New Year's Eve is a time for new beginnings, forgiving old beefs and ringing in the coming year by looking forward to all of the hopeful things to come. That karmic holiday tradition applies to the movies just as it does in real life, as everyone from Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal to the Ghostbusters and the sprawling cast of 200 Cigarettes (along with Elvis Costello) has shown us the value in forgetting those auld acquaintances every December 31st. But we all know how to raise a glass and pucker up at the stroke of midnight. What were those things the movies told us not to do on New Year's Eve?
Find out after the jump.
[Screen grab courtesy of MovieMorlocks.com]
1. Don't pretend you didn't lie to your brother. Especially if he's a mafia don and you're the family f*** up. (The Godfather Part II)
Some folks don't really adhere to the "Auld Lang Syne" message of forgiveness. Michael Corleone is one of those folks. Where you definitely do not want to be at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve is at a party receiving the business end of his Kiss of Death, because a few months later you might find yourself at the bottom of Lake Tahoe. (Hopefully your family is much more forgiving.)
2. Don't show up when your older employer invites you to their house for an intimate New Year's Eve party for two. (Sunset Boulevard)
Seriously, it'll just lead to mixed signals and crossed wires and before you know it, they'll go all Norma Desmond on you and guilt trip you into being their special man-friend for life. William Holden's biggest problem was that he didn't nip Gloria Swanson's advances in the bud, and look where he ended up – face down in a pool, with nary a produced screenplay credited to his IMDB page.
3. Don't arrive drunk to your best friend's party and dance with the one chick he likes. (Holiday Inn)
As I understand it, this is basic bro-code because it can lead to a variety of unpleasant ends. A) Your inebriated state scares or offends the other party goers. B) Your BFF totally thinks you're hitting on his girl, which is so not cool even though you didn't recognize her at all because you were so drunk. Or C) you try to wow the crowd with your awesome dance moves that you learned by watching Dancing with the Stars, but you wind up skipping all the cool parts and going straight to the face plant on the floor because you're no Fred Astaire.
4. Don't look for your soul mate on Craigslist. Not even just to have someone to make-out with at midnight. (In Search of a Midnight Kiss)
Wilson (Scoot McNairy) is a lonely-but-still-hip 29-year-old Los Angeleno so miserable that he posts an ad on Craigslist right before New Year's Eve. While he technically finds a cool, pretty chick to swap spit with at the big moment, she's an uber-damaged head case who can't stick around anyway despite the Very Nice Moment they share at the start of the New Year. And trust me, whatever kooky responses you're going to get from a personal ad this late in the game will probably not magically be your ideal match. Your best bet: attend a New Year's party with friends (one that's well populated, see #2 above) to find someone equally hopeful and single (but not, well, Craigslist-crazy).
5. Don't go on a trans-Atlantic cruise on an ocean liner with sketchy safety codes during underwater earthquake season. (The Poseidon Adventure)
Oh, how joyous are the party goers onboard the SS Poseidon. Confetti is thrown, Grandpa Joe from Willy Wonka kisses Shelly Winters, and Carol Lynley leads the crowd in a rousing rendition of "Auld Lang Syne." Meanwhile, a pre-Naked Gun Captain Leslie Nielsen sees total annihilation approaching on his radar screen, and within a few moments the revelers in the dining hall are trapped in their own festive ballroom of death. Nothing against the luxury travel industry, but wouldn't you rather ring in the New Year safe and on land?
6. Don't spend New Year's Eve obsessing over your ex when you have a perfectly nice best friend/bodyguard who loves you. (Strange Days)
If only Ralph Fiennes wasn't so hung up on his skanky ex in Kathryn Bigelow's Y2K thriller Strange Days, he'd have saved himself a ton of trouble and had a comely New Year's Eve kissing partner in his brawny best gal pal, Angela Bassett. But no, some guys have to obsess. Remember Some Kind of Wonderful? Not a New Year's Eve movie, but you get the picture; try to see the potential midnight kiss right under your nose before risking your life to battle the cops and psycho killers tonight.
7. Don't ruin two strangers' lives for the entertainment of two old fogeys and think you can get away with it. (Trading Places)
Not that you were even thinking of doing such a thing, but we'd advise against playing with strangers' lives like Clarence Beeks does to Louis Winthorpe III (Dan Akroyd) and Billy Ray Valentine (Eddie Murphy). Though they meet on a train on New Year's under festive circumstances ("Merry New Year!" shouts Billy Ray, undercover as Nengue Mboko from Cameroon) things turn ugly when a gorilla suit gets involved. You don't want to spend New Year's Day with an amorous primate, do you?
Merry New Year, Cinematicalites!