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By Gus Bode

“New Year’s Eve” is a cinematic c

Rating: 1/5 stars

“New Year’s Eve” is a cinematic contest. It’s as if director Garry Marshall and writer Katherine Fugate — responsible for last year’s original holiday epic “Valentine’s Day”— asked themselves how many well known, beautiful people can we fit into

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a two-hour movie?

The answer — about 25.

The outcome is a parade of cameos, bad sitcom-ready storylines, unbelievably dry acting and miles of glitz and glamor to cover it all up.

The film does too much. It tries to juggle about 10 storylines, none of which go deeper than a Hallmark commercial. And with the movie’s massive amount of product placement and tourist-friendly vision of New York City, maybe the film is the world’s most well-constructed piece of advertisement.

If not, it’s a B-movie with an expansive A-list cast.  It’s as if each of the film’s most commercial stars had Sunday dinner and brought over their career leftovers.

There’s the oblivious cheesiness from Zac Efron’s “High School Musical.” Lea Michele adds the “Glee” format of attempting to create a story around a single event, but instead of dancing in a cafeteria, it’s the Times Square Ball dropping. She even finagles in a duet with Bon Jovi … yes … Bon Jovi.

Sofia Vergara replicates her “Modern Family” archetype, minus any amount of depth, dignity and integrity.  Katherine Heigl’s formulaic rom-com style is plastered throughout the entire film, and all of this is wrapped up in a cellophane, star-studded package, Ryan Seacrest style.

The most disappointing thing about “New Years’ Eve” is the number of talented people in the movie.

Michelle Pfeiffer, Hilary Swank, Seth Meyers, Sarah Jessica Parker, Abigail Breslin and Jim Belushi all make appearances in the film.

Academy Award-winners Robert De Niro and Halle Berry share screen time playing a dying man and his attending nurse. He wishes to see the Times Square Ball drop one more time. As a viewer, you wish they both would have realized the cardboard characters and turned down the roles.

It feels as though each actor was thrown character sketches instead of scripts and told “go” 10 minutes before call time. The movie is an exercise into Hollywood excess and the perfect film for a generation full of minimal attention spans and celebrity obsession.

“New Years’ Eve” is cinematic junk food.  The film comes in big, bright, loud packaging; is simultaneously sappily sweet, cheesy and bland; mixes in every available ingredient and after it’s done still leaves you feeling unfulfilled and that you overpaid.

 

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