Hollywood continues its way along the warpath of sucking the soul out of holidays in this tale of New Year's happenings in the Big Apple. Similar in structure to its predecessor, Valentine's Day
, this film's mission is to cram eight featherweight stories into an interlocking epic of heartfelt resolve and requited love. It fails miserably. You could chalk it up to director Garry Marshall's penchant to substitute stars for real people with real problems (Zac Effron is at his bro-iest, Sarah Jessica Parker plays a less sparkly Carrie Bradshaw, Katherine Hiegl wears her 28th dress and Ashton Kutcher is a disenchanted slacker ... yawn). Or you might blame the dragging script that forces the cast to subsist on pure presence and little more. Either way, there's no saving grace to be found for a plot that pimps the struggles of upper-class existence as lofty platitudes on what it means to live and forgive.