Review: ‘Valentine’s Day,’ now ‘New Year’s Eve,’ what next?


Jon Bon Jovi as Jensen (left) and Lea Michelle as Elise (right) star in ‘New Year’s Eve.’ The movie came to theaters at the Maui Mall Megaplex on Dec. 9, 2011.

By Kiana Kamalu, op-ed editor

The infamous Garry Marshall brings audiences another Valentine’s Day with his new film New Year’s Eve, which came to theaters Friday, Dec. 10, 2011.

New Year’s Eve is what you would expect: A story about love and its struggles on the eve of the New Year. And its characters include the typical cynic, the young lovers, the wounded, and of course, the military couple.

In a nutshell, you could say that Marshall has re-made his 2010 movie Valentine’s Day, just with a different holiday.

Several actors from Valentine’s Day are joined by new actors who make an appearance in New Year’s Eve.  Ashton Kutcher and Jessica Biel return playing different characters who don’t stray far from the same character types they played in the first movie.

New to the latest of the two movies are Alyssa Milano, Robert De Niro, Lea Michele, and Zac Efron. And of course it wouldn’t be a Garry Marshall film without Hector Elizondo (who has appeared in every film that Garry Marshall has directed), comedian Larry Miller, or daughter Kathleen Marshall. And watch for cameos, lots of cameos.

Zac Efron and Jessical Biel particularly stood out for me. It was an entertaining change to see Efron portray a whole new character, who agrees to help Michelle Pfieiffer fulfill a list of resolutions that she made for 2011, but hasn’t carried out yet as the clock ticks down to 2012.

Biel got some good laughs from the audience as a pregnant woman competing to have the first baby of the new year and, therefore, becoming the winner of $25,000. She could have been more convincing in her pregnancy if she had not squished the faux belly on screen so many times, though.

Unfortunately, the storylines were predictable and pretty much shown all in the trailer. I felt Valentine’s Day was more of a success and a lot funnier, maybe because of its uniqueness two years ago. This film left me with the feeling that it had all been done before with different people, different settings, and, of course, a different holiday.

A few scenes did get a chuckle out of me, but the bloopers turned out to be the most comical, so make sure you hang around for the credits if you go.

I have to admit that overall, it was cute and touching, but I suggest you make a New Year’s resolution to wait for this one on DVD. I give it two and a half New Year’s Eve kisses: a peck and two smooches.

New Year’s Eve is now playing at the Maui Megaplex.