Thursday 8 December 2011 7:34 pm

Kitty cat wins over awful rom com

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Cert: U

After the grouchy cash monster that was the Shrek series, Dreamworks has quite rightly laid the franchise to rest, instead focusing on the series’ most interesting character: a small cat who looks cute but kicks arse.

It may well have been a disaster, but thankfully there are enough gags in here for Antonio Banderas’s kitty to keep this standalone story afloat. They may be big boots to fill, but this spin-off does a fine job of relaying what happened before Puss ran into the wildly successful Shrek franchise: namely stealing trinkets and trying to reclaim his good name.

There are slapstick jokes for the kids, drugs references for the adults (yep, catnip is basically a Class A) a heartfelt and surprisingly poignant portrayal of a bullied Humpty Dumpty (Zach Gallifianakis) and an attractive kitty in the feline form of Salma Hayek. Mixing traditional fairytales, with Jack and Jill voiced by Amy Sedaris and Billy Bob Thornton, and featuring a beanstalk with a twist, the story isn’t exactly groundbreaking and the visuals aren’t always one hundred per cent but it’s certainly not the steaming pile of kitty litter it could have been.

Cert: 12A

If you’re on the lookout for an uplifting Christmas movie, avoid this latest Gerry Marshall and Katherine Fugate collaboration. Relying on the charm of a cast list far too good for this sort of fare, we have Robert DeNiro as a dying war veteran, Halle Berry as his nurse, Hilary Swank running the Times Square New Year ball-dropping shenanigans and Bon Jovi as a rock star planning to perform.

Sarah Jessica Parker pops up as an overprotective mother, Michelle Pfeiffer quits her job and hires Zac Efron to help her accomplish a list of resolutions and Ashton Kutcher gets stuck in a lift with Lea Michele. There are absolutely no surprises. Everyone falls in love, experiences predictable realisations, and finds themselves – and Jessica Biel gives birth.

Kudos must go to the casting director for concealing Fugate’s vapid, laughable script with an array of rom com stalwarts able to paper over the cracks, as well as the editor, Michael Tronick, for weaving each schmaltzy plot line together.

The amount of boxes ticked is quite astonishing. It’s like director Gerry Marshall threw everything in the mix in the hope of at least one thing sticking. Or everyone exploding with the saccharine mediocrity of it all. If you’re in the mood for a seasonal rom com, probably stick with Love Actually which, in comparison to New Year’s Eve, is something of a dark, gritty thriller. new year’s eve | innerplace, london’s top concierge, gives the low-down

It’s easy to get the big night wrong, but brilliant when you get it right: and there’s nowhere better to do it than London. Welcome to nightlife guru Innerplace’s insiders’ scoop on the best places to be at when the clock strikes 12 on the 31st. Note: not all venues are easily accessed.

Roof Gardens
Roof Gardens boasts an amazing vista high above Kensington and its own rooftop fireworks display at midnight. There’s a winter barbecue too, or warm up in the Tudor Walkway in if you catch a chill. A variety of DJs will be spinning tunes until the breakfast canapés are brought out at 3AM. Prices from £105

Sanderson & St Martin’s Lane
The Morgan’s Hotel Group’s NYE bashes are some of the chicest in London. This year The Sanderson’s Alice in Wonderland inspired “The Curious and Curiouser World of Henry Conway” is sure to be weird, wild and wonderful. Prices from £160. Meanwhile Asia de Cuba at St Martin’s Lane will have an evening of sultry Caribbean festivities where you can enjoy authentic Cuban music with Tumbao Tivoli and guest DJs. Prices from £75

The Gherkin
An exclusive black tie event will literally make you feel you have the city at your feet. There will be champagne, live music and an exquisite haute-cuisine four course dinner, plus of course the best views in the Capital. Prices from £200.

This “Favela Rocks” Brazilian-style réveillon starts with a traditional feasting supper. With Brazilian music, Caipirinhas and champagne, the club will be transformed to an all white space, bringing luck for the following year. Prices from £65.

Bunga Bunga
A tongue-in-cheek New Years Eve of wild ribaldry at the Battersea hotspot: spend your time in the Pizzeria or venture to the Eurovision Song Contest floor. There will certainly be no other party like it. Prices from £20.

Stompin’ at the Savoy
250 guests will be received in the luxurious River Room, before a sumptuous four-course dinner in the Lancaster Ballroom, and fireworks over the Thames. Entertainment includes The Guy Barker Orchestra, Beverley Knight, Tony Christie and Paloma Faith. Prices from £995. Innerplace Concierge offers access to the most exclusive members’ clubs, restaurants, parties and VIP experiences. Membership from £50 per month.