With the pandemic still a big concern this year, some of your traditional New Year’s Eve celebrations might be put on hold until further notice. The New Year’s Eve parties, spending time with your friends, and even hanging in the crowds of Times Square will not look the same this year. But the pandemic can’t stop you from making new New Year’s traditions like staying up all night with the best TV and movie ultra-marathons from the comfort of your living room. If you’ve ever wanted an excuse to stay in and snuggle up in front of the television with hot chocolate in your hand, then this year may be your moment! And it definitely beats hanging out at a crowded countdown party!

You can find New Year’s Eve movies in basically any genre.  Each of the movies on this list has scenes that take place on December 31. Do you want to see two people fall in love on New Year’s Eve? Do you want something more sentimental that lets you reflect on the year you just had? Or how about something that’ll get 2021 started off right with lots of laughs? The good news is, no matter how you want to feel going into the new year, there’s a movie on this list that will bring you a bit of joy to end this massively crazy year.


Waiting to Exhale (1995)

photo via culledculture.com

Getting dumped on New Year’s Eve by your husband is horrible, but watching Bernadine (Angela Bassett) put her husband’s clothes and car on fire is a little fun to watch. If you’ve got some things you are eager to be rid of in the new year, save yourself the matches and enjoy a beautiful friendship between four women (Bassett, Whitney Houston, Loretta Devine, and Lela Rochon) from the comfort of your bed. 


Are We There Yet? (2005)

photo via slantmagazine.com

On New Year’s Eve, Nick (Ice Cube) must drive his soon-to-be girlfriend’s children from Portland to Vancouver. Unfortunately for Nick, the kid quickly tries to sabotage his plan to get with their mom. Nick is seen as a player but somewhere along the way, he learns what’s really important in his life and what his life is missing. If you are looking for a light-hearted, humorous laugh out loud throughout the movie, then this is definitely something for you to check out. 


When Harry Met Sally

photo via Steph Green at medium.com

Watching two people fall in love over the course of several years is always romantic, but Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal master the process of falling in love in When Harry Met Sally. Their moment starts at a New Year’s Eve party and their kiss is one of the sweetest, most romantic, slow-burn smooches that makes you want to fall in love for the new year. Treat yourself to watching it while the ball drops at midnight.


Rent (2005)

photo via lebeauleblog.com

Music has a way of making everything feel okay.  And I must say, although this movie has its sad moments to say the least, Rent will ultimately make you happy to sing and dance along. It takes place around Christmas and New Year’s, which makes the film a great one to end or start your year. It’s a good opportunity for others to reflect on their characters and what family and friends are all about. Remember to buy the soundtrack, so you can geek out in your living room when counting down the new year. 

High School Musical (2005)

photo via entertainmentweekly.com

Yep, it made the cut! My all time favorite childhood movie growing up was High School Musical. It’s impossible to watch it so many times and not know every song lyric by heart. After all, Troy (Zac Efron) and Gabriella (Vanessa Hudgens) did meet each other at a New Year’s Eve party and sang together for the first time, which is a pretty cute way to start the new year.


About Time (2013)

photo via Netflix.com

When Tim (Domhall Gleeson) finds out from his father (Bill Nighy) that he has inherited the ability to go back in time, the first thing he does is go back in time to the night before. This is where he hangs out with the girl he kissed at a New Year’s Eve party. Rather than changing the world, Tim uses this new ability to change his awkward conversations and makes sure he can woo the woman of his dreams, Mary (Rachel McAdams). 


New Year’s Eve (2011)

photo via cinemasiren.com

This adorable movie features interconnected arcs about love happening in New York City for New Year’s. From Taylor Swift to Ashton Kutcher to Bon Jovi, there actually is something for everyone for this New Year’s Eve celebration. New Year’s Eve gives a montage of relationships that work, reconcile, begin, end, and finally find their way as they ring in the New Year.

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