Garry Marshall’s mapping of the human heart is set to continue with his upcoming New Year’s Eve, which takes the Love, American Style anthology premise of his defiant hit Valentine’s Day and transfers it wholesale to an all-new holiday, where all-new sitcom contrivances who have never met each other before coincidentally converge into one passable amalgam of a feature-length movie. (Or, in the words of the official description, “The movie tells intertwining stories of a group of New Yorkers as they navigate their way through romance over the course of New Year's Eve.” Only in New York and/or on New Year's Eve!)

Although New Year’s Eve is still in its planning stages, many actors are already being approached to provide the single-note solos of characters like “the guy who hates New Year’s Eve” for some reason to be resolved near film’s end (returning Valentine’s Day star Ashton Kutcher) and the career-driven woman who “produces the annual Times Square broadcast” yet can’t seem to find the time for herself but probably will by film’s end (Hilary Swank). Also rumored to be “circling” the production: Michelle Pfeiffer as a “frustrated executive secretary who decides to tackle her unfulfilled resolutions,” and her Stardust co-star Robert De Niro as “a bitter, dying man in a hospital.” Oh good, so it’s got some pathos. If De Niro and Pfeiffer sign on, look for Marshall’s next ensemble holiday comedy to get a slight boost in prestige. (Arbor Day, starring Dame Judi Dench as the host of a successful TV gardening show—but whose marriage is “dying on the vine,” get it?—and Al Pacino as an aging misanthrope who once witnessed a ficus tree kill his wife.)

Advertisement