2020 was no doubt a roller-coaster of a year, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. In case you are not planning anything special and prefer to stay home during the final week of December 2020, why not visit or revisit some of these 10 Essential New Year’s Movies To Watch In December listed in alphabetical order?
1) Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001)
Remember the time when Renée Zellweger used to rule the romantic-comedy genre? Or more specifically, “Bridget Jones’s Diary”, where she plays a woman determined to fulfil her New Year’s resolutions. This includes everything from losing weight to quitting smoking and yes, finding Mr Right! Zellweger is at her top form here, even earning a well-deserved Oscar nomination for Best Actress.
2) Ghostbusters II (1989)
Although “Ghostbusters II” pales in comparison to the superior 1984 original, this otherwise lacklustre sequel does have its moments. And one of them happens to take place during New Year’s Eve, where the Ghostbusters team successfully bringing the Statue of Liberty to life… with a mix of slime and Howard Huntsberry’s uplifting song of “Higher and Higher”.
3) New Year’s Eve (2011)
The late Garry Marshall is no stranger to making romantic comedies, with credits that include “Pretty Woman” (1990) and “Runaway Bride” (1999). In 2011, he directed an all-star ensemble featuring familiar names like Halle Berry, Jessica Biel, Ashton Kutcher, Michelle Pfeiffer and Robert De Niro. It’s far from his best but the movie’s interweaving stories about finding love in New York City on New Year’s Eve does have its moments. You can stream this on Netflix.
4) Sleepless In Seattle (1993)
As one of the best romantic dramas of the 90s, “Sleepless in Seattle” features wonderful performances from Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. There are a few memorable moments in this movie, namely the ending where Sam (Tom Hanks) and Annie (Meg Ryan) finally get together atop the Empire State Building. Then, there’s the touching moment set during the New Year’s Eve, as Sam is all alone on the couch while having an imaginary conversation with his late wife (Carey Lowell).
5) The Holiday (2006)
“The Holiday” may have relied heavily on the usual romantic-comedy formula. But one thing for sure, the all-star ensemble (Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet and Jude Law) manages to elevate the material with their above-average performances. And given the title, not only the movie include scenes during Christmas but also on New Year’s Eve. You can stream this on Netflix.
6) The Poseidon Adventure (1972) & Poseidon (2006)
Both original and the remake takes place on New Year’s Eve, where their cruise ships are capsized by a rogue wave! “The Poseidon Adventure” was famously released during the golden age of 1970s disaster movies, with a solid ensemble (Gene Hackman and Shelley Winters come to mind) and its overall cinematic thrills.
By comparison, the 2006 special effects-heavy remake is no match with the original, even though it has a decent cast (Richard Dreyfuss, Kurt Russell) and impressively-staged set-pieces.
7) Trading Places (1983)
Have some good laughs watching this comedy classic featuring hilariously spot-on performances from Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd. “Trading Places” takes place between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve, with the latter has Eddie Murphy shouting the iconic line “Merry New Year!”
8) Waiting To Exhale (1995)
Adapted from Terry McMillan’s 1992 novel of the same name, “Waiting to Exhale” follows the ups and downs of four African-American women and their respective relationships. The movie features a solid cast all around including the late Whitney Houston, Angela Bassett, Loretta Devine and Lela Rochon. Those who have seen it before probably remembered the soundtrack the most, notably Whitney Houston’s “Exhale (Shoop Shoop)”. And of course, the movie starts and ends on New Year’s.
9) When Harry Met Sally… (1989)
This hugely-popular romantic comedy may have been over 30 years ago. But “When Harry Met Sally…” remains among the prime examples on how to make a great rom-com (romantic comedy, that is). It features a memorable pairing of Billy Crystal and then-queen of Hollywood romantic comedies, Meg Ryan. The movie, of course, is best remembered for the hilarious scene where Meg Ryan’s Sally is “faking an orgasm” in the crowded restaurant.
But let’s not forget about the New Year’s Eve-set ending either, with Harry (Billy Crystal) pledging his love to Sally — all beautifully culminating with a kiss.
10) While You Were Sleeping (1995)
Another great romantic comedy from the 90s, with Sandra Bullock playing a token collector being mistaken for the fiancée of a coma patient (Peter Gallagher). Excellent performances all around (Sandra Bullock and Bill Pullman both shared great chemistry) while the movie starts on Christmas Day and concludes on New Year’s Eve.