Over a long history, the notion of New Year’s Eve on screen has grown into something iconic.
The idea of a year being brought to an end and welcoming new beginnings, having a fresh start and looking forward to what is to come seems to resonate with so many. At the end of what (for many) could be seen as a laborious trudge of a year, New Year’s Eve offers a chance to go wild, spill your heart out, take a one in a million shot at something impossible because if all goes wrong this failure still lies in the previous year.
When you wake up the next morning you’re new you and that silly attempt at kissing the pretty boy in the club was the juvenile actions of 2017 you. 2018 you, however, is confident, easy going and knows the right moment to lean in to kiss the glitter clad Adonis.
Hollywood however stands by this idea of going for it, against all the odds, because who knows what might happen!
In movie world, if a miracle is going to happen, by God it is going to happen on New Year’s Eve!
So, on this, the last day of 2017, here are some stand out cinematic New Year’s Eve moments from a few Stirling students and why they mean so much to them.
The Apartment (1960)
Are there more charmingly endearing people in all of cinema than CC Baxter and Fran Kubelik (Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine)?
When Miss Kubelik realises, to the tune of Auld Lang Syne, that her affair with a married man will bring her no happiness or fulfilment, she runs all the way to the home of CC Baxter. They begin to play cards and Baxter tells her he loves her.
Her reply is my favourite closing line of any film (is there a better line anywhere in film?). The Apartment is the perfect New Year film. It will cheer you up if your sad, make you cry if you fancy it.
It’s wonderful when you’re drunk, when you’re sober, when you’re happy and want to be happier. It’s a wonderful first date film. It’s a wonderful film. Watch it. – Jack Buchanan
When Harry Met Sally (1989)
Staying on the imagery of running through the streets of New York to declare one’s love at the strike of midnight, When Harry Met Sally, to me, is the perfect New Year’s Eve scene.
At the film’s close, as Sally is about to leave a big fancy New York party, Harry – fresh from hot footing it from central park – empties his heart in the hope that she will declare her love back.
Harry’s speech is faultless and every movie from that moment onward should have used it as the benchmark for romantic speeches.
As Auld Lang Syne swells around them, Harry lists off all of Sally’s faults, but insists they are all the reasons he loves her before finishing his spot with possibly one of my favourite romantic lines from cinema.
He rounds off: “And it’s not because I’m lonely and it’s not because it’s New Year’s Eve, I came here tonight because when you realise you want to spend the rest of your life with someone, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”.
The perfect end to what is possibly my favourite film of all time, I’ll have what she’s having. – Stuart Graham
All the praise, however, can’t fall to Hollywood features, television shows have been dealing with the fateful midnight moment since it became the phenomenon it is today. Whether it be the many New Year specials in Friends or the notorious stuck in an elevator special from Still Game, some of the most memorable scenes have been brought to us from the small screen.
The pilot of Futurama is arguably one of the most iconic New Year’s Eve episodes in television. It was first released in 1999 yet it still holds up nearly 20 years later.
The juxtaposition between the countdown to the year 2000 at the beginning of the episode and the countdown to the year 3000 at the end, expertly navigates the themes of diversity, tradition and hope for the future which are explored throughout the series.
As the countdown from 10 cuts to different countries, languages and alien races, it sets the tone for the rest of the show as exploring different cultures and toasting new beginnings.
The character Fry is given a second chance at a fulfilling life in the 31st century, which effectively parallels the notion of ‘new year, new me’ – a chance to start afresh and set new goals to achieve.
This memorable pilot episode is an excellent homage to the tradition of celebrating New Year Eve. – Emily Daniel
High School Musical (2006)
Coming at the start of the first film of the generation defining trilogy, the scene sees Troy and Gabriella thrown together for karaoke, kick starting their long romance.
Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001)
Whether it be kissing Mark Darcy in the snow or simply the whole film operating around Jones’s attempts to fulfil her resolutions set out at the start of the movie, this whole film embodies everything new year’s eve is all about.
The Gold Rush (1925)
The scene sees comedy veteran Charlie Chaplin and a group of women gathered around a dinner table, as Chaplin amuses the room using forks stuck into bread rolls as legs to perform a table top dance. The scene is perfectly Chaplin, and is given heart when Chaplin waves up at the table alone, having imagined the whole thing.
So whether you’re having a quiet night in or going wild in the freezing cold at a street party , let your New Year’s Eve of 2017 be special. Who knows what might happen in the coming year.