Friday Flicks: Is New Year’s Eve the Worst Possible Way to See Out 2011?

Grab some popcorn! NewsFeed's Glen Levy brings you the movies you should check out (or avoid) this weekend.

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New Year’s Eve

Tagline: Let The Countdown Begin

Considering that the Christmas season seems to be upon us come summer, you can hardly blame filmmakers for being on the early side with New Year’s, too. To that end, director Garry Marshall (who did so much for that other event date, Valentine’s Day) bestows upon us New Year’s Eve, which contains one of those ensemble casts where it would easier to list the actors not appearing.

But that would hardly be in the spirit of the occasion, would it? And so the likes of – here we go! – Halle Berry, Jessica Biel, Katherine Heigl, Sarah Jessica Parker, Michelle Pfeiffer and Hilary Swank go toe for toe – or at least scene for scene – with (deep breath!) Robert De Niro, Josh Duhamel, Ashton Kutcher and Zac Efron. Believe us, we’re only scratching the surface.

Why are they all there, apart from seeing in the new year with a healthy bunch of zeros in their bank accounts? Because we’re being treated to intertwining stories featuring a group of New Yorkers as they navigate their way through romance over the course of the most overhyped day in the calendar. And who could have possibly seen that coming?

The critics don’t seem overly impressed. “Mayans might have predicted the end of the world in 2012, but could they have known that the countdown to eternal hellfire would begin with Garry Marshall’s New Year’s Eve?” begins the Village Voice‘s review (and that might have been the kindest comment contained in it). “Each plot thread is worse than the last,” notes Time Out New York while the AP is of the opinion that “If there is some kind of world record for schmaltz, this may have set it.” At least on the plus side, Kutcher plays a guy who hates New Year’s Eve. We couldn’t think of a better way for him to find his way back into our good graces.

LIST: TIME’s Worst Movies of 2011

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