Jarv gets Pissy at: New Year’s Eve (2011)
This review is sponsored by Smirnoff vodka, Jim Bean’s Cherry Whisky (don’t ask), and 4 weird English bitters. All this, incidentally, is leftover from our New Year’s Eve party. This is also the longest review that I’ve ever written, weighing in at a massive 3895 words on probably the least deserving film ever. However, there is a plus point to this for you all: I’m going to lay out the entire film in all its awful minutiae so there’s no need for anyone to ever see it after this review.
When I made this wager with the resident rusted trashcan, I did it fairly safe in the knowledge that I had three factors going for me. The first was that his inherent laziness would surely preclude him from completing a review every 2 days, although I foolishly did give him a sporting chance by allowing him to resurrect 2 that he’d had on the books for a year. The second was that I didn’t think he’d take it up anyway, and thirdly and most importantly, that because New Year’s Eve was released in early December, the bastard would be long gone from the cinema before New Year’s Eve itself, which would therefore mean that I wouldn’t have to see it until Lovefilm sent it, which could be at any point in the next 12 months, and everyone would have forgotten about it.
Sadly, I wasn’t aware of a few salient points. Firstly, the useless laser magnet had a week off work. I was relying on him being stuck in the office doing stuff he hates on a computer for a large chunk of the time. If this had been the case, then he’d never have done it. Secondly, I grossly overestimated his laziness. This was an understandable mistake. Thirdly, and most importantly, the fucking Odeon in Camden, on which you can’t see a film for longer than a week, picks complete crap to show, and churns through films like nobody’s business would, for some reason that I cannot fathom, still be doing one showing a day at 9.25pm, over 3 weeks after the film was released. This unhappy alignment of the stars meant that I was forced, by any means necessary, to procure and watch the damned thing. I was dreading seeing this in the cinema, to be honest, but luckily one of my mates came riding over the hill like the fucking cavalry with a memory stick with his wife’s freshly downloaded copy.
Can I have a Hallelujah? No? How about a Hell Yeah?
Sadly, I was foiled. The PS3, probably protecting its own circuits from a fatal influx of cheese, rejected it out of hand. However, such was my desire to avoid actually paying money to see this piece of shit that I upgraded the laptop to allow me to watch it with the wife, without recourse to uncomfortable seating and no beer.
Thank heaven for small mercies.
Anyone that knows me knows several things. The first of which is that I loathe ensemble pieces like this. The second is that I detest Amateur night (New Year’s Eve) as it is the one night of the year solely dedicated to shut in wankers that don’t go out any other night of the year and therefore once having left the warm embrace of mind-numbing television feel an overpowering need to make utter cunts of themselves and cram out every decent drinking establishment to prove that they are the most monstrous of party animals and they’ll show us what is what. Fucking cunts. Thirdly, and most importantly for the purposes of this fiasco, I detest saccharine films. I can’t stand them at all, they set my teeth on edge, and it aggravates me intensely that they are absolutely critic proof because women will flock to them in droves because they’re “nice”. This, I felt, was not going to be 2 hours of fun and frolics.
Before I start the review properly, I just want to get this clear: Believe it or not, there is actually a proper heart warming film buried in here. One of the segments, that I’ll come to in a moment, has potential for both light comedy and a feel good factor. Unfortunately, this one episode, by far and away the best of the film, doesn’t have the romantic connotations necessary to be given full rein and as such is given the Cromwell Street treatment (Google Fred West for an explanation) by the other bits. All of which are, without exception, fucking awful.
Right, it is now time for me to review the film itself, as much as I don’t want to. This is, as already discussed, a series of small individual stories tied together due to a spurious connection to New Year’s Eve. Most of these stories, incidentally, could take place on almost any night of the year, but that would miss the magic, I suppose. I’m going to review each segment individually, and then assemble my thoughts on the lot at the end. I’ll deal with them one by one, and this is spoiler heavy. As if that makes a difference. I’ll deal with the best bit of the film first.
Filling in your New Year’s resolutions.
Pointless Cameo: Jon Lithgow.
Michelle Pfeiffer is a secretary at the record label that forms part of the desperate attempt to tie the film together.
She’s given a shitty bonus (fucking lucky she got one, frankly) and then denied one week’s pre-booked holiday (this sounds more realistic) by dastardly Lithgow. She then quits, and hires delivery boy Zac Efron (at least I think it is, all these cunts look the same to me) who agrees to help her fulfil her utterly ludicrous list of unfinished resolutions in exchange for 4 tickets to the label’s party.
The solutions to the various resolutions are easily the best thing about this movie. However, movie gods dictate that THERE MUST BE CONFLICT. CONFLICT IS IMPORTANT. So, while walking all NY boroughs in one day, she overhears him (because he’s too stupid to use a mobile phone without holding it a foot from his face and screaming) talking about her to his dickhead hipster mate Kutcher (more on this cunt in a moment).
Obviously, they sort shit out and she completes her list.
This is comfortably and by a long fucking way the best section of the film. Annoyingly, if they’d thought about it properly, this could have been a witty and heart-warming feature length by itself. But they didn’t, so forget about it. Pfeiffer and Efron put in the two best performances of the film, being sympathetic and likeable (a unique achievement here) and it’s a crying shame that this bit is buried beneath the rest of it.
It still isn’t good enough to get a pass, but there are signs of some intelligence at work, and with a bit of finagling this could have been an actual passable date movie, as the solutions to her idiotic wish list are both surprising and clever (albeit one is contrived), and this is as close as the film gets to being acceptable. Unlike the next section:
The New Year’s Douche and the Fugly singing chick stuck in a lift.
Pointless cameo: Jim Belushi
Ashton Kutcher plays some cunt whose name I’ve forgotten. He’s one of the most obnoxious, pretentious, punchable hipster cunts that I’ve seen on screen in a while (since Scott Pilgrim, actually). He hates New Year’s Eve (understandable, for reasons laid out above), but instead of just avoiding it, like most sentient human beings, he runs around his apartment’s floor ripping other people’s decorations up. On the way to the bin, he’s caught in a lift with Lea Michele, a back-up singer (we’ll get to this in a moment) who somehow managed to get her face caught in the lift door on the way in. Alright, I’m being facetious, but she is goddamned fugly and fucking annoying to boot. Can she draw him out of his grinchy shell to love and revel in New Year’s Eve?
Course she can. First of all, she manages to work out that the cunt hates New Year’s Eve because he was dumped by his girlfriend on this day about 10 fucking years ago (what a pathetic dickhead), and secondly, she’s got the power of awful song. So, poor old Ashton is stuck in a lift with a chick with a face like a bulldog licking piss of a nettle who has to meet a contractual requirement by signing god-awful power ballad meets R n B claptrap at him. Obviously, she’s reluctant to do this, but is inspired by the mesh window covering and the ball dropping in Times Square so feels a need to share this with us. That was nice of her. In return, Ashton gives her a picture of a Robot he’s drawn (actually one of the most unintentionally funny moments in the film).
Eventually she gets out, and makes her way to Times Square to sing in Jensen’s (more on THIS MASSIVE CUNT in a moment), “One of the World’s hottest music stars” drivelly and painful New Year’s Eve concert. Except she’s dropped something, so Ashton, in his pyjamas , rushes to Times Square to see her agonising rendition of Auld Lang Syne. She’s so bad, actually, that if anyone could work out how to fit a dynamo to Rabbie Burns’ coffin then we could use the dead Scottish Alky’s revolving corpse to solve the energy crisis.
By the way, the only reason for the singing is that she was in Glee, and it’s for soundtrack sales. I fucking hate this shit.
Oh, and they fall in love. Obviously. Because they aren’t both hateful self-absorbed arseholes.
This, believe it or not, isn’t the worst section of this film. It’s close, because she’s meant to be all winsomely sweet and shit and isn’t, and the singing is fucking atrocious, but there’s far, far worse to come.
The Psychotic Breeding Competition.
Pointless Cameo Spot: Momma Astrodyke Carla Gugino. For fuck’s sake.
It’s New Year’s Eve, and someone who I’ve forgotten is running a competition with a cash prize for the baby born closest to 12am. On one hand, we’ve got the Byrne’s (Jessica Biel and Seth Meyers) and on the other the Schwab’s (Sarah Paulson and Til Schweiger, overacting horribly). They’re both desperate for the cash and so are attempting to bribe the physicians to perform a C-Section (Carla thankfully tells that Meyers cunt that he’s skirting a rectal exam if he keeps up like this) as close to midnight as possible.
THE RACE IS ON! WHICH NAUSEATING SET OF CUNTS WILL SPAWN CLOSEST TO THE MAGIC HOUR?
Obviously, there’s a strong rivalry at work here and it’s oh-so-fucking-funny watching Biel eat anchovies in an attempt to induce labour. Anyhoo, the couples hate each other, for some reason, until the magic of having your first child (and New Year’s Eve, natch) causes Meyers to be grateful for what he’s got in a not-at-all-contrived piece of writing and give up the prize to the Schwab’s because they need the money more.
This, actually, is a candidate for worst section. It’s not funny, all four characters are fucking awful cunts utterly undeserving of having children, Carla is utterly wasted as the obstetrician from hell (because she’s an idiot hippy) and the ending is so sick-making and predictable that I actually want to cut the writer’s ( Katherine Fugate) fingers off. Oh and there’s no point at all casting Sarah Paulson in this bit. You could pick any waitress in Hollywood and she’d give the same performance- I think the character only has one line, and isn’t even on camera for most of it.
However, despite it being absolutely awful and entirely humour free, this isn’t the worst story.
The dying old cunt waiting for his ball to drop.
Pointless Cameo: The Dread Pirate Roberts (Cary Elwes), Common (as the soldier)
Robert De Niro is dying. Well, he’s not, but this is his lowest moment since Rocky and Bullwinkle. He’s got terminal cancer, and has given up hope. All he wants is to relive some of his happiest moments by going up to the roof, in the freezing cold, and watching the ball drop.
Halle Berry is the poor bitch stuck with the thankless task of basically nodding sympathetically while this self-indulgent old cunt rattles on. Eventually his daughter (more on her in a second) turns up, they make up, go up to the roof to reminisce, then the old fuck croaks.
Halle goes home in her party dress and records an awful “I love you” message for her soldier boyfriend in Iraq.
This is very, very nearly the worst section. It tries hard to be, and watching a once great actor debase himself like this for a paycheck is painful for anyone with fond memories of his other roles. Halle’s message to her serving boyfriend is just the cherry on the shit sundae.
The Times Square fiasco.
Pointless Cameo (ready for this): Matthew Broderick, Alyssa Milano, utter cunt Ryan Seacrest, and others too many to mention.
Hilary Swank is vice chair something or other of the Times Square committee. Her entire responsibility is to make sure the ball goes up the pole and then comes down again. However, she fires head electrician Kaminski (Hector Elizondo) and the ball inevitably sticks half way up.
So, Hilary is called into action to give a speech explaining the meaning of New Year’s Eve to us. This, incidentally, is diabetes inducing horseshit of the worst sort, and insultingly, isn’t even the meaning of New Year’s Eve. It’s what that talentless writer wants the meaning of New Year’s Eve to be for the film.
Anyhoo, Hector comes back, removes all element of doubt by fixing the ball. She has a re-a-a-a-lly interesting conversation with Mr “Buellerston” played by Matthew Broderick (for shame), and then realises that there’s somewhere she needs to be for midnight. The film, incidentally, has been cock-teasing and making us think that she’s meeting up with Sam (more on this cunt in a moment). However, she’s not, she’s actually Bobby’s daughter and has to commit euthanasia by taking the old bugger up to the roof and allowing him to freeze to death while they reconnect. Anyhow, he croaks, and she gets taken by Alyssa Milano to look at babies, because it’s all about the circle of fucking life and whatnot.
This section is awful. Swank puts in probably the worst performance of the lot and it’s one phony tear-drop away from me smashing the laptop. However, believe it or not, this still isn’t the worst bit.
The International Cock Star who just wants to be loved.
Pointless Cameo: Sofia Vergara as ethnic stereotype number 1
It’s clearly time for me to introduce you to Jensen. Jensen is a rock colossus, standing astride the New Year’s festivities in Times Square with his cock out just waiting to fuck our fragile little minds.
Well, actually, he isn’t. He’s Bon Jovi without the mullet and Living on a Prayer (which makes him pointless).
Anyhow, he’s in love with the chef, who is played by the antichrist of Romantic Comedies: Katherine Heigl. She’s doing the catering for the worst music industry party in history, and he’s doing the singing.
But all is not well in the kitchen on this festive evening. No, apparently, Jensen (the cad) dumped the pan faced moaning bitch a year ago, and he’s realised he’s made a horrible mistake and dearly wants her back, because life as an international rock star isn’t fulfilling when he could be eating her cooking instead of banging groupies by the truckload and taking enough blow to make Tony Montana feel a bit queasy. Actually, this bit would be massively improved if Tony did pop out and start wasting people with his little friend.
Anyhow, blah fucking happens, and then Jensen and Chef realise they do love each other after all and she’ll give him another chance, which is partially induced by the fact that he got her this life changing gig doing the catering for an industry event. P.S. Fugu-poison-fish writer, I’ve been at countless music industry events and not once has anyone ever given a fuck about the catering, and if this is the biggest night of her career, why not have her ACTUALLY DO SOME FUCKING WORK RATHER THAN MOPE ABOUT LIKE A USELESS CUNT.
This is another candidate for worst bit of the film, the presence of Heigl practically demands it, but the cherry here is Vergara and Russell Peters who play insulting ethnic stereotype sous chef’s one and two. Peter’s Indian accent is one step below Mickey Rooney in Breakfast at Tiffany’s Chinese one, and Vergara may be actually Latina, but that does not mean that it is ever acceptable to slather her fucking tongue in guacamole while she wonders around talking utter crap trying to star fuck Bon Jovi. Fucking awful.
Nevertheless, this still isn’t the worst bit.
The Besuited Music Industry Douchebag and the race to New York City.
Pointless Cameo: Yeardley Smith (for one).
Josh Duhamel is Sam. Sam is meant to be a big music industry heir studmuffin. Except he isn’t, because this isn’t that type of film. He’s actually, a moping, drippy, obnoxious dickhead of the highest calibre. He’s trapped at a wedding outside of New York, but has to make it back to the city in time to give a speech, and meet the love of his life at exactly midnight. Except he doesn’t know her name, and all he’s got is a fucking napkin (well-soiled by now, as he’s been using it for a cum rag for 12 months).
Anyway, he hitches a ride back to the city with Pastor Flynn and family, and tells the story to the accompaniment of Grandpa (Jack McGee) saying inappropriate stuff like “I could tap that ass” every 3 words.
He makes it back, obviously, and gives a hi-fucking-larious speech that inspires the female waiting staff to offer him a threesome, which he turns down because he has to go to the bistro to meet his one true love. Who is…
Not telling yet, because it’s in the next bit. However, this is a fucking awful segment performed with no interest by actors, particularly Smith, who can and frequently do do better. It still isn’t the worst bit though.
The Kentucky Derby Winner and the Daughter on the Run.
Pointless Cameo: I do believe there isn’t one, because this bit isn’t worth it.
Abigail Breslin is Hailey. Hailey is 15 and has a case of hot pants, not to mention a horrendous social group. She wants to go out and par-fucking-tay on New Year’s Eve, but her relentlessly psychotic possessive mother, Kim, played by Sarah Jessica Parker, has the lamest New Year’s Eve ever planned out.
Clearly desperate to break out of the cycle of child abuse that she’s stuck in, she sneaks out of the window to go and meet her douchebag boyfriend and kiss him on the magic hour. Except, OH NO, she sees him making out with some other girl. Except it’s all OK, because he explains it to her afterwards and they share a tender kiss in a restaurant.
In the meantime, SJP learns a lesson about smothering her daughter through too much attention. Except she doesn’t, what she actually does is ditch her daughter to break into the theatre where she’s costume designer to steal a posh dress to go and meet her date at a certain place… Yup, it’s Sam, who apparently would rather turn down a threesome with two relatively attractive young women to go and pork an octogenarian shoe-fetishist with the personality of post-rabies Cujo. Good choice, man, well done.
This is the worst bit. The characters are hateful, the writing fluctuates between nauseating and contrived, and the performances are just truly dreadful, especially from Breslin who doesn’t seem to give a fuck. Furthermore, as is inevitable in any New York set film that casts Sarah Jessica Parker, there are multiple painfully unfunny and crow barred in jokes referring to shoes. Because Sex and the City is some kind of zombie monster that JUST WON’T FUCKING DIE no matter how hard you hit it.
Every time the film flipped round to this section, a bit of me died inside. It’s some achievement in a movie as obnoxious as this one for one section to stand head and shoulders above the rest in terms of misery induced, but thanks solely to the heinous presence of Sarah Jessica Parker, it somehow managed it.
Overall, this is wank. Terrible, awful, painful wank. Think masturbation with sandpaper for an analogy. It’s unfocused, the link between the stories doesn’t function properly, most of the cast don’t give a fuck, there’s not one intentional funny joke, it misses being heart-warming by a country mile, and is instead just sickening, and I can honestly say that New Year’s Eve is legitimately one of the worst films of last year and one of the worst romantic comedies of all time. I can’t rate this low enough, but needless to say it can have an Orangutan of Doom, and I hope everyone involved in this shit develops a prolapsed rectum.
What’s especially galling is the Pfeiffer section, which had the potential to be so much better (and by that I mean mediocre), but instead it’s smothered under a whole farm’s worth of manure, and as a result utterly destroyed by the horror around it.
Finally, I bet you’re wondering who I blame for this fucking fiasco. Well, firstly, I obviously blame Droid. Secondly, I blame Richard Curtis. New Year’s Eve is another one of those Love, Actually glucose-sticky spunk fests that are made by people that hate cinema for people that hate cinema. This film is so clearly aimed at hard-of-thinking women that enduring it and its loathsome ilk isn’t so much a “date movie” as an exercise in screaming torture. Think Marathon Man, but you’re strapped in the fucking chair while the director, Garry Marshall, that cunt that made Runaway Bride (another awful movie) goes at your teeth without anaesthetic. The only way you can normally get me to watch one of these films is a Clockwork Orange style chair and eyelid clamp. Incidentally, I’m not convinced this shit is effective date movie material. Every woman that I’ve ever gone out with would not be inclined to put out just because I’d inflicted this crap on them, and a few would have been actively angry. I’m almost convinced that both sexes just want, you know, actual good movies, rather than exercises in phony manipulation attached to a woefully fake happy ending. But above all else, I blame my parents, because if they hadn’t raised me properly then I’d have reneged on my end of the agreement. Damn you, upbringing, damn you!
Incidentally, and this isn’t particularly relevant, what the fuck Is the point of making a film based around a significant date and then releasing it three weeks before the date? Also, it isn’t as if there’s any fucking competition around this time of year. The whole thing is so catastrophically stupid that it really is likely to induce a fucking stroke in me if I keep thinking about it.
Fuck this film,