The Time’s Square Ball Drop on New Year’s Eve is perhaps to be the most anticlimactic event all year. Thousands of people gather on Time’s Square, many more watch on their TV’s across several time zones (a rather lame thing to be doing on New Year’s Eve in my opinion, go find a party somewhere please), as a medium size ball of light is lowered towards a screen where a Panasonic ad is displayed. The whole thing takes about a minute; and there are no fireworks at the end. So if the last wish of a dying old man (Robert DeNiro) is to see the ball drop one more time from the rooftop of the hospital, I suspect he led a rather boring life.
As you probably expect this movie is a mishmash of crisscrossing stories all happening throughout New Year’s Eve. There are about a dozen well known stars in this film and none of these stories gets more interesting than an old man sitting in a hospital wishing to see the ball drop one last time. The other stories include, but not limited to, a bike messenger helping a closeted woman check off her resolutions; a girl running away from home to kiss her friend at midnight; two strangers getting stuck in an elevator and falling in love; and Jon Bon Jovi having a fight with Katherine Heigel because he dumped her the previous New Year and they haven’t seen each other since.
I found them all quite incredulous. And none of these actors, some who actually have legitimate acting abilities, fail to place any effort on their performance. Why would they? They clearly only signed up to cash a check. No one here set up to do a good movie.
Finally I just want to comment on the shameless, blatant use of product placement in this film. I understand that companies usually sponsor events like the New Year’s Ball Drop; and that yes, Nivea happens to sponsor this particular event every year. But, OMFG! One can only take so much product placement in one film. It is terribly distracting. And it wasn’t just Nivea, but Panasonic, Areopostale, Dunkin’ Donuts, Hard Rock Café, Moët & Chandon, NYU, Tiffany & Co, Pepsi, and many, more. A total of 45 brands signed off to be featured in this film.
I suggest that if you want to see a good set of love vignettes set in New York, that you go rent New York, I Love You instead. The filmmakers in that film actually set up to do quality filmmaking and not a two-hour advertisement. Since when does one have to pay to see ads? I think films like New Year’s Eve should be free for all audiences, let the studios make their money on product placement alone.