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Movie: New Year’s Eve – Pension Pot Movie. Review in 3 Acts.


Cast of New Year's Eve


New Year’s Eve – Garry Marshall

A Pension Pot movie manufactured in 3 Acts

Act 1

Scene: Office of an imaginary New Year’s Eve Executive Producer: not the real one Diana Pokorny. (I tremble at the possibilities of nicknames here: do your own thing and I’ll save the legal costs).

Somewhere in Hollywood – early morning. Circa: August 2011.

EP: (to secretary): OK Jay I wanna get this all done today. We’ll split ‘em up: I’ll take Bobby, Mitch, Jessie, Ash, Hal and Zac; you ring the rest. Okay?

Jay: But who shall I ring?

EP: Anyone who’s not at the beach. Think Horror not Art: more body-count than casting.

Jay: What’s the pitch?

EP: Pension Pot baby: sell us your name and build up your pot.

Jay: How big’s the pot?

EP: Don’t be specific but I guess it’ll do about $20mill before the word gets around. As long as we release before Christmas.

Jay: Word?

EP: That the movie sucks.

Jay: We’re making a movie we know in advance will suck? Why?

EP: You’re kidding me.

Jay: No. I don’t get it.

EP: Money Honey. Catch up.

Jay: How long will we need them?

EP: I reckon we can knock ‘em off in an afternoon. Say a day’s shooting to be on the safe side.

Jay: Who’s done the screenplay?

EP: That’s next.

Jay: We haven’t got a writer?

EP: Man up Jay. Don’t panic. It ain’t War and Peace. We’ve got an outline. Ring round. Someone will still be hung-over from last night. They can knock off something before they sober up.

Jay: What’s the story?

EP: New Year’s Eve. New York. Writes itself. We’ve got 10 story-lines running about 12 minutes each. Pick n’ mix: mostly romance; someone on the way out for a bit of pathos – I can sell that to Bobby. Gotta stir something in for JonBonJo or we don’t get the songs. Need an end twist and a bit of tension. Probably a bit of trouble with the Crystal Ball.

Jay: Electrifying.

EP: Are you taking the piss?

Jay: No I mean a problem with the electrics on the ball.

EP: That’s good. Hey we could even have someone stuck on it as it goes up.

Jay: It comes down.

EP: Where’s the tension in that? Anyway the bloody thing has to go up before it comes down doesn’t it?

Jay: I guess. Anything else?

EP: That’ll do for now. Push hard J we’ve gotta wrap this up in a coupla months.


Act 2

Later that day. Same Office.

Intercom: Mr de Niro for you.

EP: Bobby. I got that movie for you. (pause)

For the Focker Fund.  To boost the pension pot. Hang on I’m going hands free. (pause)

No Bobby. The phone. That still isn’t funny.

RdN: How much?

EP: For you. Five. Give or take.

RdN: How long?

EP: Few days. Max.

RdN: Send it. (hangs up)

EP: What a Pro. A Star.

(to intercom)
 Who’s next J?

Jay: Mr Kucher for you.

EP: Ash! Hi. That New Year’s Eve movie – you in? (pause)

One, maybe two. (pause) OK two.

Just putting you on hands-free.

No. No one’s ever done that one Ash. Funny.

OK I’ll put you back on hand-held. (pause) No Ash, that’s not funny at all. (pause)

Coupla days. Maybe three.

OK no make-up. (pause)

I don’t give a rat’s arse how long your hair is (pause)

OK – you can stay in your pyjamas if that’s what you want.

Still working the script. It’ll be a breeze. Just do that dopey, er, loopy grin thing you do and look cool. You’ll be a knock out. (pause)

Not cast yet. But she’ll be a looker. No Ash l’, l’ looker. You’ll maybe get stuck in a lift.

Ash. Ash. You there?

(To intercom) Next one Jay.

Jay: Miss Parker for you.

EP: Hey Jessie P. How are you? (pause) Sorry Sarah – I forgot. No won’t happen again. Promise. Yeah I guess it does sound different.

(Reaches for the loudspeaker button. Pauses. Stops. Puts hand over mouthpiece. Mutters).
No f**king way. Not with (sarky voice) Saaaaarrraahhh Jessica Parker.

New Year’s Eve. It’s on. You still OK? (pause)

Artistic issues you say? OK Shoot – I’ll answer them if I can. (pause)

One and a Half. Maybe Two. (pause) OK Two. (pause)

You don’t want a percentage. (pause)
Because after the first few weeks of release it won’t make any money. (pause)

Well New Year’s a bit of a one off you know? It’s hard to keep the fun going much beyond January and that’s stretching it. So zilch DVD’s I reckon.

No. I can’t roll up your percentage to make it three ‘cos 5% of not much is not much more. (pause)

She’s a Mom worried about her teenage kid doing New Year in Times Square on her own. Sokay Jess…Sarah – a very young looking teenager. And we’ve got you a great frock.

(Hangs up. Calls out through the door) Jaaayyy!

Jay: (through the intercom) I wish you’d stick to this.
I have Mitch for you

EP: Mitch, great to hear from you. (pause)

OK, I understand, if you’re gonna do it you want it to be good. Don’t worry, it’s only an outline, we can flesh it out. I think the chemistry between you and Zac will be great. (pause)

She’s not a pathetic wimp Mitch; she’s a lady who sees life passing her by and wants to do all the things on her list that she’s missed out on. Trust me Mitch the audience will buy it: Michelle Pfeiffer and Zac Efron get it together on New Year’s Eve: who’s not gonna buy into that? Yeah: we could always do a pass on ‘Ingrid’. No resonance.

No. The flying by wire stays in. (pause) It’s fun Mitch. Well OK maybe I wouldn’t think it was so much f**king fun if I was the one flying. C’mon Mitch you can do that kooky grin – they’ll love it.

No. Two’s the best I can do. With the flying.

Pause. Intercom buzzes.

EP: De Niro? Now what does he want? (pause)

Bobby. Whassup? (pause)
Hal. (pause) No Bob not Hal Holbrook – Halle Berry. (pause)

She’s a nurse looking after…..well….er…she’s kinda watching you die Bob. (pause)

Well your ICU nurse getting into the bed with you isn’t standard clinical practice Bob. And you’re all wired up like the kid in Airplane. One false move and the teary re-union scene will be really f**ked. I don’t know whether Halle would be up for it Bob but it will screw the storyline. (pause) The storyline Bob (pause)

I just think a guy supposedly about to pop, hooked up to loads of medical shit like drips and heart monitors, having a valedictory hump with his ICU nurse is a hard sell – an error of tone we might say. Yeah I know you and Halle could pull it off – that’s what worries me. It also doesn’t do much to enhance her next scene skyping the old man in Afghanistan. (pause)

Thanks Bob. You know I’m right.


ACT 3 – The next day.

Office. Jay and EP.

EP: OK J. Let’s check numbers.

I’ve got Hilary Swank, Jessica Biel, Zac Ephron, Seth Myers, Halle Berry, Katie Heigl and Jon Bon Jovi to do. Christ is there anyone in LA not in this bloody movie?

Jay: I’ve done Til Schweiger, Sarah Paulson, Sofia Viagra..

EP: That would be Vergara J.

Jay: Sorry Vergara, Abbi Breslin, Matt Broderick

EP: Who’s Broderick playing?

Jay: Some bloke in a big car who’s Swanky’s boss. S’all we know.

EP: Who the hell is this Ryan Seacrest – playing himself.

Jay: The Radio guy.

EP: I stopped listening to the radio in the 50’s. Who else?

Jay: Mayor Bloomberg called. Said could we donate some of the proceeds of the Premiere to the City.

EP: $100 million bucks-worth of free publicity for the City and he wants cash up front? Tell him we’re thinking of featuring some Democratic contenders for 2013 to balance out. That’ll shut him up.

(phone rings).

EP: Hey Hilary. How goes it? (pause)

I’m sorry Hilly, I know you like to do these things right but I can’t screw with the script yet. Well OK maybe your speech about the spirit of the New Year and loving one another all the year round does make you want to throw up: but c’mon Hilly people love that shit. Don’t forget – this is a feel-good movie. (pause)

Well no I don’t suppose wanting to throw up as you say the lines is very feel-good but people will be in tears. Trust me. No Hilly – tears of sadness not laughter. Well most of ‘em anyway.

So what would help you get over your artistic doubts about the script?

OKAY – Three and a Half.

OK J sum it up for me. Don’t worry about who plays who – no one gives a shit anyway.

Jay: (taking a deep breath)

Grace and James, Tess and Griffin are pregnant and fighting for a $20,000 prize for the first baby of 2012. Hailey’s Mum won’t let her go to Times square for New Year; and cocky young Paul offers to help the timidly older Ingrid do some scary things before she’s too old.

Katherine dumped singer Jensen but he’s gonna fight to get her back and sings half of two crap songs to pull this off. Meanwhile Randy and a girl singer whose name I forget are stuck in a lift for hours with amorous results.

Meanwhile ICU nurse Aimee, missing her husband serving in Afghanistan, is watching Stan cash in his chips which he defers until a reunion of unsurpassed yukkiness.

Lovely Claire, reluctantly charged with getting the broken New York New Year Crystal Ball in Times Square fixed by midnight seeks the help of recently fired electrical genius Kominsky.

Spoilt little rich boy Sam tries to meet a midnight rendezvous with someone he met last year but who buggered off before the ball dropped (New Year that is) and consummation could take place.

There are lots of people wandering around being themselves but doing nothing particular which seems harmless as we didn’t know who they were in the first place.

EP: I’m not sure whether you’re taking this seriously J.

Jay: Oh you should be sure boss. Definitely.

EP: Remind me – who plays Randy?

Jay: Ashton Kucher.

EP: Figures. Must be the pyjamas.

The only star in New Year’s Eve worth buying a ticket to see is New York City herself. She at least never disappoints.

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