New Year's Eve

Director Garry Marshall ("Pretty Woman") is helming another PG-13 ensemble cattle call similar to "Love Actually," "Valentine's Day," and "New York, I Love You." You know, a film where widely disparate vignettes with a huge ensemble, end up somehow becoming a (sort of) cohesive story.

Just look at this cast!
  • Ashton Kutcher ("Friends With Benefits") cynically views New Year's Eve as "Amateur Night."
  • Zac Efron ("The Lucky One") is a resourceful bicycle messenger hired for the day by a client.
  • Michelle Pfeiffer ("Hairspray") hires that messenger boy; she has a bucket list.
  • Jon Bon Jovi ("Cry Wolf") has never been more appealing.
  • Katherine Heigl ("Life As We Know It") slaps Jon Bon Jovi... TWICE!
  • Sofia Vergara ("The Smurfs") does NOT slap Jon Bon Jovi.
  • Jessica Biel ("Valentine's Day") is really funny in the delivery room.
  • Carla Gugino ("Elektra Luxx") is the doctor delivering Jessica Biel's baby.
  • Sarah Jessica Parker ("Smart People") is a single mom with trust issues.
  • Abigail Breslin ("Janie Jones") is the teenager whose mom doesn't trust her.
  • Josh Duhamel ("Ramona and Beezus") wrecks his car but MUST be in town by midnight.
  • Lea Michelle ("Glee") gets trapped on an elevator with Ashton Kutcher. (I loathe her over-stylized singing!)
  • Robert De Niro ("Limitless") wants to see the ball drop on New Year's Eve one more time before he dies.
  • Hilary Swank ("Conviction") is stuck holding the ball if the mech- anism in Times Square isn't fixed by midnight.
  • Ludacris ("Tropic Thunder") is an understanding New York City cop.
  • Hector Elizondo ("Princess Diaries") makes his mandatory appearance in yet another Garry Marshall film. This time I think he's Russian....
  • Ryan Seacrest (Himself) does a great sendup of himself as the host of the Times Square celebration and kvetches that "things never went wrong for Dick Clark!"
...and this list of actors barely scratches the surface.

This has become quite the fad in Hollywood these days with scores of "name brands" doing cameos in a demonstration of fun and solidarity. As a professional audience member, I admit that I get a big kick out of identifying all those familiar faces and I'm willing to fill in the blanks for the myriad stories that are alluded to but never resolved...but it IS a fad.

Despite the total lack of car chases, gunshots, sweaty bodies or blowie uppie stuff, the audience energy was waaaay up after this screening; that means they liked it!
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Here is a link to a preview:
* * * * * * * * * * * *