BALL DROPPINGS | This new trailer for NEW YEAR’S EVE proudly boasts — with confetti and everything! — that it comes “from the people who brought you Valentine’s Day.” Two observations, then: 1.) That phrase needn’t be worded like said “people” did anyone a favor; and 2.) Um, no shit. Because New Year’s Eve is basically the same movie as Valentine’s Day: Both feature Ashton Kutcher (mopey!) and Jessica Biel (shrill!) heading a cross-section of attractive, popular celebrities who mug their way through quasi-romantic, sitcom-esque shenanigans on a crazy eventful holiday. Here, for example, Kutcher is a dude who’s apparently suicidal because he’s trapped in an elevator with Lea “Jazz Hands” Michele, and Biel is an expectant momzilla whose bug-eyed adversarial shtick finally settles the oft-disputed quandary: “Is it wrong to wish God would drop an anvil on a pregnant lady?” Anyway, in tribute to New Year’s Eve’s all-star cast, our own all-star crew thought up a few all-star scenarios for future entries in this franchise. Because the people who brought you — yes, YOU! — Valentine’s Day aren’t going to stop this madness until God drops an anvil on them as well.
Arbor Day: Ashton Kutcher stars as Bodhi, a lovelorn horticulturist at the National Arboretum. Blake Lively plays Willow, Bodhi’s long-distance internet girlfriend, who hopes to meet him for the very first time while she’s visiting her sassy gay cousin (Chris Colfer) in Washington, DC. Bodhi’s hairdresser BFF (Julie Bowen) secretly pines for the boyfriend of her bitchiest client (Jessica Biel): a handsome senator (Greg Kinnear) who’s sponsoring a bill that classifies Arbor Day as a federal holiday. Meanwhile, a workaholic park ranger (Flo Rida) heartwarmingly deals with new responsibilities as a single dad to his angsty teen son (Jaden Smith) after the death of his wife (Zoe Saldana) in a tragic logging accident. And due to a coding goof-up on the personals site NewLeaf.com, a conservative environmental blogger (David Schwimmer) inadvertently winds up on a blind date... with Willow’s sassy gay cousin! But as the evening progresses, sparks fly when both men realize they have more in common than either ever thought possible, and together they learn the true meaning of putting your roots down in new and exciting places. Ke$ha performs “Plant Yr Kiss (on My Face This Arbor Day),” the soundtrack’s hit single. —Jasper
Lincoln’s Birthday: Ashton Kutcher stars as Gabe, a lovelorn Lincoln impersonator and tour guide at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, IL. Gabe has a mega-crush on his non-profit-do-gooder lesbian roommate (Gabrielle Union), whose only dream is to win the NAACP Award for Excellence at the Lincoln Birthday Gala, hosted by Rev. Al Sharpton (Tracy Morgan). But sparks fly when her frenemy/ex-lover (Taraji P. Henson) storms into town — her no-nonsense publicist (Jessica Biel) in tow — and reveals that she’s nominated for the same honor! Though they haven’t seen each other in seven years, there’s enough sexual tension to last four score. Meanwhile, Gabe’s nerdy kid brother (Noah Ringer) is forced to work with the most popular girl in school (Elle Fanning) on a diorama of Lincoln’s assassination at Ford’s Theatre. And an elderly racist curmudgeon (Cloris Leachman) gets a dose of sexy medicine when she’s romanced by a handsome doctor (Terrence Howard) who’s black, much younger, and himself pursued by three bickering nurses (Halle Berry, Sofia Vergara and Zach Galifianakis). Finally, everyone learns the true meaning of commemorating the birthdays of dead presidents when Gabe discovers he’s Lincoln’s long-lost descendant and needs a no-nonsense publicist to deal with his newfound fame. Selena Gomez & The Scene perform “(I Proclaim You Will) Emancipate My Heart,” the soundtrack’s hit single. —Ghostface Millah
Mexican Independence Day: Ashton Kutcher stars as Esteban, a lovelorn handyman at the Seattle Space Needle who’s never truly embraced his Latin heritage. Esteban reluctantly travels to visit his parents (Hector Elizondo and Adriana Barraza) in Guanajuato, Mexico, where his passport is promptly destroyed during the Running of the Bulls. But sparks fly when he meets Rebecca (Anne Hathaway), a vivacious border patrol agent who puts her career — and their budding relación amorosa — on the line to smuggle Esteban back into the US. Meanwhile, El Temblor de Bronce (Danny Trejo), the neighborhood arms dealer, is driven to distraction when he finds out that his adopted son (Cory Monteith) plans on eloping to Manhattan with his girlfriend (Vanessa Hudgens) in lieu of taking over the family business. In a wacky mix-up, he sells a faulty AK-47 to a skittish shopkeeper (Jennifer Lopez) whose nervous demeanor causes her to accidentally open fire on a tour bus, inside which a vacationing American couple (Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett, briefly reprising their roles from Babel) simultaneously exclaim: “Oh snap! Not again!” Also, the new president of Mexico (Jessica Biel) prepares to learn the true meaning of her country’s revolt against the colonial Spanish government, but how can she merrily preside over the local festivities with her poor husband (Pete Wentz) stuck in a full-body cast after a fireworks run-through gone awry? Lady Gaga performs “Love Bandito (Cry of Dolores),” the soundtrack’s hit single. —Jasper
Purim: Ashton Kutcher stars as Herman, a lovelorn mohel at the Keriat Ha-Megillah Scroll of Ester Community Center and Gymnasium. Goaded by Chaim (Josh Saviano), his best friend and co-worker, Herman embarks on a cross-country road trip with Anita (Amy Sedaris), a sassy gentile, and Janice (Zhang Ziyi), Chaim’s sexy cousin, to pick up a case of misdelivered Mishloach Manot wine. Sparks fly when Herman finds out Janice’s foster sister (Jessica Biel) is trying to sabotage the whole Se’udat to get back at her ex-boyfriend (James Marsden). Meanwhile, Levine (Edward Norton), a recovering methhead and former rabbi, realizes his gift for preparing matzah may be his one shot back into his family’s good mitsvahs. Against all odds, Levine teams up with his daughter’s soccer coach (James Gandolfini) to host a city-wide unleavened-goods bake-off to fund the Ashkenazic Youth Group’s trip to Jerusalem, and both men eventually learn the true meaning of the Jewish people’s liberation from Persia. Gwen Stefani performs “Mordechai’s Eyes (You’ve Come a Long Way from Tosefta),” the soundtrack’s hit single. —Karim
■■■ If you must: New Year’s Eve opens December 9.