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New Year's Eve Review

Mayans might have predicted the end of the world in 2012, but could they have known that the countdown to eternal hellfire would begin with Garry Marshall's New Year's Eve? A movie so excruciating that it makes its predecessor, Valentine's Day, seem like Nashville in comparison, NYE reteams Marshall with writer Katherine Fugate, who reprises the same crisscrossing, multigenerational-celebrity-glutted (to list only half of the cast would take up the entire space allotted for this review) multiple plot threads of the earlier film. New York City serves, like Los Angeles did in, as the metropolis flattened by dull location shots and ethnic caricatures: Sofia Vergara, playing a sous-chef, says ay! to boss Katherine Heigl more times in one sentence than in an entire season of Modern Family. Still, that interjection is much more pleasing to the ear than "Love gives us hope. Hope for the New Year." In such a shameless olio of mawkishness, it's difficult to distinguish which of the story lines most outrageously bids for our tears, though I nominate the one involving Robert De Niro as a former "photojournalist in Vietnam" dying of cancer. More troubling is that both VD and NYE have featured perfunctory nods to soldiers overseas, which can mean only one thing: Veterans Day, set in Washington, D.C., is next.

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