – there is no love nor compassion, no credibility nor realism. This is rather a 118 minute tourist video about how wonderful The Big Apple is, and how beautiful the people who reside in it are. Throw in disgusting amounts of product placement and an old rock star, and hey, you've got a $100 million motion picture! Spend your £8 at the cinema this Christmas on a film that gives like 'Hugo' rather than this, and save the holiday romances for 'Love Actually' on DVD with the family or partner.
Verdict: It is better if Marshall does not attempt to make another movie about a commercial holiday again. If we see a trailer with Kutcher dressed as the Easter Bunny for love next year, run for your life.
For more The Upcoming reviews http://www.theupcoming.co.uk/category/culture/cinema/