I learned a lot about myself and life in general while watching New Year's Eve the other night. No, it was nothing in the movie that got me, even though it tried fucking hard to turn the holiday and the Ball Drop into a philosophical statement on life and beginnings and triumphing past adversity. Rather, I gleaned from the whole experience two important things. First, I need to start questioning my decision making skills now that I'm on a fixed income and don't have money to waste on absolute shit. Secondly, no matter how bad I make my life sound, it's still nowhere near as terrible as this film. New Year's Eve is an easy F, no bones about it, but let's countdown from 10 to 1 (Like on New Year's Eve...Get it? It's a very subtle metaphor for how the New Year holds all the promise for a fantastic year ahead!) the absolute worst things about this trash.
10. The Funniest Thing in the Movie Happens During the Credits
New Year's Eve was so lacking in actual jokes--Zefron & Sofia Vergara both wrung laughs out of their presence and way with words, not because of what was actually written--that the bloopers which accompanied the credits were actually funnier than anything in the movie. And it's pretty sad that Zefron dancing for a 90 seconds and a joke involving Jessica Biel giving birth to copies of Valentine's Day were the most memorable parts of the movie.
09. The Swankinator: Slaying Her Way to Oscar Glory Since 1999
Listen, I'll stan for the Swankinator and her shameless mugging for Oscar attention anytime, anywhere, but the girl cannot do comedy. She looks so bloody uncomfortable trying to be "loose" and "spontaneous". And I swear she was so rigid I thought at moments she was turning into Brandon Teena again. Plus, who else was looking forward to her hooking up Luda? Unlikeliest coupling in the history of couples? I think so!
08. Robert DeNiro: What a Debbie Downer
Not only was DeNiro saddled with the one depressing story line in the film, but the film cut to his story line at all of the most inappropriate places. Seriously, the film would go from a scene of Efron and Pfeiffer, being all charming and full of life, crossing off something on her Bucket List to DeNiro lying in his bed, hooked up to life support galore and decaying before our very eyes. I get that the screenwriter was trying to force some Really Important Topics into her fluffy screenplay, but cut to them at more appropriate times. It made DeNiro look like more of a buzzkill than he did in all of his Scorsese movies combined.
07. The Makeup
Abigail Breslin is a pretty girl, but she has an unusual face that could look almost alien without the proper attention. The makeup department's answer for this was to apparently slap a shit-ton of makeup and eyeliner on her so she looked like a small town transgendered teenage prostitute. And it's not like they were any nicer to the other ladies, most noticeably Katherine Heigl, who often looked like they had been Chris Browned right before the director started the scene.
06. The Slob & The Screeching Harpy
Would anyone seriously have minded if the elevator Ashton Kutcher and Lea Michele were trapped in had plummeted towards the Earth at 200 mph, spontaneously ignited in flames and burned them to a crisp before the metal in the elevator crushed their skeletons into a thousand pieces upon impact?
05. Forced Sentimentality
I understand that in a pure crowd pleaser such as New Year's Eve you need some kind of emotional pull to balance out the comedy; that's the nature of romantic comedies. But this film was really grasping at straws to pull any and all sentimentality out of whatever random situation the script found itself in. The entire movie, Josh Duhamel's character yammers about two things: this speech he has to make at a party and some girl he met the previous New Year's Eve that he may or may not meet again. We find out he's the heir to some record label empire and he's making the speech at the company's New Year's party. When he does give the speech, which he (of course) hasn't prepared for at all, he, for no reason other than to sneak a lot of sympathy, mentions his dead father and starts tearing up. The speech has absolutely nothing to do with his dad and is merely a SUBTLE cue for him to stop whoring it up with the sluts after him (who all seriously looked like 45-year-old Real Housewives) and go after the mystery girl. And then there's Halle Berry, whose mysterious New Year's date is a video chat with her soldier husband in Iraq. COME ON. Did we really need to throw in the war for more drama and conflict? Shameless, shameless, shameless (Although it did give me an opportunity to make a joke in the theatre. When the husband says, "I've only got a couple months left," I made the sound of a bomb exploding. Would you really put it past the makers of this film to have him die right before our very eyes? I mean, apparently the target audience is Nicholas Sparks fans, as evidenced by the two Sparks trailers before the movie).
04. Jon Bon Jovi? Is It 1988 Again?
When did Bon Jovi become relevant again? I have nothing against the man, and he's not any worse than any of the atrocious actors in this movie, but what? Can you talk about random, inappropriate casting? The dude is pushing 50, yet we're supposed to believe that not only 30-something Katherine Heigl is into him but also that he's this major rock star that teenage girls are willing to throw themselves at. On what planet is Bon Jovi as desirable as Justin Bieber to fifteen year old girls? Just because you fucked underage sluts in the 80's doesn't mean girls in 2011 know who the fuck you are, grandpa.
03. Do You Get The Theme?
New Year's Eve is a chance to reflect on the past year, the mistakes you've made, discern what you can improve on. It's also an opportunity to wish for the future, to hold out hope that the coming year will be your best ever and all your dreams will come true. In case you didn't get this from the opening voiceover (from either the Swankinator or Sarah Jessica Parker, I'm not sure), you will hear it repeated, ad nauseum, from a host of characters, old and young, important and tertiary. And then you'll hear the Swankinator repeat it in a press conference after a problem with the Ball is discovered, which leads me to...
02. The Fucking Ball
Why. The. Fuck. Was. Everyone. Going. On. And. On. About. That. Fucking. Ball? It's not a goddamn metaphor for anything, no matter how hard you try to make it one. And why the fuck is there a problem with it? Isn't it set up the same way every year? So much of the movie is consumed with the Ball and it's really a lot of pointless, wasted drama. Who gives a fuck?
01. The "Script"Valentine's Day wasn't a masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination, but it was passable entertainment and I found it quite amusing in parts. Both that film and New Year's Eve share the same writer, Katherine Fugate, but, in that year or so, it's as if she has lost any sense of comedy she may have once had. Like I said before, the film is literally devoid of jokes. Anything that's funny in the film is because of the actors and the actors alone. They get absolutely no help from any other source. I'm sure Valentine's Day wasn't the laugh riot I'm remembering it to be, and I'm sure it was just as unbearably saccharine sweet, but something was obviously distracting from its awfulness. And that something is nowhere to be found in the joyless, painful script for New Year's Eve. Look, I didn't expect the world from New Year's Eve, but when you aren't even at the same level as Valentine's Day, or Bride Wars for that matter, you know there's a problem.