The new year might not be here yet but the movies celebrating the onset of 2012 have started releasing already. Shirin Mehrotra reviews the latest sugar-coated romance drama that hit the theatres this week.

Cast: Hilary Swank, Sarah Jessica Parker, Ashton Kutcher, Halle Berry, Robert De Niro, Jessica Beil, Josh Dulhamel, Bon Jovi, Michelle Pfieffer, Abigail Breslin, Katherin Heigl, Zack Efron, Russel Peters

Director: Garry Marshall


What did Garry Marshall do after directing the beautiful Pretty Woman? He made Valentine's Day and New Year's Eve in quick successions and ruined it all. There can actually be a contest: spot 10 differences and win prizes. The two are almost a replica of each other with even the posters looking same.

Apart from the excess sugar, love and hope, the movie has a story which is set in the bedazzling New York City on new year's eve. The stories of different individuals begin or end at the strike of midnight hour. As the big ball on Times Square drops, speeches are made, wishes are fulfilled and kisses are exchanged.

With so many actors in the movie you might just get confused if you don't concentrate hard enough. Since there is a challenge of showing multiple stories in limited time the characters don't grow on you hence no emotional connect. Stories are mostly predictable with just one or two interesting twists and a quarter of a funny moment. I wish the director had spent as much time on the script as he spent on the genuinely funny end credits. And if they didn't have a script we don't see a reason why the entire movie needs one.

There's nothing much for the actors to do with the limited screen space they get. Even award-winners like Hilary Swank, Halle Berry and Robert De Niro are wasted. Russel Peters gets his 10 seconds of fame which he fails to encash. The whole Indian accent thing makes for a good stand-up act but doesn't work for the film.

Remember Sofia Vergara from The Modern Family? If you like her Spanish accent you might find her funny here too. Bon Jovi plays a singer but the two songs sung by him don't add any spark. As for the rest of them, they all look old. So much so that even the heavy make-up doesn't help.

Those who love all things sweet and mushy can be happy because now they have Love, Actually for Christmas, Valentine's Day for...err...Valentine's Day and the latest one for their many new year's eves to come.