Tim Robbins once called New Year's Eve "amateur night for drunks," and the tiresome celebrity pinko was absolutely right for once. The forced merriment and lack of decent bowl games means people put that much more effort into inebriation, with predictable results. Luckily some people found ways to make the occasion memorable.
5. New Year's Evil (1980)
It's a novel approach, commemorating the beginning of a new calendar year by murdering a "naughty girl" in each time zone as celebrations commence. Still, two things date this movie back to the 80s. First, the killer's use of a switchblade is almost prosaic. Second, it'd be a more significant accomplishment these days if he could actually find any "nice girls" to eliminate.
4. Strange Days (1995)
Remember way back in the 90s when we thought the new millenium would be highlighted by tensions between police and the public, increasing electronic surveillance of our citizenry, and bad Britpop? What a relief none of that stuff happened.
3. When Harry Met Sally (1989)
I don't like it anymore than you do, but as cliched romantic comedy endings where Character #1 realizes their true love has been Character #2 all along (and only about an hour and thirty minutes after the rest of us) and runs desperately after them so they can begin their new life happily ever after go, it is pretty iconic.
2. Boogie Nights (1997)
What's that? Your New Year's Eve sucked because you drank too much Korbel and let some homunculoid you met in the parking lot get to third base? Really? Did you walk in on your wife nailing another guy, shoot them both and then yourself? You didn't have all that bad a night then.
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1. The Poseidon Adventure (1972)
The doomed passengers of the Poseidon should be thankful something as eventful as their ship turning over happened before the pathetic denouement that inevitably follows every New Year's Party. And check out the floatation devices on Gene Hackman's date.
-- Pete Vonder-Haar