This godforsaken year is finally ending, and there is no better way to see out the final days of 2016 than with something that makes you genuinely happy. If tearing up the town on December 31 isn’t your style, then maybe staying on your couch and not moving until the clock ticks over to 2017 is more you. If so, this list is for you.
Here’s a list of seven movies to stream on Netflix, Hulu, and HBO GO over the New Year’s weekend. All of them share a New Year’s connection (kind of) and all of them are bound to make you feel one thing or another, whether that thing be fear, joy, sadness, frustration, love, or something else completely random. Maybe you’ll laugh-cry at something. Who knows? Goodbye to 2016. Happy New Year!
7. A Christmas Horror Story, Netflix
You knew there had to be at least one final Christmas movie on this list. So, starring as the “so bad it’s good” Christmas pick is A Christmas Horror Story. Marketed as a horror movie starring William Shatner, the film follows a stream of small, horror-filled holiday tales woven together by Shatner’s radio DJ character.
Impregnation via ghost, and being hunted by changelings, Krampus, and zombies are all on the roster for Shatner’s weird Christmas wonderland. Yes, it’s laughably bad, but isn’t New Year’s also sometimes laughably bad too?
6. Sunset Boulevard, Netflix
The aptly named Sunset Boulevard focuses on the story of a former silent film starlet in her sunset years. In this film noir from 1950, Norma Desmond lives alone in an enormous mansion of Sunset Boulevard, accompanied only by her butler, Max, who writes her fake fan letters to keep her happy (in order to stave off her suicidal tendencies). Norma falls in love with a young film writer, lavishing him with expensive clothes and inviting him to an New Year’s Eve party where he’s the only person in attendance. Everything goes downhill from there.
The film ends where it begins, as most of it is told as a flashback. The opening shot is of a body in Norma’s pool and the film unravels the mystery as it goes. This classic, old Hollywood movie is on the American Film Institute’s list of 100 Best Films of the 20th Century, truly giving it a place among the stars.
5. The Poseidon Adventure, HBO GO
The Poseidon Adventure, 1972, was remade into Poseidon in 2007, but the original is definitely the way to go. Based on a book of the same name by Paul Gallico, the movie focuses on the aged luxury cruise liner the S.S. Poseidon and the guests on its final trip from New York City to Athens before it’s meant to be sent to the scrapyard. But New Year’s Eve rolls around, and a massive wave capsizes the Poseidon, trapping the party goers inside. The rest of the movie consists of a priest trying to lead the passengers from the sinking ship and to safety.
More of a disaster thriller than Titanic, this film has little to do with New Year’s Eve other than being set on New Year’s Eve. But, let’s be honest, how many movies are out there that fully focus on this fantastically boozy holiday?
4. When Harry Met Sally, Hulu
Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan star in this classic rom-com that, yes, has two points that take place during New Year’s Eve parties. Their final two meetings occur during or after these parties, and it’s all one big, glorious mess.
For the few people on the planet who haven’t seen When Harry Met Sally, here’s a quick synopsis: Harry and Sally’s lives gravitate around one another and they keep accidentally meeting up on planes in book stores and at parties. They know the same people, set couples up, and fight constantly, which obviously means they’re meant for one another. Obvious future marital issue aside, the two end up together (duh) and supposedly live happily ever after.
3. High School Musical, Netflix
This dynamic love story that defined a generation starts on New Year’s Eve, so there’s no better way to kick off 2017. Find love and lip sync about it on December 31, only to be whisked away and then reunited, magically, at school next semester. Don’t forget that you’re going to be confused about whether your heart lies with basketball or theater (you’re talented at both, obviously), which is kind of a bummer. But you and your classmates will end the year on a happy note because “We’re All in This Together.”
Kenny Ortega’s smash hit Disney Channel Original Movie musical took the world by storm in 2006, spawning a TV sequel and theater-hopping third film that amassed $252.9 million in the box office worldwide. So, really, that’s nothing to shake a baton at.
2. An Affair to Remember, Netflix
Leo McCarey’s An Affair to Remember is, to this day, still considered one of the most romantic movies of all time. Starring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr, this 1957 classic was actually a remake of the same director’s 1939 film Love Affair. Here’s another New Year’s Eve movie featuring a cruise ship, but — sorry to disappoint — this one doesn’t sink.
Grant’s Nickie Ferrante and Kerr’s Terry McKay meet on said cruise ship, fall in love, and agree to meet back up with each other at the top of the Empire State Building in New York City six months later if they’ve both gotten out of their current relationships and are happy in their work lives. A lot of really bad misunderstandings and happenstances ensue, but the film as a whole is so classically romantic that it’s worth a watch even just as a boost of your film nerd cred.
1. Rent, Netflix
If you’re looking for a good cry on New Year’s Eve, look no further than Rent. Based on the musical of the same name, Rent takes place in 1989 and 1990 New York City during the AIDS epidemic. A group of eight self-entitled Bohemians in the East Village live through a year dealing with drug addiction, money problems, sexuality, and sickness. The film, like the musical, is equally heartbreaking and lift-you-up happy, and will undoubtedly give you emotional whiplash as you sing along.
The New Year’s Eve peg here is that the plot really sets in on New Year’s Eve. The group of eight is together and bonded by that point, but everything starts to go wrong when two of the main characters are evicted from their apartment on New Year’s Day after a long night of partying in the city.