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New Year'sEve (12A) 4/10: syrupy.

IF any of the myriad stars who populate this sickly sweet seasonal confection are thinking of making a New Year's resolution it should be to steer clear of a sequel.

Director Garry Marshall's romantic comedy is an onslaught of schmaltz, passing off greeting card platitudes as dialogue and repeatedly reminds us the end of one year and the beginning of another is about second chances, hope and forgiveness.

The cast, Oscar nominees and winners, bright young things of stage and screen, all battle valiantly to deliver screenwriter Katherine Fugate's hoary cliches with sincerity.

The plot centres on a cross-section of New Yorkers and out of towners, each of whom faces a momentous decision before midnight.

Terminally ill Stan Robert (De Niro) clings on to life under the care of nurse Aimee (Halle Berry), while in the maternity ward two pregnant couples compete to deliver the first baby of the new year.

Newly promoted vice president of the Times Square Alliance, Claire (Hilary Swank) faces technical hitches with the ceremonial drop of the illuminated ball.

Single mum Kim (Sarah Jessica Parker) clashes with wilful 15-year-old daughter Hailey (Abigail Breslin), while nearby, Randy (Ashton Kutcher) becomes stuck in an elevator with backing singer Elise. Record company secretary Ingrid (Michelle Pfeiffer) offers cycle courier Paul (Zac Efron) four tickets to the hottest party of the year featuring rock star Jensen (Jon Bon Jovi) in exchange for realising her resolutions before midnight.

We've all had better New Year's Eves than this sickly, hollow tosh.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Dec 9, 2011
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