While there are many memorable Christmas movies, relatively speaking there are not a lot of well-known New Year’s Eve movies.
There’s of course the 2011 Gary Marshall film titled New Year’s Eve which I am sure many people may watch this year perhaps in tribute to the director who passed away in 2016. New Year’s Eve is one of Marshall’s holiday vignette films, which also include Valentine’s Day (2010) and Mother’s Day (2016).
I also like The Poseidon Adventure, the 1972 disaster film starring Gene Hackman and Shelly Winters, which depicts the story of a luxury liner which is overturned by a wave during a New Year’s Eve celebration and the handful of passengers who manage to escape the ill-fated vessel. The Poseidon Adventure received an Oscar for Best Original Song for “There Has to be a Morning After.”
My favorite film associated with New Year’s Eve is Rob Reiner’s When Harry Met Sally (1989). I describe the film as associated with New Year’s Eve because while the film is not set exclusively on New Year’s Eve, it does include two New Year’s Eve scenes from different years in the relationship history of the two primary characters, Harry played by Billy Crystal and Sally played by Meg Ryan. The film also features the late Bruno Kirby and Carrie Fisher who died of cardiac arrest earlier this week as the couple’s best friends.
When Harry Met Sally is my favorite New Year’s Eve film, because I love the way New Year’s Eve is used to reflect the evolution of Harry and Sally’s relationship. In the film’s first New Year’s Eve scene, Harry and Sally are attending a New Year’s Eve party as friends because neither of them have dates. By the second New Year’s Eve scene, Harry and Sally’s relationship has transitioned by turning the two friends into lovers but the love affair quickly fizzled and Harry and Sally have stopped speaking.
On New Year’s Eve, Sally is out with friends at the party she would have attended with Harry if they still were friends. She is ready to leave, because she is having a miserable time. Harry is at home watching television but cannot get Sally out of his mind. He decides to go find Sally and to try to win her back. He arrives at the New Year’s Eve party just as she is leaving.
Harry then says to Sally, “I came here tonight, because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.” And of course, what better time to start the rest of your life than New Year’s Eve.
Thanks to When Harry Met Sally, romantics everywhere harbor a little hope that they too will find their true love on New Year’s Eve.
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