Is New Year’s Eve the most disappointing day (night) of the year?

30 12 2011

Is it just me?

Bah Humbug! to New Year’s Eve.

In our collective culture, New Year’s Eve is supposed to be the most exciting party of the year. A night of possibilities, when everyone is celebrating the old year and looking forward to the New Year! In my experience it is an over-hyped fairly ordinary evening where everyone has raised expectations, the streets are crowded with amateur drunks, and it ends with a bang and a fizz – the fireworks display. (I really don’t get the excitement of fireworks displays. A few pretty lights and a display that lasts for ten minutes or so. Sometimes they try to coordinate the lights to the music – but then the bangs aren’t in time. I’d rather watch two minutes of highlights on the news.)

Fireworks audience. photo credit Waldo Jaquith

Decades of movies also celebrate New Year’s Eve’s romantic possibilities – but luckily a few of them show us the down side. Here are a few of the more memorable appearances of New Year’s Eve in movies……to raise and dash your false expectations.

The Godfather II – Michael Corleone discovers his brother Fredo was the one who set him up and gives him the kiss of death. Gotta love a Family NYE party.

The Hucksudder Proxy – Tim Robbins has a New Year’s Eve to forget when he is fired as CEO, finds out his girlfriend is trying to expose him as a fraud, and a board-member was trying to have him committed to an insane asylum. (but it works out OK….) Gotta be up there with all-time BAD NYE.

When Harry met Sally – not the most memorable scene, but the most romantic scene. Heavy with false expectations.

Trading Places – the ummmm non-consentual scene between the man in the gorilla suit and the gorilla……we won’t go there.

About a boy – Hugh Grant meets the woman of his dreams at a New Year’s Eve party. And we know how that turned out. No mug-shots were involved this time.

Bridget Jones’ Diary – Bridget’s New Year’s resolution is to keep a diary. Seems do-able. And she seems to meet her goals. Tick! Mark Darcy. Tick tick!

Sunset Boulevard – faded movie star Norma Desmond attempts suicide when her toyboy gigolo leaves to attend a friends’ New Year’s Eve party. Seriously Norma, it was probably a pretty crap party. This is a serious over-reaction to being stood up.

The Poseidon Adventure – well, we all know what happened there, don’t we? It was a wash-out. (OK, I couldn’t resist the pun and I accept it probably isn’t original.)

Boogie Nights – New Year’s Party ends with a triple-homicide

Ocean’s 11 – the gang plans a robbery on New Year’s Eve by blowing up an electrical transmission tower at midnight and blacking out the city. No-one will notice a power blackout in the middle of the night on the one night of the year when the majority of the population is awake at midnight? Will they?

Forrest Gump – apparently there is a New Year’s scene (1971) which is pretty depressing but with the uplifting tail that this movie seems to have. I don’t know, I didn’t watch it. But I recognise that pretty much everyone else in the western world has seen (and apparently loves) this movie.

And now, the much-hyped New Year’s Eve (the movie). Can’t say I am racing to see this one – it seems to be a remake of Love Actually and Valentine’s Day – mix and match ensemble of big-name actors for multiple small parts, a handful of stories so surely one story will hit the mark with everyone who watches it, and make sure there are over-wrought tears and uplifting but unlikely happy endings.

So is it just me? or did I just get out of bed in a grumpy mood today.

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8 responses

30 12 2011
Cate

I sort of figured out in my late teens that New Years was all hype and fizz…no fireworks then, it just seemed a good excuse for people to get drunk…watching that happen isn’t fun. I usually just go to bed and wake up the next year….I don’t make resolutions, but I do ponder what I might like to happen. Life has a way of taking you along paths that no new years resolution promise predicted or planned for.

30 12 2011
Mudmap

Thanks Cate – no fireworks about sums it up! Perhaps someone somewhere is having the most fabulous time of their lives but it isn’t me or anyone I know! Clearly I am a resolution-maker…..but I also believe in seeking out opportunities and making the most of what comes along. And sometimes just going with the flow. Having something to aim for keeps my head above water in the tough times though.

30 12 2011
Afsal Ismail

I agree that I don’t get the whole fireworks spectacle. Sure it’s cool to watch for all of 5 mins but then it’s just a little annoying to be honest.

New Years is kinda like our Birthday. A reminder that time never stops and that we’re just aging. A little reminder to stop and have some fun along the way or atleast, be conscious of it.

30 12 2011
Mudmap

Thanks Afsal – you are right, it is one of those time-markers in the year. I would rather not have too many reminders of the ageing thing….but perhaps a reminder to have fun is a good thing!

30 12 2011
Janet (@Janet741)

aye – a bitter disappointment – I did meet an ex on NY , but note that he’s an ex- quad est demonstratum

30 12 2011
Mudmap

well that is still a form of success, albeit temporary….. I am guessig it was good for a while? (that was rhetorical, you don’t need to answer!)

31 12 2011
Sheeple Liberator

I agree. The best nights out are the unplanned ones! NYE feels really forced. My friends & I always try and do something but each year it’s like “Tonight we have to have fun. Because it’s NYE. Are we having fun yet? No? Okay, um, let’s try harder” 🙂

31 12 2011
Mudmap

Yes, I think it is the expectations – the PRESSURE to have the best time ever!

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