New Year’s Eve movies…

A selection of movies that are set on or around New Year’s Eve:

The Poseidon Adventure

This is the original 1972 movie featuring a cruise ship full of people celebrating New Year.  The ship keels over and rests in the ocean upside down (well, what do you expect with Leslie Neilson captaining the ship?).  It’s up to Reverend Scott (Gene Hackman) to lead a group to the bottom/top of the ship and perhaps renew his waning faith along the way.  Shelley Winters, Ernest Borgnine, Stella Stevens and Roddy McDowell are some of the cast that go along for the climb each finding the hero within themselves along the way.  It is a terrifically frightening film if you watch it as a child and you have an aversion to water because you can’t swim and you also saw The Last Voyage at a similar age. 

New Year’s Resolution:  To go for that bronze swimming badge that you missed out on at school. 

Strange Days

In the near future, the 1999/2000 millennium new year (the film was made in 1995) technology exists to allow people to experience other people’s memories.  Lenny Nero (Ralph Fiennes) is a former cop who deals in the black market of recorded memories when he stumbles upon the memories of a murderer.  The film is written by James Cameron and directed by Kathryn Bigelow and so should be an edge of the seat thriller and, for the most part it is.  Now unfortunately looking dated, not least because the year 2000 came and went with no incident, the film looks more like the mid-nineties thriller that it is; even featuring a cameo appearance from Skunk Anansie as the millennium concert band: well, in 1995 they were very cutting edge.

New Year’s Resolution:  Improve your memory.

Sunset Boulevard

Billy Wilder’s fantastic film noir features one of the most heartbreakingly pathetic New Year’s Eve parties ever.  Norma Desmond’s (Gloria Swanson) New Year’s Eve bash consists of her and her toyboy lover Joe Gillis (William Holden).  Norma’s whole existence is based upon past glories and the fact that she isolates herself away from the world in her Hollywood home so she will never know that time has since moved on.

New Year’s Resolution: Keep in touch with your friends.

When Harry Met Sally

Back in 1989 when this movie was fresh and there hadn’t been a million rip-offs of it, When Harry Met Sally was liked by men and women due to the witty dialogue and the main purpose of the film raising the question as to whether a man and a woman can just be friends.  Of course the “I’ll have what she’s having” is the stand out moment, but how about this gem from Harry:  We’re talking dream date compared to my horror. It started out fine, she’s a very nice person, and we’re sitting and we’re talking at this Ethiopian restaurant that she wanted to go to. And I was making jokes, you know like, “Hey I didn’t know that they had food in Ethiopia? This will be a quick meal. I’ll order two empty plates and we can leave.” Yeah, nothing from her not even a smile.

New Year’s Resolution: Make a new “friend” or have what she’s having.

Angel Heart

The New Year’s Eve in this movie is drip fed throughout in flashbacks; all helping Harry Angel (Mickey Rourke) on his assignment for Louis Cyphre (Robert DeNiro) to find the elusive jazz singer Johnny Favourite who owes Cyphre a considerable debt.  This noir thriller finds Rourke and director Alan Parker at the peak of their careers.  Not only is it a thrilling detective story, it has Harry Angel embarking on a remarkable journey of self discovery with some unique and mesmerising twists along the way.  It is, quite simply, brilliant.

New Year’s Resolution:  work hard for success, rather than take short cuts and make deals.  Don’t renege on a promise. 

2010

Okay, it’s not a New Year’s Eve film, but if you want to have a look at it to compare to the 2010 we have just had in “real life” then you may spot that we haven’t made as many advances into space as was imagined when the film was made in 1984…unless you do happen to have a pet dolphin or two!

New Year’s Resolution:  to not spend as long in front of your computer…I can’t do that Dave…Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer… 

Honourable mentions:

The Fabulous Baker Boys; Bridget Jones’ Diary; The Apartment; About a Boy; After the Thin Man; Trading Places; The Hudsucker Proxy

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