Monday, June 11, 2012
I saw the two other "ensemble" movies that preceded this one ("He's Just Not That Into You" and "Valentine's Day") and enjoyed them, so I wanted to see this one once it was announced. Of course, everyone HATED and I mean HATED this movie after it came out, and they blathered about how bad it was, and that dampened my enthusiasm a bit, and I decided to wait for the DVD. I put it in with some trepidation, expecting the worst, and I was shocked because I seriously LOVED this movie. I think it FAR surpasses the other two I mentioned and it's superior in almost every way (of course, because I couldn't ever agree with the majority opinion on something like this).
Movies like this are designed to torture me, because they have a HUGE ensemble of known actors in even small roles, so I spend the whole movie going "hey, it's John Lithgow" or "oh cool, Jon Bon Jovi is in this" or what's worse, I spend the whole movie going "Dammit, I KNOW that woman, who the hell is she?" so it's both fun and annoying. Actors aside, the plot of this movie is one that resonates with me. People facing the prospect of a new year, some ready to celebrate, some struggling to make resolutions and keep them, some sick of the whole mess and ready to hide in their bedrooms and hibernate until the whole hoopla blows over. I can actually relate to all three of those positions, because I've been in all of those places (some years I'm in all three at once). I enjoyed watching people try to do their jobs, try to work up the courage to QUIT their jobs, hope for a first kiss, stew over a broken heart, struggle with the fear of death, miss loved ones, fight with loved ones, prepare for the arrival of a new baby, and a slew of other plot threads that slowly started to wind together into a big tapestry. I love it when stories do that. I spend a lot of time being pissed off at humanity and wanting to distance myself from it as much as possible, but movies like this remind me how connected we all are and how our stories intersect, and it's something that gives me hope, which is always nice to see.
I really don't see why people hated this movie so much. Yeah, it's sappy, but so what? Movies like this are sappy, that's what happens, and the trailer promises exactly what this movie delivers, so it's not like people didn't know what they were getting into. Plus I think the cast was better this time around and the stories developed better than in other similar movies. Yeah, some of it is convenient and a little contrived, but it's not THAT bad, and it's not anything you shouldn't have been expecting with the way this movie was marketed. I dug it, and I plan to buy it and maybe watch it this new year's eve and try to remember the good times along with the bad. Any movie that helps me do that is a good movie in my book.