New Year’s Eve (2011) – reviewed by George

Garry Marshall directed this large-cast anthology movie about a lot of people, mostly couples, on the last day of a year which seems to be 2011. The stories are all intercut as the day wanes toward midnight, and the end credits break the film into 8 tales, which are:
“Resolution Tour”: Michelle Pfeiffer and Zac Efron
“Hospital Story”: Robert De Niro and Halle Berry with Cary Elwes and Alyssa Milano
“Maternity Ward”: Jessica Biel and Seth Meyers, & Sarah Paulson and Til Schweiger with Carla Gugino
“Jensen and Laura’s Story”: Katherine Heigl and Jon Bon Jovi with Sofia Vergara
“Elevator”: Ashton Kutcher and Lea Michele
“Mother and Daughter”: Sarah Jessica Parker and Abigail Breslin
“Ahern Party”: Josh Duhamel and Cherry Jones
“Times Square”: Hilary Swank, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Hector Elizondo, Ryan Seacrest
The stories vary from love stories to tales of competition, hired helpers, generational questions, and managing the ball drop in Times Square. Hilary Swank is in charge of that, and she has a long speech which is designed to distract everybody from the fact that the ball has frozen halfway up, and unless they can get it up they can’t drop it. But her speech becomes all about personal growth and acceptance and hope. Here’s the final part.
“It’s suspended there to remind us before we pop the champagne and celebrate the new year, to stop and reflect on the year that has gone by, to remember both our triumphs and our missteps, our promises made and broken, the times we opened ourselves up to great adventures, or closed ourselves down for fear of getting hurt. Because that’s what New Year’s is all about – getting another chance, a chance to forgive, to do better, to do more, to give more, to love more. And to stop worrying about “what if” and start embracing what will be. So when that ball drops at midnight – and it will drop – let’s remember to be nice to each other. Kind to each other. And not just tonight, but the whole year long. Thank you.”
Katherine Fugate wrote that beautiful speech, and the rest of the script. And I think you should see this movie. There’s bound to be at least one tale that will touch you. And here’s to second chances. Happy New Year!

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