It’s New Year’s Eve — time to get out the bubbly, steal a midnight kiss, watch the ball drop in Times Square, and hope the pressure doesn’t build too much to have the most epic night ever. Maybe instead you want to leave the partying to the amateurs and spend the night in with one of these great (and terrible) movies about what can be the best or worst night of the year. From all time classics like The Apartment to not so great movies like New Year’s Eve, here are five flicks to get you through to 2013.
When Harry Met Sally – It’s the rom-com that begot all rom-coms of our time, this Rob Reiner classic is filed with so many one liners and memorable moments, I find myself reenacting this scene every time I’m at Katz’s Deli in New York. But seriously, Mindy Kaling isn’t the only one who was fed on Nora Ephron films. Of course, the final New Year’s Eve scene is the climactic moment when Harry furiously runs through the abandoned streets of New York as “It Had to Be You” plays in the background has set the standard for every romantic scene in every movie we’ve seen since then.
The Poseidon Adventure – The classic action film starring a very young Gene Hackman follows the passengers of the SS Poseidon after their ship has been overturned from a massive tsunami. As the clock strikes midnight, guests are drinking, dancing and celebrating the New Year as usual. The next moment, their lives are literally turned upside down, as the guests try to find a way safely out of the capsized ship. Now that’s a way to start the new year!
200 Cigarettes – Even though this film takes place in 1981 in New York City, 200 Cigarettes could not seem more like a ’90s Gen X film. Courtney Love? Check. Janeane Garofalo? Check. Cynicism? Check. Kevin, played by the never-aging Paul Rudd, laments how New Year’s Eve creates “an obligation to enjoy oneself.” We have to admit, this is pretty true. As much as we are excited about 2013, there is always pressure to make the night of the most memorable event as possible. But if Paul Rudd were at our party, we would not be complaining.
New Year’s Eve – Like Garry Marshall’s other big star-studded blockbuster, Valentine’s Day, last year’s holiday entry follows various New Yorkers as they prepare for, you heard it, New Years Eve. The film packs in almost every working actor today from Sofia Vergara to Zac Efron to Lea Michele, but unfortunately, no star could really elevate this lackluster plotline. Next time, we think Seth Meyers should be writing the movie, not acting in it.
The Apartment – Nora Ephron didn’t exactly come up with the lovelorn New Year’s scene entirely on her own. Billy Wilder’s The Apartment also ends the movie with a New Year’s Eve celebration leaving love open to new beginnings for its protagonists, C.C. Baxter and Fran Kubelik, played by film icons Jack Lemmon and Shirley Maclaine. In the final scene, “Auld Lang Syne” plays in the background and streamers spiral through the air when, well, we won’t spoil it for those of you who haven’t caught this one yet. It might be bad luck to start 2013 off with a 53-year-old spoiler.
[Photos: Columbia Pictures, Warner Bros., United Artist]