SPOILER ALERT! If you intend to see New Year’s Eve, stop reading now. If you already have, or won’t (the film opened to a weak $13.7 million), let’s discuss just a few of the annoyingly far-fetched things that happened in the movie.
1. The kitchen at any corporate New Year’s Eve party would never be that calm. Seriously, did Katherine Heigl’s caterer character do all that food by herself? Not at the speed she cut that pineapple. Though, in her defense…
2. A corporate New Year’s Eve party in New York City — especially if we’re talking about a record label — would never be that poorly attended. And no one was at the bar, so the barmaid had time to hit on Josh Duhamel’s character? Really?
3. No way does a straggly haired guy (Ashton Kutcher) without a pass and wearing pajama bottoms talk his way to the stage area of the Times Square ball drop by saying he’s a drummer for the headliner (Jon Bon Jovi’s Jensen). This is post- 9/11 New York, on New Year’s Eve, with a million people near that stage and the world’s eyes watching.
4. Ellen’s Stardust Diner, on Broadway between 50th and 51st, had open tables on New Year’s Eve after the ball dropped? Even if in the film it doesn’t hold a $125-a-head party that night as it does in real life, the movie assumes everyone in Times Square heads home immediately after the ball drops and the only people who want to stop for a bite/mope are Sarah Jessica Parker’s character and her 15-year-old daughter’s friends.
5. I seriously doubt there would be just two couples going into labor in the city of New York on New Year’s Eve.
6. It’s a lesser offense, but there would never be mounds of trash bags close enough to an intersection during the heavy foot-traffic holiday season in New York City for Michelle Pfeiffer’s character to fall into when a car almost hits her.
7. I know there are many families with large age differences between children, but it felt like the 22-year gap between the siblings played by Zac Efron and Sarah Jessica Parker should have been addressed.
8. I don’t know which part of town Duhamel’s character was waiting in for the woman he met the year before to show, but they were the only two people on the street? Shortly after midnight on New Year’s Eve? In New York?
9. Assuming it was Little Italy — because that’s where movie audiences expect you to go for pizza in NYC — that’s a problem, because there are no horse-carriage rides allowed below 34th St. by NYC law. So Sarah Jessica Parker’s character must have paid that guy, who wasn’t already booked on romantic New Year’s Eve, an extra chunk of change.
10. A million people in Times Square, drunk and armed with noisemakers, would be quiet enough that you could hear a pin drop — or Hilary Swank’s character, Vice President of the Times Square Alliance, giving an inspirational speech about how the ball being stuck on its ascension to its perch reminds us all to take time to reflect.
P.S. I have a message in to the real Times Square Alliance to find out if, as in the movie, the real ball would go dark and immobile if one of the lights shorted out. UPDATE: According to Jeff Straus, President of Countdown Entertainment, which co-produces the Times Square festivities, “The Ball is not like a string of Christmas lights… except in the movies… :)”