Note: This piece originally appeared on my original site on Dec. 31, 2015. Passing up this opportunity to share once more would be criminal.
Sometimes with a holiday themed film it just needs to be a distraction. It can be any level of entertaining, so long as it does the trick for the viewer. It’s all we can really expect from some as they’re mere attempts to cash in on a particular holiday.
The Warner Bros. Pictures film, “New Year’s Eve”, is a relatively fun and distracting holiday themed film, but does nothing more than remind you why it's better as good background noise.
This romantic comedy stars Halle Berry (upcoming “Kidnap”, “Extant”), Jessica Biel (“Bleeding Heart”, “Accidental Love”), Jon Bon Jovi (“30 Rock”, “The West Wing”), Abigail Breslin (“Scream Queens”, “Final Girl”), Chris “Ludacris” Bridges (“Jim Henson’s Turkey Hollow”, “Empire”), Robert De Niro (upcoming “Dirty Grandpa”, “Joy”), Josh Duhamel (upcoming films “11.22.63”, “Misconduct”), Zac Efron (upcoming films “Dirty Grandpa”, “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising”), Hector Elizondo (“Last Man Standing”, “Cristela”), Katherine Heigl (“Jenny’s Wedding”, “State of Affairs”), Ashton Kutcher (“Two and a Half Men”, “Annie (2014)”), Seth Meyers (“The Awesomes”, “Difficult People”), Lea Michele (“Scream Queens”, “Glee”), Sarah Jessica Parker (upcoming projects “Divorce”, “All Roads Lead to Rome”), Michelle Pfeiffer (“The Family”, “People Like Us”), Til Schweiger (upcoming projects “Nick Off Duty”, “Tatort”), Hilary Swank (“You’re Not You”, “The Homesman”), and Sofia Vergara (upcoming episode “The Simpsons”, “Modern Family”).
The film is directed by Garry Marshall (upcoming “Mother’s Day”, “Valentine’s Day”) and written by Katherine Fugate (“A Killer Among Us”, “Valentine’s Day”).
The film originally opened on Dec. 9, 2011.
The end of the year is upon us, and now’s a good time to watch the most appropriately themed movie that I know of and have in my collection! The follow up to the slightly more touching “Valentine’s Day” is one that I couldn’t help but include in this year’s holiday themed film’s, which at some point got a bit spotty. Damn life getting in the way. While I can say right now that it actually did quite little for me, as opposed to the first time I saw it, which was probably in theaters, I’m somewhat okay with owning it and taking the time to see it again. I had to have liked it for some reason originally. I guess this year, sadly, I wasn’t fully into this particular part of the weeks long “holidays”, which began at Thanksgiving. Or, it could just be this simple, it truly is a terrible, terrible film, and I’m just discovering this.
For some reason, the star power wasn’t there. Surprisingly it’s not because of say, Efron or Michele, among so many, that turned me off of this experience. Nope. It’s just simply that I felt there were too many people in this movie. I had to look it up, and while this cast is about the same size as “Valentine’s Day”, (yes, I will keep comparing the two), it still felt even bigger. Probably, when you think about it, it’s not just the primary and notable actors in it, it’s the smaller ones that fill in this cast list. You may not know them, but they’re crucial. Like with the majority of Duhamel’s story, he’s with some family in an RV. Even while we don’t know them, they’re still in this film and that only increases the number of people.
I also, sadly, have to credit that I felt rather bored with the majority of the storylines this time around. Sure some of them ended up coming together to form new storylines, which wasn’t even the problem, it’s that I just couldn’t get myself to be all that interested. With “Valentine’s Day”, I just was. Each storyline in this film does have its own level of cute and you can like them for the most part, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be deeply invested. Granted they’re all pretty much superficial, so it doesn’t really matter. Of all the storylines there was only ever one I increasingly loved seeing play out. Pfeiffer and Efron did it for me! I can’t believe I typed that. There was just something about them and their segment that kept me interested. Maybe it’s the level of fun they had and the growing friendship of two, pretty much strangers, that just allowed for fun to be had. I mean, it also was because they were having fun. Everyone else, rightly so, was working or doing something else, but they were having fun. Although, we can’t forget how Pfeiffer ended up getting to the fun. It was a pretty ridiculous way.
But, even with all these lackluster storylines, somehow I wasn’t willing to turn it off and move on to something else. I think this is where the allure of the holiday comes in to play big time. Watching this film somehow allowed me to get what I needed. A little bit of a boost and the ability to live vicariously thanks to these characters. I could have heaps and heap of fun, without ever leaving the comfort of my own place.
While holiday themed films are all around us, and adding more and more every year, they can’t all be good. It depends on what type of film you’re looking for that will determine if it meets your specifications. I enjoy flat out silly films, but sometimes I need something a bit more serious, not necessarily drama, but something that’s actually aiming to be good and memorable. In this way, my expectations can’t ever be that I high and I can never truly be let down. I’m getting exactly what I asked for, and hopefully if it’s fun along the way, then it was all worth it. If not, then I have to wait another year to hopefully get it right. That’s too damn long.