By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com July 27, 2011 at 2:20AM
Plus A New Teaser For 'Happy Feet Two'
We're not really fans of December 31st. We've had a couple of good ones, but for the most part, if you go out, it's expensive, crowded and generally underwhelming, if you go to a party everyone's in a reflective, borderline-depressive mood, and if you stay in, you wish you go out. But this year, it appears there'll be an even worse way to spend New Year's Eve: seeing the motion picture "New Year's Eve." A not-quite-sequel to last year's surprise hit "Valentine's Day" which sees director Garry Marshall, writer Katherine Fugate and stars Jessica Biel and Ashton Kutcher (albeit as different characters) all come back for another ensemble romantic comedy set over a single day.
Indeed, from the looks of the trailer that debuted overnight at MSN, it seems to hug so closely to the formula established in the first film that we're not sure Fugate didn't just do a find-and-replace on the character names and hand in the same script -- for every Emma Roberts, there's an Abigail Breslin, for every Taylor Lautner and Taylor Swift, there's a Zac Efron and Lea Michele, for every Hector Elizondo there's a Hector Elizondo, because he saved Garry Marshall's life once or something.
Other than the revelation that Biel is about twice the height of Sarah Jessica Parker, it looks like romantic-comedy-by-the-numbers bullshit of the worst kind, and in the year of "Bridesmaids" and "Crazy Stupid Love," we're not sure there's an excuse for that anymore. Perhaps most curious of all is the way that several cast members are skipped over entirely -- Halle Berry, Jon Bon Jovi, Jessica Biel, Abigail Breslin, Ludacris, Josh Duhamel, Zac Efron, Katherine Heigl, Ashton Kutcher, Lea Michele, Sarah Jessica Parker, Michelle Pfieffer, Hilary Swank, Sofia Vergara -- hell, even Seth Myers and Til Schweiger -- get plenty of face time, but Robert De Niro is barely glimpsed, and the likes of Ice Cube, Carla Gugino, Sienna Miller, John Lithgow and Julie Andrews aren't even mentioned.
Were they lucky enough to be cut out? Are they being held for a sequel, "New Year's Day"? How fucking long will this thing be anyway? Who wants to join us in a suicide pact immediately before the press screening? Anyway, if you're the kind of person that gives their loved ones a box of chocolates for Christmas, you'll be able to treat them to "New Year's Eve" on December 9th. Followed, presumably, in 2013 by "St. Patrick's Day," starring Jessica Biel, Ashton Kutcher, Colin Farrell, Reese Witherspoon, Elle Fanning, DMX, Ed O'Neill, three members of the cast of "Big Bang Theory," Ryan Kwanten, Cuba Gooding Jr, Imogen Poots, Dax Shepard, the wheelchair one from "Glee," Kenan Thompson, Holly Hunter, Helen Hunt, Bonnie Hunt, Linda Hunt, Larry The Cable Guy, Robert Redford, Gerard Butler, Ricky Gervais, the ghost of Jack Lemmon, Alvin, Theodore, Simon, Gabourey Sidibe, Jennifer Lopez, His Excellency Asif Ali Zardari, John Corbett, Kristen Bell and your entire extended family. And Hector Elizondo.
Hitting a few weeks earlier is "Happy Feet Two," the sequel to George Miller's computer-animated hit, and Yahoo have bowed a new trailer, which, like our other sequel trailer today, looks exactly the same as the first film. But now one of the penguins can fly, or something. Elijah Wood and Robin Williams return, with Pink, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon join the cast, and it'll hit theaters on November 18th. "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" is out on the same day. Just saying. Watch both trailers below.