2016 is almost over, you guys. The one last hoop to jump through is New Year's Eve, and whether you're going out or staying in, there are some great films out there to help you celebrate the evening. Although you might think that a lot of other holidays are more likely to get the big screen treatment, there is, in fact, no shortage of New Year's Eve movies. If you think about it, it makes sense, too. What a great built-in plot device. The build-up to midnight provides tons of tension, and the nature of the holiday itself allows films to establish a really effective mood of optimism, reflection, romance, and maybe a little melancholy.
I've always felt that New Year's Eve was one of the most stressful holidays, because there is so much pressure to have a good time. But I think it can become a lot more fun when you decide that you don't need to prove anything about your night to anyone, which means that if you decide your happiest way to be is to stay in on your couch and sip some champagne or sparkling cider with your partner, family, friends, pets, or your own lovely self, then you can rest assured you'll be doing New Year's right. And to perfect your evening, watch any one of the New Year's themed movies on this list.
1'When Harry Met Sally'
For me at least, this is definitely the first movie that comes to mind when someone mentions New Year's Eve. The film, and Harry and Sally's evolving relationship, spans more than a decade but the most memorable scenes — you know the ones — happen at New Year's Eve parties. It's a classic for a reason, plus, with any luck you'll be tipsy enough on champagne that you can have a rousing fake orgasm competition with Meg Ryan's character.
2'New Year's Eve'
I mean, duh. You get your Love, Actually fix earlier in December, but the addictive multi-story formula holds for New Year's Eve. It may be a little cheesy and far fetched, but that's half the fun. (There's also joy to be had in ranking the acting performances.)
This movie was New Year's Eve before New Year's Eve happened. 200 Cigarettes, about a bunch of lost and confused twentysomethings in the nineties trying to have an amazing New Year's Eve, is a freaking blast. It's got both Afflecks, a truly iconic aesthetic, Courtney Love, and a whole host of other era-specific celebs looking delightfully dated and yet still cool.
4'A Long Way Down'
If you want to get a little teary and a little heartfelt with your New Year's Eve celebration — maybe you're having a quiet night in, or it's just been one looooooong year (it has) — turn to A Long Way Down. One of the many, many Nick Hornby books that has been turned into a movie, this one kicks off with a group of very strange strangers all trying to commit suicide on the same ledge on the same New Year's Eve. It's no spoiler to say that things don't go as planned and the gang's journey is only just beginning.
5'New Year's Day'
Why is David Duchovny so hot? Ponder this question and many more as you watch this thoroughly of-its-time indie drama about three beautiful young women inspiring a worn out, lost and confused, divorced fellow to take a new lease on life — all at a New Year's Day party in the dude's old apartment.
Many of us are going to need some hearty laughs on our way into 2017, and Four Rooms is just the right choice for that. Four incredibly unique directors tackle the more adult-oriented writings of Roald Dahl in this delightfully tacky, off-the-wall farce from 1995 about New Year's Eve in a fancy hotel. Madonna is in it, guys.
7'Bridget Jones's Diary'
This one can count as a Christmas movie or a New Year's Eve movie, but I see no reason not to double up. Much of the action does take place in the days following Christmas, and the swoony romantic ending evokes the perfect midnight kiss.
8'The New Year'
A thinking gal's New Year's Eve film, this quiet independent drama from 2010 follows a young woman who has dropped out of college to care for her ailing father and encounters some folks from her younger life when they are home for the holidays.
9'The Poseidon Adventure'
Yes, this 1972 classic disaster movie takes place not only on an ocean liner deep in the Atlantic, but on an ocean liner deep in the Atlantic on New Year's Eve. May we all have less eventful New Year's Eve celebrations than the passengers on the S.S. Poseidon, but should things go awry, may we all have someone like Ernest Borgnine around.
Yes, in the classic 1960 version starring Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr., the gang carries out their iconic heist on New Year's Eve. This movie is deserving of a rewatch, especially if you've seen the Brad and George version so many times you know all the words. Plus, you can totally give your New Year's gather a retro sixties theme if you go with this one.
11'New Year's Evil'
Campy horror lovers rejoice, for even the joyful holiday of New Year's Eve has offerings for you. In New Year's Evil, a radio DJ is informed that one person will be killed on in each time zone as the clock strikes midnight...and she's the final victim. What more could you want?
12'Happy New Year, Charlie Brown'
On the totally opposite end of the spectrum from New Year's Evil is Happy New Year, Charlie Brown. Revisit the groovy dancing and warm, unintelligible wah-wahs of the Charlie Brown films on New Year's Eve this year, and for a moment, let life feel simple again.