Quick -- somebody help me stage an intervention for director Garry Marshall.
Judging by last year's "Valentine's Day" -- and this year's "New Year's Eve" -- Marshall needs to be stopped before he desecrates another holiday, cinematically speaking.
Of course, I realize there are those who welcome a chance to experience yet another of Marshall's multicharacter romps.
Some of us, however, don't feel quite so comfortable watching a bunch of too-good-for-this-movie actors trying desperately to slog their way through a swamp of stale romantic comedy and heartwarming homilies.
If "Valentine's Day" was like a box of chalky little candy hearts, then "New Year's Eve" more closely resembles a holiday hors d'oeuvres tray.
Some of the finger foods turn out to be gooey; others are nutty. Most have a too-sweet aftertaste. And virtually none of them boasts anything remotely resembling nutritional substance.
Naturally, not all movies -- especially light, convivial baubles -- need to provide heavy-duty food for thought.
But it would be nice if "New Year's Eve" could muster a bit more sparkle than leftover, morning-after champagne.
Because we're all stuck at this particular party, however, let's check out the guest list.
Naturally, we're in New York City, New Year's Eve central, where Times Square official Claire Morgan (double Oscar winner Hilary Swank, achingly earnest) is anxiously supervising preparations for the traditional midnight countdown and ball drop.
Meanwhile, hunky rock star Jensen (played, in a real stretch, by hunky rock star Jon Bon Jovi) is tuning up for his appearance on live TV -- and at a swanky masquerade party catered by none other than his still bitter ex Laura (sassy Katherine Heigl).
Meanwhile, at said hunky rock star's record company, beleaguered office drone Ingrid (welcome back, Michelle Pfeiffer) quits her job -- the first of several New Year's resolutions she hopes to fulfill in one day, with more than a little help from young bike messenger Paul (a breezy Zac Efron).
Meanwhile, at a local hospital, terminally ill Stan (another double Oscar winner, Robert De Niro) hopes to watch just one more ball drop -- perhaps with sympathetic nurse Aimee (fellow Oscar winner Halle Berry) for company. And two expectant couples (Jessica Biel and Seth Meyers, Sarah Paulson and Til Schweiger ) compete to see whose baby will arrive first on Jan. 1 -- guaranteeing the proud parents a $25,000 prize.
Speaking of parents, the divorced mother (Sarah Jessica Parker) of an adventurous teen ("Little Miss Sunshine's" Abigail Breslin) tries to keep her daughter away from Times Square on the big night, while a cynical comic book illustrator (Ashton Kutcher) finds his anti-New Year's 'tude challenged by a starry-eyed newcomer ("Glee's" Lea Michele). And a lovelorn playboy (Josh Duhamel) hopes for a happy "Affair to Remember" midnight rendezvous.
There's still more, but you get the idea.
Make that the gist, because if there's one thing "New Year's Eve" is short on, it's ideas.
Tough as it is to imagine, screenwriter Katherine Fugate (who also scripted "Valentine's Day") gives "New Year's Eve" even less edge, piling heaping helpings of holiday schmaltz atop the alleged comedy.
With so many characters crowding into one party, there's no time to get to know any of them at anything more than a surface level -- assuming any of them have anything more than a surface level, which is debatable.
To his credit, Marshall keeps the party hopping, intercutting between storylines at a leisurely yet still lively pace, keeping the spotlight on the movie's festive settings and attractive cast.
A master filmmaker -- the late, great Robert Altman, say -- wouldn't stop at intercutting between characters, however; he'd intertwine them so each element and storyline would echo and amplify the others.
No such luck with "New Year's Eve," though. It more closely recalls a mix-and-match game of Clue, with the usual suspects circling the board until the game ends.
Not before there's plenty of time for the inevitable cameos from everyone from Ryan Seacrest to Marshall's sister Penny to Parker's husband, Matthew Broderick.
There's also plenty of room for the inevitable product placement, made easier thanks to the movie's Times Square setting -- including a giant billboard touting Robert Downey Jr. in "Sherlock Holmes." (Just in case you've forgotten he'll be back on the big screen next week in the sequel, "Game of Shadows" -- from Warner Bros., the same studio behind "New Year's Eve.")
Yes, it's the kind of movie that would rather sell another product than concentrate on the one at hand.
So let's hope that "New Year's Eve" will ring down the curtain on Marshall's cinematic holiday suite, because I'm not sure I have the heart (or the stomach) to make it through "Fourth of July" or "Arbor Day."
Contact movie critic Carol Cling at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0272.