5 Things We've Learned from New Years Celebrations in Movies

I'm going to assume none of us learned anything from Garry Marshall's New Year's Eve other than, "I was right to avoid New Year's Eve." Fortunately, there are real lessons to be gleaned from the best in New Year's cinema, and we've lined up five movies with tips for your bash this weekend. Whether you're ringing it in alone or spending it with the grimmest Vietnam vet on Earth, you'll learn something valuable here.

The Gold Rush: If you're alone, you can envision a party that's better than a real one.
Charlie Chaplin's iconic fork-and-roll dance from The Gold Rush is a fantasy sequence where the Little Tramp entertains guests who never show up to his place. Though the flatware choreography is cute, it's hard not to look in Chaplin's striking eyes during the entire sequence. But what a fabulous (and fictional) fete!

The Apartment: Don't pop a wine cork when your lady friend can mistake it for a gunshot.
The Apartment is a treasure, but it's also dour enough to put a damper on your New Year's. Let's revisit its best moment of pure levity and watch when Fran Kubelik (Shirley MacLaine) ditches her party, realizes that C.C. Baxter (Jack Lemmon) risked his job for her, and arrives at his apartment to deliver a few classic lines of dialogue -- namely, before a rummy game, "Shut up and deal." C.C.'s cork-popping could be better timed, though -- as Fran rushes to his door, she receives a ghastly fright.

The Godfather, Part II: Don't reveal that you're a traitor during festivities.
Fredo Corleone (the late, great John Cazale) receives a grim kiss from his brother Michael (Al Pacino) upon revealing that he's the traitor that Michael suspects he is. This leads to a classic line, "I know it was you, Fredo -- you broke my heart," which also served as the inspiration for the John Cazale documentary I Knew It Was You. Oh, New Years. What a perfectly inopportune time to expose your true character.

Forrest Gump: Do not party with your bitter commanding officer from Vietnam.
If we were focusing on Jenny's New Year's festivities in Forrest Gump, this tip might be titled, "Don't kill yourself!" But we're looking at Forrest (Tom Hanks) now, just as he exchanges glances with the resentful, abrasive Lt. Dan (Gary Sinise). It seems obvious, but please try not to ring in a new year with a disrespectful, not to mention emotionally battered comrade.

Sex and the City: Find your most sensible, downtrodden friend and hole up with her in a glamorous apartment.
I'm always a little baffled by the vitriol spewed at the first Sex and the City movie, which was truly no different -- or better or worse -- than the TV show. Here, in the movie's most poignant scene, we watch as Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) sneak over to Miranda's (Cynthia Nixon) place for a warm New Year's. That sweeping, Celtic rendition of "Auld Lang Syne" helps too.

Got other favorite New Year's movie lessons? Drop 'em in the comments below!

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  • forever1267 says:

    No lessons from "The Poseidon Adventure" like say, follow the movie stars to safety, not the extras to your watery doom?

  • The Winchester says:

    From Strange Days, I learn never to trust Tom Sizemore and Juliet Lewis while wearing virtual reality headsets that allow me to experience another person's feelings during murders.

    And that Angela Bassett always kicks ass.

  • Remy says:

    "When Harry Met Sally": avoid wearing an '80s perm at all costs.

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