10 Best Movies that Take Place Around New Year’s Eve
Celebrate the big night with these classic Hollywood movies that ring in the New Year in style.
‘New Year’s Eve’ (2011)
This ensemble comedy is chock full of movie stars. Watch them race the clock to find love and peace in the Big Apple on New Year’s Eve. Ashton Kutcher and Lea Michele get stuck on an elevator. Sarah Jessica Parker feuds with daughter Abigail Breslin before a romantic meet-up with Josh Duhamel. Seth Meyers and Jessica Biel are having a baby and Jon Bon Jovi needs to kiss and make up with Katherine Heigl. The kicker is the sweet courtship between Michelle Pfeiffer and Zac Efron. Happy endings abound!
‘When Harry Met Sally’ (1989)
One of the most romantic scenes of all time happens when Harry (Billy Crystal) races through the streets of Manhattan to pledge his love to Sally (Meg Ryan.) Because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible. As New Year’s revelers countdown to midnight, Harry and Sally are still squabbling. They finally get together around 12:01 AM while discussing the meaning of Auld Lang Syne.
‘The Poseidon Adventure’ (1972)
In one of the infamous 1970s disaster spectacles, a tidal wave hits a cruise ship right during the big New Year’s Eve gala. The boat capsizes and that’s when the party really gets rolling. Gene Hackman, Ernest Borgnine, and Shelly Winters fight to reach the surface and set things right again. But it’s a dangerous journey through the underbelly of the giant ship. The 2006 remake, Poseidon, also sets the big disaster right on New Year’s Eve!
‘Sunset Boulevard’ (1950)
Billy Wilder’s classic noir film is an ode to silent Hollywood. During the famous New Year’s Eve scene young William Holden discovers a “sad and embarrassing revelation.” That he is the only guest at Gloria Swanson’s extravagant New Year’s Eve party. Famous director and silent film actor Erich von Stroheim stars as the aging actress’s butler. He, and the orchestra players, watch on as the two dance alone in this paean to loneliness and nostalgia.
‘Trading Places’ (1983)
Merry New Year! Dan Ackroyd and Eddie Murphy’s hatch a plan to take down the villainous Duke brothers who placed a bet on whether or not a street hustler and a successful stock broker can trade places. To foil their plan, Ackroyd and Murphy will need to intercept a crop report being delivered via train on New Year’s Eve. This beloved comedy deals with classism and racism in corporate America, but the bad guys go broke while Ackroyd and Murphy get rich quick and end up sipping Pina Coladas on a sunny beach.
‘Bridget Jones’ Diary’ (2001)
There’s nothing more romantic (and crazy!) then Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones tearing out into the snowy night in nothing but knickers and a sweater to chase down her love interest Mr. Darcy, played by Colin Firth. The couple meet on New Year’s Day, and fully annoy each other, but by the time the next holiday rolls around they’re declaring their love and kissing in the street. Bridget Jones’ Diary is also one of the most romantic movies even non-romantics can appreciate.
‘Sleepless in Seattle’ (1993)
Annie (Meg Ryan) and Sam (Tom Hanks) will eventually get together—on Valentine’s Day on the top of the Empire State Building. But on New Year’s Eve, they’re far apart. Annie is with Bill Pullman, who is clearly the wrong guy for her, and Sam is having a really sad and lonely fantasy about his deceased wife. She’s played by the lovely Carey Lowell, but the New Year’s scenes prove that it’s time for Sam and Annie to move on and leave the past behind so they can find each other.
‘The Gold Rush’ (1925)
Charlie Chaplin’s classic silent era film has a perfectly melancholy New Year’s Eve scene. He invites the lovely Georgia Hale over for dinner, but she forgets to come. Forlorn, Chaplin performs his famous “bread roll” dance. It’s delightful and charming, but the girl isn’t there to see it. When she never shows, the Little Tramp walks alone into the snowy night just missing her. The couple get reunited by the end though!
‘An Affair to Remember’ (1957)
New Year’s Eve is the fateful night when Deborah Kerr and Cary Grant share a kiss. But since they’re each promised to other people they delay their romance and instead agree to meet six months later. But then Kerr gets hit by a car on the way to the meet-up. Prepare to cry, but there’s a happy ending because New Year’s Eve kisses always turn out right.
‘Boogie Nights’ (1997)
This American classic features stellar performances by Burt Reynolds, Mark Wahlberg, Julianne Moore, and William H. Macy who plays a cameraman heartbroken because his wife won’t stop cheating on him. Set in the 1970s, Boogie Nights traces the emotional life of people in the porn industry. The 1979 New Year’s Eve party scene marks the end of an era. The tragedy that takes place that night lets us know that the eighties are about to get way more complicated, for the characters in the movie, and for the rest of us.