There is something about Christmas that brings out the ensemble cast in film production companies, usually attached to a romantic comedy to boot. There’s usually a selection of attractive chaps and ladies in a portmanteau story that gets drawn together at the end. They’re the sort of film that husbands and boyfriends can watch and discuss with each other which of the actresses is the most attractive. My favourite one of these up to this point has probably been Love Actually. Now gatecrashing the scene is Warner Brothers latest, New Year’s Eve, which they kindly sent us for our approval.
As New Year approaches (the clue is in the title folks) a group of disparate New Yorkers prepare for it in their own way. I sort of lost track of exactly how many interlinked stories there were, I think it was seven or eight (a couple too many for someone like me with the attention span of an aphid) but it zips along without being jarring when it swaps from one story to another. There are plenty of pretty big names to watch too, from Michelle Pfeiffer, Jessica Biel and that one from Sex in the City with the terrible dress sense and face like a horse, as well as Aston Kutcher and Zac Efron. Ever since Michelle Pfieffer did her turn in Catwoman I’ve had a soft spot for her, even if she is in full on over protective mum mode here. Star turn though probably goes to Hilary Swank who has a bit of a ball problem (she’s in charge of the Ball Drop in Time Sq and it’s broken, just to clarify!). It’s hard to believe this is the same Swank that was duffing people up in Million Dollar Baby, she does rom-com pretty well.
Overall, despite rather more slapstick than I’ve come to expect from rom-coms that don’t star Cameron Diaz, I think the director (he also directed Pretty Woman you know) has crafted a perfectly entertaining holiday flick. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter if you’ve had one glass of sherry too much, because even if you can’t remember the names of everybody, the stories are pretty straightforward to follow. Worth a watch before the seasonal festive cheer dissipates in my book!