New Year’s Eve (12A/PG-13, 118 mins) Director: Garry Marshall
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
An in-concept only follow up to Valentine’s Day, this hideous romantic comedy tracks what appears to be several thousand different characters on a New York New Year’s Eve, taking in births, deaths and marriages, with many of them orbiting Jon Bon Jovi’s rock star, due to play a gig at Times Square where most of them end up gathering. Returning players such as Jessica Biel and Ashton Kutcher take on entirely different characters from those in Valentine’s Day, while the likes of Robert De Niro, Halle Berry and Sarah Jessica Parker get roped into feeble situations constructed with the most flat and uninspired direction and acting imaginable. With an alarming dearth of laughs when it’s not being cloying and obvious, it soon progresses from just being bad to active incompetence, made with a complete lack of care and attention. The only remotely tolerable thread involves Zac Efron helping out Michelle Pfeiffer’s dowdy office worker, but they're forced too frequently to make way for the rest of a catastrophe that makes Valentine’s Day look like His Girl Friday.