New Year’s Eve movies

eo11 diner

Two of my favorite movies of all time take place during the days leading up to New Year’s Eve. In fact, it’s the same New Year’s Eve–1960–though in Ocean’s 11 the year is never actually specified, we just assume it takes places during present day. Diner was filmed more than two decades later on the other side of the country, yet at their cores the films are more alike than different. Guys and their friends. Old friends. Guys you’ve gone to war with (literally or not), and would do so again.

Both movies are about growing up. Sort of. Actually they’re about not growing up, staying cool, and being young forever. I’ve seen both movies so many times I could recite them line by line. I assume you’ve seen them too and won’t rehash their plots. If you haven’t seen either one, do yourself a favor and watch them immediately. The originals. Yes, Ocean’s 11 was remade 40 years later with modern lads of “cool,” and I understand a musical version of Diner is now playing on the D.C. stage.


Don’t mess with the classics.

It became a New Year’s Eve tradition for me 15 years ago to watch the 1960 version of Ocean’s 11 on said day. It’s the quintessential party movie. The party where, like life and like the movie itself, you’re going to see a lot more dudes than chicks. Such is life.

This year I’m saving Ocean’s 11 for tomorrow. I guess given the events of the film, it makes sense to view it on New Year’s Day too.

Tonight I’m watching When Harry Met Sally, yet another of my favorite films with a climax on New Year’s Eve. To be fair, the film plays out over a decade or so of real time so one can’t really call it a “New Year’s Eve” movie, but it is Mrs. O’Connell’s favorite and I like it too. Hard to believe it’s 25 years old.

Sitting at home watching a movie with my wife? Was I not paying attention during Diner or Ocean’s 11 at all? Did I somehow let adulthood sneak up on me, take me in its clutches and demand I move to the suburbs?

Nah. I’m watching a movie with my best friend. (Proof that unlike what you hear in When Harry Met Sally, men and women can be friends… if they’re married.) And even though time has passed I’ve still got friends. We’re older and cooler… and still hanging out at the diner.

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About moc

My name is Mike O'Connell. I am 42 years old and live in Northern Virginia. I am a teacher, a musician, and an enthusiast of all things American.

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