Happy New Year

A well-cast but generally unremarkable drama about an Iraq War vet's struggle to recover from physical and psychological wounds at a military rehab hospital.

With:
With: Michael Cuomo, JD Williams, Monique Gabriela Curnen, Jose Yenque, Wilmer Calderon, William Rogers.

Faint echoes of “Coming Home” and “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” resound throughout “Happy New Year,” a well-cast but generally unremarkable drama about an Iraq War vet’s struggle to recover from physical and psychological wounds at a military rehab hospital. Adapting his own Off Broadway play, writer-director K. Lorrel Manning cannot dispel the strong sense of deja vu that permeates the entire enterprise. This small-budget indie likely will be remembered best, if at all, as a calling card for some cast members involved.

Pic is propelled primarily by the yeoman performance of Michael Cuomo, who effectively underplays a Marine sergeant left badly scarred and wheelchair-bound after a roadside ambush. Due to overcrowding at a VA facility, he’s assigned to a psychiatric ward, where he clashes with an autocratic doctor (Jose Yenque), tentatively romances a compassionate nurse (Monique Gabriela Curnen) and bonds with aggressively colorful fellow patients. Cuomo impresses during a few intense scenes, most notably when he comforts the husband of a fallen comrade by saying, “Your wife was an excellent Marine. You can tell your daughter that.” But predictable plot and drab production values don’t help much.

Happy New Year

Production: A One Light Left production. Produced by K. Lorrel Manning, Michael Cuomo, Karl Jacob, Victoria Hay, Tom Stein. Executive producers, Iain Smith, Whitney Arcaro, Terrence Gray. Co-producer, Ian Moore. Directed, written by K. Lorrel Manning.

Crew: Camera (color), Soopum Sohn; editor, William Miller; music, Paul Brill; music supervisor, Joe Rudge; production designer, Katherine Rusch; art director Kelly Diaz; costume designer, Tiffany Jordan. Reviewed at SXSW Film Festival (competing), March 12, 2011. Running time: 105 MIN.

Cast: With: Michael Cuomo, JD Williams, Monique Gabriela Curnen, Jose Yenque, Wilmer Calderon, William Rogers.

More Scene

  • Guillermo del Toro, Greta Gerwig and

    Timothée Chalamet Says He'd Love to Work With Christopher Nolan or Guillermo del Toro

    Faint echoes of “Coming Home” and “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” resound throughout “Happy New Year,” a well-cast but generally unremarkable drama about an Iraq War vet’s struggle to recover from physical and psychological wounds at a military rehab hospital. Adapting his own Off Broadway play, writer-director K. Lorrel Manning cannot dispel the strong […]

  • Tracee Ellis Ross

    Tracee Ellis Ross at Image Makers Awards: 'Clothing Started as Armor for Me'

    Faint echoes of “Coming Home” and “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” resound throughout “Happy New Year,” a well-cast but generally unremarkable drama about an Iraq War vet’s struggle to recover from physical and psychological wounds at a military rehab hospital. Adapting his own Off Broadway play, writer-director K. Lorrel Manning cannot dispel the strong […]

  • 'Salute to Service' Honored Industry Support

    Variety's 'Salute to Service' Presented by National Geographic Celebrates Industry Supporters of Troops, Veterans

    Faint echoes of “Coming Home” and “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” resound throughout “Happy New Year,” a well-cast but generally unremarkable drama about an Iraq War vet’s struggle to recover from physical and psychological wounds at a military rehab hospital. Adapting his own Off Broadway play, writer-director K. Lorrel Manning cannot dispel the strong […]

  • Golden Globes Timeline

    Inside the Glamorous Golden Globes After-Parties

    Faint echoes of “Coming Home” and “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” resound throughout “Happy New Year,” a well-cast but generally unremarkable drama about an Iraq War vet’s struggle to recover from physical and psychological wounds at a military rehab hospital. Adapting his own Off Broadway play, writer-director K. Lorrel Manning cannot dispel the strong […]

  • Damian Lewis and Malin AkermanShowtime Golden

    Golden Globe 2018 Pre-Parties: BAFTA Los Angeles Tea, Showtime, ICM and More

    Faint echoes of “Coming Home” and “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” resound throughout “Happy New Year,” a well-cast but generally unremarkable drama about an Iraq War vet’s struggle to recover from physical and psychological wounds at a military rehab hospital. Adapting his own Off Broadway play, writer-director K. Lorrel Manning cannot dispel the strong […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content