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New Year’s-Themed Movies to Watch When the Ball Drops

Unlike its cousins, Christmas and Halloween, New Year’s isn’t exactly known for its cult-favorite movies. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any. The holiday plays a key part in many films, from Sex and the City: the Movie to When Harry Met Sally, and though it might not be synonymous with holiday classics, New Year’s Eve (and heck, even New Year’s Day) is a great time to kick back with some flashy, fun-filled movies before the ball drops.

New Year’s parties are fun, but as many of know, they grow old after a while. (There’s only so much champagne to cheers.) So this year, we encourage you to ring in 2019 with some New Year’s-themed movies instead. Whether you’re in for a Sandra Bullock-starring rom-com or are in the mood for a Golden Era classic, start the year off right with these New Year’s movies.

Bridget Jones’s Diary

This classic romantic comedy finds its heroine single and alone at her parents’ New Year’s party, where she encounters Mark Darcy, the son of her parents’ friends and a childhood acquaintance. After overhearing Mark call her a “verbally incompetent spinster,” Bridget decides to turn her life around by starting a diary documenting her process to stop smoking, become healthy and find love. In true rom-com fashion, the film, a modern take on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, finds Bridget in love and happy with the same man who rejected her.

When Harry Met Sally

Harry Burns and Sally Albright are old college friends whose friendship ends after Sally accuses Harry of making a pass at her. Five years later, the two find each other in New York and restart their friendship, despite disagreeing on whether men and women can be friends. At a New Year’s Eve party, the characters find themselves attracted to each other. But it isn’t until New Year’s Day that they take their friendship to the next level.

While You Were Sleeping

This 1995 film follows Sandra Bullock as Lucy Eleanor Moderatz, a fare collector who has a secret crush on a commuter named Peter Callaghan, who is a complete stranger to her. After Peter is involved in a train accident and slips into a coma, Lucy visits him in the hospital, with the nurse misinterpreting her and telling his family that she’s his fiancee. It isn’t until New Year’s Eve that Peter wakes up and doesn’t recognize Lucy. Assuming that he has amnesia and continuing his fictitious relationship Lucy, the film continues with a twist to who Lucy actually ends up with.

An Affair to Remember

After kissing on New Year’s Eve, Nickie Ferrante and Terry McKay, played by Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr, respectively, decide to end their relationship after realize that they’re both engaged to other people. But there’s still hope: Both make a deal to meet again at the top of the Empire State Building in six months if they’re both still interested. Some consider the film the most perfect onscreen example of a New Year’s kiss.

New Year’s Eve

Set to the same format of films like Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day, New Year’s Eve follows about a dozen strangers, played by stars like Zac Efron, Sarah Jessica Parker and Halle Berry, on New Year’s Eve. Each character is struggling in his or own way (some are single, some are in troubled relationships), but all of them find their version of a happy ending when the ball drops.

Ghostbusters II

It’s New Year’s Eve and the ball is about to drop in Time’s Square when a river of slime created by ancient evil named Vigo the Carpathian takes over New York City. Thankfully, the ghostbusters are here to help. Featuring an important scene featuring the song “Auld Lang Syne,” this sequel is about exciting and entertaining a the first.

Trading Places

Trading Places tells the story of two men—an upper class broker and a homeless street hustler—who come across each other and make an elaborate bet. New Year’s Eve plays an important part in the movie as the occasion their scheme is almost thwarted.

200 Cigarettes

Like 2011’s New Year’s Eve, 200 Cigarettes follows an ensemble of characters, played by stars like Kate Hudson, Casey Affleck and Paul Rudd, who find themselves at the same New Year’s Eve party at various points in the night. Why go out when you can watch the most popular New Year’s party in New York on your own screen?

Sex and the City: The Movie

Four years after the end of HBO’s Sex and the City, the franchise returned with a film, following all four New York women—Carrie Bradshaw, Samantha Jones, Charlotte York and Miranda Hobbes—in the span of the year. Each woman is experiencing her own hardships, but at the end of the day, they each know they can rely on their girlfriends, no matter what happens. A snowy New Year’s Eve is featured in an important scene between Carrie, Miranda and what it’s like to be single in New York.

Ocean’s 11 

Unlike its 2001 remake, which takes place on Boxing Day, the 1960 Ocean’s 11 is set on New Year’s Eve, which is decided as the perfect time for a team of World-War-II-veterans-turned-heist-masters to rob a string of Las Vegas casinos.


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