A film critic’s guidebook: how to trash “New Year’s Eve” (2011)
8 January 2012
From the Guardian‘s podcast, Film Weekly, in a conversation between Jason Solomons and Xan Brooks (I believe their dryness and Englishness come through in the transcription):
JS: New Year’s Eve was brought to you by the people who gave us Valentine’s Day only last year…
XB: Yes it was, wasn’t it…
JS: So successful was that that they thought they’d do it again with another kind of yearly, uh, event. Does it work?
XB: Well it’s got the ticking time code, hasn’t it, which makes it look like an old-school disaster movie.
JS: What, the race against the clock?
XB: The race against the clock, the all-star cast. But what they’re racing up to is the dropping of the ball. The ball drop of New Year’s Eve. They probably should have called this Ball Drop, shouldn’t they? That would’ve been fun. And you’ve got all the intersecting lives, and there are connections that maybe we don’t know about but it’ll turn out that these characters know each other more than we think they do…
JS: Should we explain for our non-US resident listeners that the ball drop is what happens in Times Square every midnight. I think a big glittery ball seems to drop down on the countdown to midnight. It’s a big deal, apparently.
XB: It is, and they always have the prior year underneath the ball to get squashed. New York tradition.
JS: That’d be great, wouldn’t it?
XB: It would. I’d like to put some of the cast under that as well.
JS: The whole cast, really, and the director.
XB: Yeah. It’s sort of Magnolia on Prozac for morons, isn’t it?
JS: Is it the worst film ever made?
XB: It’s one of them. I almost think it’s not a film. It’s a hydra-headed beast of corporate evil.
JS: Isn’t it? Because the product placement is everywhere.
XB: Everywhere! And it’s a lifestyle commercial in the guise of a festive film full of product placements, full of absolutely empty, vapid characters…
JS: …and Jon Bon Jovi!
XB: …and Jon Bon Jovi. Who’s obviously there for the youth kind of audience, isn’t he.
Let’s all race out to see it, shall we?