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Classic New Year’s Eve Films To Enjoy At Home

Since New Year’s Eve is gearing up to be an intimate affair spent domestically, we at S/ have rounded up a list of films that will bring a celebratory aura and a dose of necessary escapism into your humble abode—2020 be damned!

200 Cigarettes (1999)

Boasting an ensemble cast of Hollywood heavyweights including Ben Affleck, Paul Rudd, Kate Hudson, Dave Chapelle, and a slew of others, 200 Cigarettes chronicles a boisterous New Year’s Eve night in New York City. Sexual tension, a kooky cab driver, and a competitive friendship colour the film with an irresistibly comedic edge.

Available on Amazon

The Apartment (1960)

Billy Wilder’s The Apartment—a Hollywood classic—explores complex relationship dynamics through the setting of the namesake apartment’s use as an extramarital affair lounge. However, one fateful New Year’s Eve celebration allows C.C. “Bud” Baxter (Jack Lemmon) and his secret admirer Fran Kubelik (Shirley MacLaine) to confront their inner feelings towards one another as the film’s reassuring denouement.

Available on Apple TV

When Harry Met Sally…(1989)

This seminal romcom, similar to The Apartment, allows its charismatic protagonists to flesh out their repressed romantic sentiments towards one another during a New Year’s Eve bash. After a tumultuous period of distance and excommunication, Harry and Sally reunite during a social event and allow the new calendar year to establish a classic Hollywood romance.

Available on Crave

Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001)

Unlike the previous two films on this list, a New Year’s Eve shindig is what introduces viewers to the faint beginnings of a complex yet engrossing romantic entanglement in Bridget Jones’s Diary. Renèe Zellweger’s Bridget becomes acquainted with Mark (played by Colin Firth), who in true romcom fashion, has very little interest in the perfectly unkempt publishing professional at first glance.

Available on Netflix

Waiting to Exhale (1995)

A bond between four women guides the main narrative of Waiting to Exhale, which showcases vibrant, unwavering female camaraderie. One key scene features its charismatic leads spending New Year’s Eve together discussing relationship woes, nuancing their friendship with a relatability that many have experienced when reminiscing about previous hardships.  

Available on Apple TV

Trading Places (1983)

Trading Places helped catapult Eddie Murphy into the upper echelons of Hollywood superstardom, and contains an instantly quotable catchphrase in “Merry New Year!” The film also features a surreal, yet highly comical high-stakes train scene set on New Year’s Eve, involving a caged gorilla and character disguises, creating a series of preposterous events that withstand the tests of time.

Available on Apple TV

Mermaids (1990)

Mermaids features an elaborately costumed New Year’s Eve affair, replete with Cher dressed as the subaquatic mythical creature that gives the film its very name. Pirates run amuck, while Victorian-inspired ensembles create a variegation of periods, preoccupations, and aesthetics.

Available on Amazon Prime Video

Four Rooms (1995)

Based on the adult short fiction of Roald Dahl, Four Rooms details the various happenings on New Year’s Eve in the fictional Hotel Mon Signor. Tim Roth plays a bellman who’s first night on the job allows him to encounter various hotel guests, which include a coven of witches, a fantasy hostage situation between a married couple, a devious pair of children, and a zany Hollywood director.

Available on Amazon Prime Video

Happy New Year, Charlie Brown! (1986)

A perennial classic, the Peanuts crew have the holidays covered in this classic prime-time animated television special. Charlie Brown is stuck having to write a book report on Tolstoy’s War and Peace while his comrades prepare for New Year’s Eve extravaganza that will be attended by the apple of Charlie’s eye, the Little Red-Haired Girl. Ever the studious one, Charlie multitasks by attending said party with the intent to finish reading his assigned text; however, a series of unfortunate events ensue, which perfectly reflect the tumultuous year 2020 will be infamously known for. 

Available on Amazon