Thursday, December 29, 2011

N.Y.E. on Film

Should you forgo all the hoopla and stay home and watch a movie this New Year's Eve, you can vicariously experience everything from an overturned ship to poignant friends turned lovers. Here are a few memorable New Year's Eve scenes on film:

New Year's Eve

Pick a holiday, add an all star ensemble cast and a series of romantic vignettes and you have the formula for director Gary Marshall's film New Year's Eve in what is truly a trend in Hollywood these days. (If this sounds familiar, you probably saw Valentine's Day back in February and if you are a baby boomer, you remember the Love Boat as well). The film stars Hilary Swank, Ashton Kutcher, Michelle Pfeiffer, Sarah Jessica Parker, and yes, Robert De Niro. The critics have not been kind so enter at your own risk (although it's got a great cast and looks like a good "rom-com").

Sunset Boulevard

Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson) lures young screenwriter Joe Gillis (William Holden) to her NYE bash only to find he is the only guest in her decrepit, memory filled Sunset Boulevard mansion. Often campy yet a true window on aging in Hollywood, the film is a classic and gets better with every viewing. I remember hearing a film was in the works with Glenn Close years ago, too bad it didn't work out.

Ocean's Eleven 
Danny Ocean and Company - that would be Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr, Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop - pull off a heist in Las Vegas on the busiest night of the year. Ocean's Eleven is the original and better than the sequel (in my humble opinion).

Connery and Zeta Jones
Another heist takes place before the ball drops in the year 2000 in the stylish caper Entrapment with Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta Jones.

Winslet and Black in The Holiday
Kate Winslet, Jack Black, Jude Law and Cameron Diaz celebrate New Year's Eve in a little Surrey town in director Nancy Meyer's holiday classic (aptly called) The Holiday.

Bissett and Bergen in Rich and Famous
Rich and Famous is an often forgotten gem of a film directed by George Cukor and stars Jacqueline Bissett and Candice Bergen as old friends who are at varying stages of their career. The film takes place over several decades of their friendship (complete with competition, jealousy and envy) and culminates on New Year's Eve. Look for a young Meg Ryan and Bergen's daughter.

When Harry Met Sally's Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan

Harry's proclamation of love to Sally is a scene stealing moment in When Harry Met 
Sally. "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 realize you want to spend the rest of our life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible" was just one of the many memorable quotes from writer Nora Ephron.

The Poseidon Adventure
"There's got to be a morning after" was not the case for the tourists on this love boat in the seventies disaster flick The Poseiden Adventure. Gene Hackman, Red Buttons, Ernest Borgnine and Shelley Winters were among the fatalities as I recall. Great special effects as the boat capsizes on the big night.

Sarah Jessica Parker in Sex and the City
Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) and Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) spend a depressing NYE together after having a year of being left at the altar and separated respectively in the film Sex and the City. Or skip the film and rent the set of seasons one through eight and have a marathon.

And if you didn't watch it over Christmas, here is your chance...Holiday Inn. Enough said.
And here's to a prosperous, healthy and reasonably stress free 2012. Happy New Year!

Holiday Inn

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Ho Ho Ho

Merry Christmas to all....and yes, this is the Griswold family mug from National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation and no, it's not in my collection of cinema memorabilia!

Happy Holidays!

Cathy Whitlock