Anyone can tell you if a trailer "looks good" or not. But Drew Magary, who spent over a decade working in advertising, is here to tell you whether or not a trailer WORKS. This week's trailer? "New Year's Eve".
Director Garry Marshall was able to get a $52 million opening weekend out of "Valentine's Day," his star-studded holiday-themed romantic comedy anthology from last year. So the mission of "New Year's Eve" is pretty simple: to get the same people who turned out for the opening weekend of "Valentine's Day" to forget about how awful that movie was and do it all over again with a NEW star-studded holiday-themed romantic comedy anthology. Let's see if the trailer works by asking a few simple questions about it:
Do we know what this movie is about? Yes, we do. It's about New Year's Eve, and apparently Hilary Swank is the CEO of New Year's Eve and is freaking out because if she doesn't get the ball to drop right, 2012 will never arrive and time as we know it will stop advancing forward. NO MORE NEW YEAR'S EVER. Swank, by the way, is clearly playing the "uptight career woman who needs herself a man" role so crucial to a successful bland romcom.
Is Ashton Kutcher in it, and dressed like a slob? Oh yes. The slothful clothing helps add a dash of ruggedness to his model-like features. You can't have a well-dressed Ashton Kutcher. It would cause the sun to rupture.
Are there jokes the audience will laugh at? Yes. This exchange, between Kutcher and the girl from "Glee" (they get stuck in an elevator all night! SO CUTE):
GLEE GIRL (also playing an uptight gal in need of lovin'): This thing's dead! (referring to the phone in the elevator)
KUTCHER: It doesn't work.
GLEE GIRL: Call the super!
KUTCHER: He doesn't work either.
And... cue the guffaws.
Is Sarah Jessica Parker in this movie? You know she is.
Is she playing an uptight mom in need of some lovin'? You know she is.
Is that the girl from "Little Miss Sunshine" flashing her bra? Oh yes, and there's your little dash of controversy. Should Abigail Breslin be displaying her bra on camera? Billy Bush will find out the answer if it kills us all.
Does it have the requisite "soul-searching male hottie character" who doesn't exist in real life? Yep. Mr. Fergie does the honors here. "It's a time when hopeless can be romantic." So, so true.
Do they let me know it's from the people who gave us "Valentine's Day"? YES, which is helpful both if you liked that film AND if you disliked it. Since this is essentially a carbon copy of that film's format, the link between the two is important to note.
Is that Jon Bon Jovi getting slapped? It is! Gotta have good scene where a bad boy gets what's coming to him. Your enjoyment of seeing JBJ get his will depend on your tolerance for Katherine Heigl, which is very low across the nation right now.
How's the music? You get a little serious emo balladry for the romance scenes AND Pitbull for the party scenes. WIN WIN! All emotions covered.
Will someone in the movie hate New Year's Eve, only to have their cold icy heart melted? YES. Bet on it having many characters of this ilk.
Is that Halle Berry looking hot? Yep. Never hurts.
Is that Michelle Pfeiffer looking utterly unrecognizable? Yep. The best part of any movie trailer is when you see someone you can't recognize only to be blown away at the end when they reveal it's someone famous but looking way different. You'll gossip all through the next trailer about how odd she looks.
Is that Robert De Niro looking like an Italian hobo? Yep.
Does this trailer succeed? YES. You know exactly what it's about, who's in it, and when it's over, you will know if you're the type of person who would enjoy going to see a movie that crams 598 rom-com cliches into a tidy 90 minutes. This movie will make bank. I guarantee it.