Film Review – New Year’s Eve

It’s the end of the year, ’tis the season for Oscar-bait, and critics are sharpening their pencils. Best and Worst of 2011 lists are being compiled, and, for many critics, this rather timely piece has arrived just in time for inclusion on the latter. Critics have rarely been more unified in their disgust at this latest offering from Gary Marshall. The truth of the matter is this; it doesn’t deserve a place on either list.
I have to be honest, I’m not understanding why there’s so much hatred out there for this film. Yes, it has its faults. I rolled my eyes (more than) once or twice. Yes, it’s very American-centric (I’m afraid nobody outside of the US cares about the Times Square glitterball. Or beyond the East coast, for that matter). Yes, it celebrates youthful beauty. Yes, for a film that covers many stories, it’s completely hetero-centric. And yes, it’s emotionally manipulative.
But it is what it is, no more no less. It’s basically a rehash of the similar Valentine’s Day and Love Actually, and falls somewhere between the two, in terms of quality. In other words, it’s pretty much what you expect it to be. At a push, I can understand a sniffy critic, being forced to watch something they consider beneath them, would find it all rather underwhelming. Originality is not the film’s strength, but neither is it its selling point. So if you make the choice to see it, but hate it… seriously, what were you expecting?
In a year where utterly hateful crap like Hanna and Kill List get critical acclaim, I’m more than happy to stand up for a silly, even forgettable rom-com. I, like many people, am rather fond of silly rom-coms (despite being very very happily single), and make no apologies for it.

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