New Year’s Day and New Year’s Eve aren’t exactly known for getting movies made about them, at least compared to the amount of movies made about Christmas. However, there are some films about that time of transition and some of them are great to watch in the short period after Christmas and before life returns to the usual mood of work and responsibility. Here are a few of our favorites:
Happy New Year, Charlie Brown! (1986)
Apparently every major holiday has a Charlie Brown special. Well, almost. New Year’s is not to be missed and got its own Charlie Brown special in 1986. While most people will think of Charlie Brown as a Christmas cartoon or a Halloween movie, this special is actually quite good. In the story, Charlie Brown doesn’t want to celebrate, he wants to be alone so he can read “War and Peace”, but he is forced to go to Peppermint Patty’s party. Like any good introvert, he wants peace and not partying. He ends up going and enjoying himself. This one is a movie about friendship and partying, Charlie Brown style. It is one of the rare few New Year movies that is 100% family friendly without being boring.
End of Days (1999)
Satan is looking to get excited, and he hits New York City at the end of the last century, hoping to find the right lady. Of course, this is not something that will bring peace on Earth and happiness to everyone, so an officer must stop it from happening. That officer is played Arnold Schwarzenegger of course, and he wants to save the world! This one is aged so bad, but it’s still fun to watch on a quiet New Year’s afternoon in your PJs eating leftovers from the night before. While this isn’t exactly a timeless film, it’s still very entertaining and Schwarzenegger makes it fun in his own way. Fans of the man should love this movie. Fans of apocalyptic movies should love this movie. People who just love watching movies that feel a bit insane, dated and bring a weird nostalgia around the end of the last millennium should love this one. It’s a little weird, it’s a little cliche, but it’s also a lot of fun.
Ghostbusters 2 (1989)
Another movie about a creature that comes to New York City to find the perfect person. In this case, it’s a baby he’s looking for, and the baby’s mother is just security. This time, however, he gets to meet Arnold Schwarzenegger, but with everyone’s favorite band of ghost hunters, Ghostbusters, is on the case! Of course, many other things go down and many awkward situations occur, as is the tradition with Venkman, Stantz, Spengler and Zeddemore. Here, the film is set around the holidays, with the ending taking place right on New Year’s, complete with a crowd of New Yorkers wearing tiaras and singing to encourage a walking Statue of Liberty to go to the museum, break in and help save the day! This is one of those sequels that feels both smaller than the first and perfectly fine in its own right. It’s a fun movie to watch and should be better known and better loved. The Ghostbusters along with their band of co-stars make a great team to spend the holidays with.
Strange Days (1995)
Released in 1995, this movie takes place in 1999, so the near future for people back then. But now it’s set over 20 years in the past, and some of the “futuristic” stuff is far gone. Other than that, the movie is interesting and entertaining. It is definitely not a family movie and it has content that will shock some, making it a movie from 1995. The cast here is what should sell any viewer on watching this movie. It includes Juliette Lewis, Ralph Fiennes, Angela Bassett, Tom Sizemore, Michael Wincott, Vincent D’Onofrio and more. These Lovely People is directed by Kathryn Bigelow and works from a screenplay by Jay Cocks based on a story by James Cameron. The talent behind and in front of the camera here is immense, making this film a must-see. The setting is interesting and the fact that it is supposed to be futuristic yet becomes more nostalgic adds to the entertainment value. It’s one of those movies that a lot of people seem to have missed or completely forgotten about, so it’s a great one to put on and check out this year.
Four Rooms (1995)
Another 1995 film with an amazing cast that includes Madonna, Antonio Banderas, Tim Roth, Jennifer Beals, Alicia Witt, Salma Hayek, Quentin Tarantino and so many more. The film is an anthology that takes place on New Year’s Eve at a hotel in The Big Apple. Yes, another NYE movie from NYC. There is something about the city and its association with the New Year that inspires filmmakers. Here are the directors Allison Anders, Alexandre Rockwell, Robert Rodriguez, and Quentin Tarantino (who also wrote their respective sequences), with Chuck Jones directing the animated sequences. There are some heavy hitters here and they do a great job as usual. This is one of those movies that understands how an anthology should be, it’s one of those movies where each segment works on its own and once they come together, they just fit. It’s the kind of anthology that just works so well that it makes the viewer want to see more anthologies done this way.
Christmas seems to get all the love sometimes, but these movies show that New Year’s is a great time to film, too. The fact that most of them are either violent, apocalyptic or more mature in content just shows that the holiday is aimed more at adults. The fact that 4 of the 5 films above are set in New York City obviously says something about what audiences and creatives associate with that time of year. What are your favorite movies about the New Year’s holiday?