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All-star cast falls short of greatness in 'New Year's Eve'

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A review of Warner Brothers Pictures 'New Year's Eve'

By Becca Owsley

To follow up director Garry Marshall’s flop “Valentine’s Day,” he now adds another holiday titled film to his resume in “New Year’s Eve.”

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Half of Hollywood seems to have showed up for this one as a variety of story lines weave together to celebrate New Year’s Eve.

The concept of a multi-story film with multiple celebrities is not new. The British comedy “Love Actually” set the bar high for this kind of movie and other films often slip under that bar.

There’s nothing overly wrong with “New Year’s Eve” but there’s nothing exceptionally right about it either. It is what it is.

What it does have going for it is that the film is the only romantic comedy offered in theaters right now. If you are interested in a cute chick flick, this one will do the trick.

The set up is pretty flat. It introduces star after star after star and finally gets into a flow of storytelling.

But once it does get into a flow, the storylines are cute and some are quite touching. I found it a bit predictable but many viewers in the screening seemed surprised about story conclusions.

Despite the almost 30-year age difference, the storyline between Michelle Pfeiffer and Zac Efron is sweet and the story surrounding Robert De Niro is touching. Pfeiffer embraces the older woman in a character role and it works in the film. I hope it opens her up to similar character roles in the future.

The actors you expected to shine do so and the ones expected to be funny are funny. Ashton Kutcher and Lea Michele’s segment is flat and a surprise appearance by Sara Jessica Parker’s husband, Matthew Broderick, is a nice touch.

Hector Elizondo has been in every Marshall film since “Pretty Woman” and appears in “New Year’s Eve” along with a long list of Marshall’s relatives, including his sister Penny (Laverne from “Laverne and Shirley”).

The outtakes at the end are hilarious and leave you with a laugh. Also, see if you can spot a major blooper in one of the crowd scenes.

The film is cute and will work to get your chick-flick fix this season but it’s not a must-see. What will Marshall do next, “St. Patrick’s Day” or “Flag Day,” perhaps?

Becca Owsley can be reached at (270) 505-1741. For movie reviews visit her reporter page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/Becca-Owsley/96924584861.

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