5 New Year's Eve Movies to Help Ring in 2019

Now that we’re all stuck in that odd limbo period between Christmas and New Year’s, things can be confusing. What day is it? What year is it? Do we work or not? What do we do with the kids while they’re off from school? Can we possibly eat more unhealthy food? (The answer is yes, by the way.) When do we start exercising? What’s my name again?

While some people have this week figured out and are planning countless family excursions and stay-cations, the rest of us have to get creative while we wait to ring in the new year. To that end, we propose a few movie nights (and afternoons!) to help pass the time. As we count the number of days left in 2018 on one hand, here are some movies that feature New Year’s Eve scenes that shouldn’t be missed.

5. Ocean’s 11 (1960)

Be sure to watch the original version of Ocean’s 11, starring Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr. Not only is it a solid classic movie, but it will also explain how the popular George Clooney and Brad Pitt movie was born. In this film, the big heist at the casino takes place during a New Year’s Eve celebration. It is especially fun to see how different things were back then (notice how little security there was at the casino compared to today). And it’s always entertaining to watch the Rat Pack in action.

4. Sleepless in Seattle

In perhaps a more mellow and sad take on New Year’s Eve, we have Tom Hanks playing new widower Sam Baldwin. Following his wife’s death, he moves his young son to Seattle and we witness a beautiful scene in which he has a conversation with his late wife. The good news is that he ultimately meets Meg Ryan and they live happily ever after. But that NYE scene is a tear-jerker for sure.

3. Trading Places

There is so much comedy and entertainment packed into this 1983 Eddie Murphy and Dan Akroyd film that it almost doesn’t matter that it has a NYE moment. Nevertheless, the duo sets their plot in motion to stop the Dukes from cornering the commodities market on a train on New Year’s Eve. We have Eddie Murphy pretending to be an African exchange student (“Merry New Year!”), Dan Akroyd in unbelievable blackface as a Rastafarian, and Jamie Lee Curtis pretending to be Inga from Sweden. Of course, they all end up in New York on the trading floor and their plan works. The whole thing is uproariously funny.

2. Radio Days

This Woody Allen movie is different from many of his others, as he never actually appears in it (he narrates it instead). It tells the story of a Jewish-American family from Rockaway Beach during the Golden Age of radio. At the center of the film is a young boy (played by Seth Green) who idolizes the various radio stars of the time. On New Year’s Eve, we see how this modest family spends the evening, compared to how the radio celebrities ring in the new year. The narrator tells us: “I never forgot that New Year’s Eve when Aunt Bea awakened me to watch 1944 come in. I’ve never forgotten any of those people or any of the voices we would hear on the radio. Though the truth is, with the passing of each New Year’s Eve, those voices do seem to grow dimmer and dimmer.”

1. When Harry Met Sally

The New Year’s Eve scene is quite possibly one of the best romantic comedy moments of all time. Throughout the film, we’ve watched as Harry and Sally met, became best friends, fell in love (but refused to admit it), and almost lost each other completely. Everything culminates in a beautiful moment when Sally is lonely and bored at a huge celebration and Harry runs through the city to reach her by midnight. And then there’s the best line of them all: “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.”