If you can have Hilary Swank, Katherine Heigl, Michelle Pfeiffer and Lea Michele for the holidays, it won’t be just another New Year’s Eve. Director Garry Marshall assemble these talented ladies together for New Line Cinema’s romantic comedy “New Year’s Eve” which celebrates love, hope, forgiveness, second chances and fresh starts, with intertwining stories told amidst the pulse and promise of New York City on the most dazzling night of the year.
The focal point of the film is the countdown to 2012, represented by the ceremonial “ball drop” in Times Square. Imagine one person being responsible for seeing that this spectacle goes off without a hitch, live, while the eyes of the world watch… and that would be Claire, portrayed by Hilary Swank.
Swank, who trained with her real-life counterpart for the role, admits, “I had no idea of what goes on behind the scenes. As an audience member you think someone pushes a button and it just happens, but there is so much that can go wrong. From the time you meet Claire to where the story ends there are a lot of dramatic and funny things that happen on that platform, any of which could potentially ruin the entire event—not to mention her career.”
As she struggles with the logistics of keeping it all on track, while holding the media at bay and trying to keep everyone’s midnight appointment with tradition, she is privately mindful of another important appointment she means to keep when all the hoopla is over.
Katherine Heigl plays Laura, the girl Jon Bon Jovi’s character, Jensen, let slip away. Although still hurt and angry about the way they parted a year ago, Laura has gone on with her life and earned her own measure of success, parlaying her culinary talents into a growing catering business. Tonight she’s handling her highest-profile job ever: an exclusive New Year’s Eve bash for the rich and famous… at which Jensen is scheduled to perform.
“It all comes to a head at the party,” says Heigl. “Their meeting is immediately contentious. Without warning, Laura just slaps him, out of nowhere, and storms off, and then you realize they have a history. They were serious about each other once but he moved on without any explanation. He broke her heart and she’s been harboring a lot of resentment ever since, just dreaming of the day when she could let him have it.”
Unbeknownst to Jensen, there could be more trouble ahead. Making her feature film debut, Broadway and television star Lea Michele appears as Elise, the rocker’s newly hired back-up singer, who just got unexpectedly delayed en route to the concert. It’s the worst possible luck, tonight of all nights, on the brink of her first big break. Adding insult to injury, Elise is stuck for the unknown duration with what appears to be the only guy for miles around who could make things even worse: the cynical Randy (Ashton Kutcher).
“It doesn’t start well,” says Michele of the strained exchange between Elise and Randy. “Out of the thousands of people celebrating that night, Elise can’t understand why she got stuck with this one. But as time passes they get to know each other a little. She’s a singer and he’s an artist so they discover that they have more similarities than differences. She’s also curious about what happened to make him feel the way he does.”
An expert on the subject of regrets, Ingrid is “a meek, unassuming soul who has walked the same small circuit of her neighborhood and worked the same thankless job without complaint her entire adult life,” says Michelle Pfeiffer, who takes on the role of the easily overlooked assistant. “Afraid of her own shadow, she’s carved out a simple, safe existence that won’t throw her any surprises.”
Even so, there are surprises in store for her. Ingrid has a heart-pounding brush with mortality and it turns her life around in a dramatic way. Reviewing a list of long-unfulfilled New Year’s resolutions, she finally summons the courage to quit her job, which is the first item on it, and embarks on a quest to cross off as many of the remaining items as possible before the clock strikes twelve.
Opening across the Philippines on Dec. 8, “New Year’s Eve” is a New Line Cinema presentation distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.