When I say the phrase ‘Ensemble Rom-Coms’, do you know what I’m talking about? You know, they’re like normal rom-coms on steroids, and you’ve probably seen at least one of them. We’ve had Valentine’s Day, He’s Just Not That Into You, and Love Actually. Well, we’re about to be exposed to yet another of the sub-genre, with the December 9 release of New Year’s Eve.

Yep, it’s another film featuring around 10-12 actors and about six different stories/relationships going back and forward and intertwining and generally all ending up with at least a semi-satisfactory conclusion (hopefully).

As expected, New Year’s Eve boasts another impressive line-up of actors, including Ashton Kutcher, Sarah Jessica Parker, Robert de Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, Josh Duhamel, Jessica Biel, Zac Efron, and Carla Gugino.

Set in New York and directed by Garry Marshall, the story will (quite obviously) be taking place around events leading up to New Year’s Eve, in a kind of ‘who will end up kissing who when the ball drops?’ story.

Although not always popular with movie critics, ensemble rom-coms are hugely successful at the box office, and are making Hollywood a lot of money. He’s Just Not That Into You (2009), grossed almost $100 million, whereas Valentine’s Day (2010) made over $110 million; not something normal rom-coms can easily surpass these days.

So, where did all these ensemble rom-coms come from, anyway? Have we really been that demanding on our modern day rom-coms that one couple just isn’t enough anymore?

Maybe it all started with Hugh Grant and co. in the film Love Actually – it’s definitely one of the first ensemble rom-coms, and featured some lovely meet-cutes, relationship intrigue and a charming British bloke who went to America for some sex.

But I think it actually started before that, with again, another Hugh Grant film, Four Weddings and a Funeral. Think about it. Yes, it mainly focused on one couple (who spent almost the entire time single or marrying other people, until near the end), but the other characters met and got together in little mini-stories of their own. Of course, they kind of had to, as it was necessary to the plot of the film (the ‘four weddings’ part).

Wherever it started, we can be certain that this trend won’t be ending anytime soon, with Drew Barrymore set to star in How to be Single (2012); a film set to reunite the team behind He’s Just Not That Into You (2009).

Conclusion; whether you love or hate them, it looks like ensemble rom-coms are here to stay.