Trailers Without Pity: New Year’s Eve

by Ethan Alter December 2, 2011 12:55 pm
Trailers Without Pity: <i>New Year’s Eve</i>

Last year, Garry Marshall gave everyone another reason to hate Valentine's Day by releasing the all-star romantic comedy, Valentine's Day, in which a bunch of obnoxious Angelenos had a variety of misadventures in that crazy little thing called love. The improbable success of that movie convinced Marshall that he should ruin another holiday, so here comes New Year's Eve, in which a bunch of obnoxious New Yorkers have a variety of misadventures while the big Times Square clock ticks down to midnight. Jeeze Garry, why'd you have to go and mess with a holiday we actually like?

I Don’t Know How She Does It: And I Don’t Care

by Ethan Alter September 16, 2011 6:00 am
<i>I Don’t Know How She Does It</i>: And I Don’t Care

A poster child for First World Problems syndrome, I Don't Know How She Does It asks moviegoers to invest in the trials and tribulations of a well-off investment manager who shares a lovely Boston townhouse with her architect husband, their two young children (the eldest of whom attends private school) and a part-time nanny to boot. Considering the troubled state of the economy these days, the amount of privilege on display might be too big a hurdle for some viewers to get over. At the same time though, it's worth remembering that families like this one do still exist in America (in smaller numbers, to be sure) and some of the challenges this particular character faces -- including juggling work and family time, making her marriage work and being there for the kids when they need her -- cut across social and economic divides. Would a movie about an exhausted mom forced to work two jobs in order to support her malnourished kids and out-of-work husband whose unemployment benefits just expired be a more up-to-the-minute reflection of what's going on in the country right now? Of course, but good luck trying to get a major Hollywood studio to greenlight it. If you're in the market for that kind of movie, you're better off waiting until Sundance comes around in January.

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