In a recent interview with actress Jennifer Lawrence with Vanity Fair, the actress has proclaimed that she isn't a fan of New Year's Eve, "I really hate it, " she has said, "I've never had a good one--everyone's chasing a good time and it's always a disappointment."
Perhaps there's something to Lawrence's declaration that the holiday is a real bummer. Have you ever felt the same way about New Year's Eve yourself? Have you gone out for a night on the town and encountered the wrong drunk people, or ended up at a lame-ass party with people who are too drunk to even stand up? It seems as if we're all sort of looking for that big New Year's Eve party that we've seen over the years portrayed in our favorite Hollywood movies. We want to be a part of that one big, unforgettable party that features a cool DJ, a bunch of hot girls and guys dancing around us, unlimited drinks flowing, and something crazy or wacky that happens that really puts it all over the edge. Think about the party that was recently portrayed in The Night Before--the party that Seth Rogen and Joseph Gordon-Levitt arrive at via that tunnel of holiday lights! Now, that's a party. For many, New Year's Eve is a reminder of where one hasn't gone in their life yet, and it can be depressing as hell. For whatever reason, whether its our understanding (via the unconscious mind) of the definition of time itself and how it is relative to all things--we're all very aware of our status in life's game and where we want to be and where we don't want to be, and how we aren't there or not quite there. There's something very depressing about it, when you stop to think about it--perhaps that's why we drown ourselves in drink on the one night of the year?
Or maybe it's Hollywood's fault. Maybe we've all fallen in love with the idea of the New Year's Eve party because of the ones we've seen in our favorite movies, or perhaps, we've fallen in love with the situations or experiences that the characters in our favorite movies have experienced--as we relate to them! Maybe, it's the nature of the beast, that the movies afford us a means and way in which we can relate or experience/prepare/learn life's experiences--as if to ready us for our own in reality?
If you're one who doesn't enjoy New Year's Eve, or if you're one, who like Jennifer Lawrence doesn't love "chasing the good time," or going out for New Year's Eve, then perhaps you'd rather say inside for the night with our list of New Year's Eve movie favorites? These are our favorite New Year's Eve movies that offer us all that big party, allow us to revel in depression, who remind us that that gathering of friends who are all steeped in the big life experience or big moment in time which always seems best suited for New Year's Eve, or at least, feels like it should be is never available to us for some reason.
200 Cigarettes (1999)
Featuring a who's who list of (at the time) up-and-coming actors like Ben Affleck, Dave Chappelle, Gaby Hoffmann, Kate Hudson, and Ant-Man himself, Paul Rudd, 200 Cigarettes takes place on New Years Eve in New York City in 1981. The story is centered around the night in the lives of several different characters, some connected to each other through one or two degrees of separation only--all of them trying to make their way to what is supposed to be the biggest party of the year. Through a several of hilarious scenarios and encounters the characters all are delayed from getting to the party, which is being thrown in an apartment and it has been rumored that rock star Elvis Costello will be making an appearance. The host of the party, "Monica," played by actress Martha Plimpton becomes enraged when no-one shows up and begins to drink herself into a stupor, eventually passing out, just as all of the guests arrive for what turns out to be the party of year after all. While 200 Cigarettes might not have earned the cult status that it may or may not have set out to achieve on its initial release, we can't deny that, in some way, it typifies the essence and depression of New Year's Eve.
New Year's Evil (1980)
If you're down on New Year's Eve like many, then perhaps you'll enjoy this darker foray into the holiday itself. New Years Evil (great title, isn't it?) is a one of the earliest ventures into the 1980s horror movie slasher genre. The story to this unforgettable slice'em and dice'em creep-fest is centered around a New Year's Eve party on television, where the host starts to get phone calls on the air from a serial killer who is planning to kill someone to go around with the turn of the New Years via the time turning in conjunction with the countries different time zones.
Strange Days (1995)
Produced smack in the heat of the cyber-punk moment of the mid/late 90s, Strange Days was written by James Cameron (yes, the guy who made Titanic (1997)). The story is set in Los Angeles, days before New Year's Eve and is set in the future where people use virtual reality instead of drugs. Ralph Fiennes plays 'Lenny Nero,' a black-market dealer of virtual reality clips who gets a clip that records a murder, and what follows is a chain of events where he uncovers the murdered and the murderer.
Peter's Friends (1992)
A Brit-comedy that was written by comedienne Rita Rudner, Peter's Friends features a impressive cast of headlining Brit-actors which rose to fame in the 1980s. Peter invites his collection of college-era friends to his home for the New Year's holiday and what follows is a Big Chill-like scenario that plays out more like a stage play than anything else. But, what separates a movie like Peter's Friends from others that have very similar scenarios is the smart dialogue here and the very sad life events that the characters have experiences since their college days. Many of which are poignant for the era in which the movie was released.
The Poseidon Adventure (1972)
For those who want to be all-consuming with depression on New Year's Eve, there's Irwin Allen's The Poseidon Adventure, which for it's day, was one of the all-time greatest Hollywood disaster-spectacle movies. Featuring an all-star cast, and set against the backdrop of New Year's Eve--The Poseidon Adventure is a story about a collection of people who are traveling on a Titanic-sized ocean ship crossing from New York City to Athens, Greece when a giant wave overturns the ship on New Year's Eve and a group of survivors are left to make their way through the destroyed ship before it goes under for good. It's a impressive movie, one which, they don't make anymore in Hollywood without the benefits of CGI.