Every year when the New Year rolls around, one emotion rises up in us above all else. That emotion is hope. Hope of a better year, hope of change, hope of love.
And it’s this hope that draws me in and makes the movie New Year’s Eve an annual tradition for my wife and me to watch on New Year’s Eve.
As a 2011 compilation film, we start the movie by following 8 stories full of hope, although for vastly different reasons.
Though it’s full of A-list talents like Robert DeNiro, Zac Efron, and Michelle Pfeiffer, no one puts in an Oscar quality performance. While they are solid and believable in their roles, we just don’t spend enough time with any one character to fully see any character nuances.
The director, Gary Marshall, the same man who directed Pretty Woman, does a great job cutting the multiple stories into something that is not a disjointed dumpster fire. Finding the right time to jump between stories that all run parallel to each other can be rough. Especially when they are only connected through off-screen relationships that are barely mentioned.
Theme and Tone
With each story having different plots and characters with thinly veiled connections, each story’s theme and tone connect in a deeper way. The two biggest themes that run through each story is that of love and hope.
In each story, there is at least one character that has something in their past they regret. These regrets range anywhere from pushing away family to being unhappy with themselves.
This all rolls back to the hope that New Year’s Eve brings everyone, be it in love or just being a better person. Every year we get that chance to hit the reset button and start over in anyway that we want.
While most critics dislike this film, the theme of hope and love pulls me in and entertains me. While this film didn’t win any awards and the format can be tough to follow, the central theme is what keeps me coming back year after year.