New Year's Eve, a schlock ensemble love-o-rama timed for the season of easy good feeling, is a movie I often found myself laughing at in ridicule, and one that also gave me a lump in the throat. So I guess you could say I had a good time. The movie, like last year's Valentine's Day, was written by Katherine Fugate and directed by Garry Marshall, and I can just imagine Marshall showing up on the set to basically shout seven words: ''Action!'' ''All right, everybody, overact!'' ''Okay, cut!''
If you had to pick the cheesiest subplot, your head might explode. Is it Jon Bon Jovi as a rock star trying to win back the fiancée he dumped a superchef played by Katherine Heigl, who looks as if she can barely slice a pineapple? Is it Ashton Kutcher as a smirk-aleck stuck on a grimy elevator with an agonizingly sincere backup singer (Lea Michele)? Is it Hilary Swank as a Times Square exec who saves the dropping New Year's Eve ball from mechanical failure? (She calls...Kominsky! A repairman with funny Russian accent!) Or is it Robert De Niro as a dying man with a bucket-list wish so wispy that the entire anecdote seems designed to let De Niro shoot his scenes in less than an hour? New Year's Eve is dunderheaded kitsch, but it's the kind of marzipan movie that can sweetly soak up a holiday evening. B-