Star-packed cast cozy up for "New Year's Eve"

Tue Dec 6, 2011 1:53pm EST
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By Iain Blair

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - 'Tis the season for serious Oscar-worthy films, and also for light and frothy romantic comedies featuring more A-list stars than you can stuff into a turkey. Romantic comedy "New Year's Eve," released in U.S. movie theaters on Friday, falls into the latter category.

The follow-up to director Gary Marshall's $216 million global hit "Valentine's Day," the holiday movie stars Robert De Niro, Halle Berry, Ashton Kutcher, Hilary Swank, Sofia Vergara, Jessica Biel, Zac Efron, Michelle Pfeiffer, Katherine Heigl, Sarah Jessica Parker, and many more brand name in smaller roles or fleeting cameos.

In the series of inter-connected stories and characters set against the backdrop of New Year's Eve and the ball drop at New York's Times Square, characters look for love and meaning in their lives as they approach the time where one year becomes history and another is open to possibility.

Jon Bon Jovi plays a rock star who headlines the evening's festivities as he tries to rekindle a failed romance with Heigl's character, who happens to be catering the event.

"Glee"s Lea Michele, making her film debut, plays the rocker's new back-up singer who almost misses the performance when she gets stuck in an elevator with Ashton Kutcher's 'not-in-the-party-spirit' character.

The logistical nightmare of scheduling and filming so many stars was "an enormous challenge," Marshall said. "So whoever showed up, we shot, and we followed their stories."

Many in the huge ensemble cast didn't even meet for the first time until a recent media day to promote the movie as they weren't in the same scenes.

The filmmakers also opted to shoot the famous ball drop and crowds in a sub-zero Times Square on December 31, 2010, making it the first feature film to capture the 106-year-old New Year's event live.   Continued...