Turkey’s still on the menu
ALLOW US A brief diversion before kicking this appalling film’s teeth down its cute little throat.
In 1997, a day after Princess Diana met her fate, I joined a friend for lunch. “I bet they’ll get Elton John into St Paul’s to sing bloody Candle in the Wind,” I said in a smug, never-happen voice. Be careful what you joke about.
Less than two years ago,
emerging from Valentine’s Day, I made a similarly ill-judged crack about how director Garry Marshall might capitalise on its grimly inevitable success. “They’ll probably launch some horrible franchise. We’ll get New Year’s Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving. In a few decades’ time, blameless punters will be asked to endure a compilation of romcoms set on Columbus Day or Labour Day or International Beret Day. Ha ha ha!”
We haven’t quite got there yet. But masochists bored of ramming screwdrivers into their retinas can now enjoy the second film in a cycle that could endure for centuries.
Once again, a thousand actors you used to like have come together to act out 500 dizzyingly hectic, numbingly insubstantial romantic subplots. To get some sense of the level we’re working at, be aware that the film features a foreign woman who, for supposed comic effect, begins every second line with the phrase “Eeen my country . . . ” Wassa matta? You theenk that a leetle patronising? Isssa New Year’s Eve. Lighten up.
Giving an abysmal performance that wipes all memories of former greatness and kicks a sometime genius into the dustbin of shame, Robert De Niro plays a dying man who wants to see Times Square on New Year’s Eve for one last time. An expectant Jessica Biel longs to have the first baby of the year. Hilary Swank is in charge of the big ball that, to the dismay of every other world citizen, New Yorkers long to see slip down a glittery pole. Jean-claude Van Damme plays a lizard-being who plans to unleash a deadly virus at midnight. (Sadly, only one of these is made up.)
No plot is properly developed. All storylines try too hard to include a 12 o’clock deadline. It’ll probably be a smash. Just pray the next instalment isn’t released anywhere near March 17th.
For shame! For shame! Robert “show me the money” De Niro