By Samantha Ofole-Prince
He’s sold more than 12 million albums domestically, thanks to the blockbuster success of singles “Stand Up,” and “Money Maker,” and has made a seamless transition from music to movies with features such as “Fast Five” and “Hustle & Flow.”
Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, who is currently working on his eighth studio album, “Ludaversal,” can be seen in the Gary Marshall directed project “New Year’s Eve” playing an NYPD officer.
Set in New York on December 31st, the movie features several big names and nearly as many interwoven story lines, with a vast ensemble cast that includes Halle Berry, Jessica Biel, Jon Bon Jovi, Zac Efron, Ashton Kutcher, Sofia Vergara, Sarah Jessica Parker, Robert DeNiro, Hilary Swank and many, many more.
Written by Katherine Fugate (“Valentine’s Day,” “Army Wives”), the flick circles around Swank’s character Claire, the newly promoted Vice President of the Times Square Alliance, as she prepares for the symbolic New Year’s Eve celebration at New York City’s times square.
Bridges is Claire’s best friend Brendan, a New York City police officer.
“Brendan wasn’t even supposed to be working that shift, but he wanted to be there to help Claire because he knows what a big night it is for her, and what a huge responsibility,” says Bridges. “He’s there to boost her confidence if she needs it, to help smooth the way and make sure she’s 100 percent up for everything she has to do.”
With several other interwoven characters including Abigail Breslin (“Little Miss Sunshine”), a teenager hoping to join her friends in Times Square against her mother’s wishes, a pregnant Jessica Biel, who is hoping for the New Year’s first baby and “Glee’s” Lea Michele playing a backup singer, it’s a movie with a dozen plot lines.
Also on the bill is a less than glamorous Michelle Pfeiffer as a disgruntled office assistant. John Lithgow plays her demanding record-label executive boss, while Katherine Heigl is a caterer for a New Year’s Eve party in Time Square.
Billed as a romantic comedy from Garry Marshall, who is known for movie “Pretty Woman”, “New Year’s Eve,” despite the best efforts of its all star cast is low on laughs.
With so many characters and several interwoven stories to explore in such a limited time frame, it’s a film that feels rushed. It lacks character development and more than anything else, it’s boring.
Still, despite these flaws, the movie should have no trouble attracting audiences, at least during the lead up to New Year’s Eve.
This was printed in the December 18, 2011 - December 31, 2011 Edition