New Year's Eve can so easily set us up for disappointment. If you haven't gone to the most spectacular party in your shiniest outfit, watched the ball drop, kissed the love of your life, and saw fireworks, how will you possibly succeed in the 12 months to come? Thankfully, the protagonists of the New Year's Eve movies we've listed here show us just how imperfect the holiday can be for others, too. Sure, some of them get champagne, riches, and sparkly things, but others get dumped, risk death, ruin parties, and/or find out their diet has been made up exclusively of cockroaches.
The thing is, New Year's Eve is a great cinematic device to get us to think about new beginnings—kind of like it is in real life. Whether you're excited, heartbroken, or relieved to see that calendar change, there's a New Year's Eve movie to suit your mood. Cheers to that!
1. While You Were Sleeping
We're living in peak scam times, but would today's con artists have the guts to tell a comatose man's (Peter Gallagher) family that she is his fiancée, when in fact he doesn't even know she exists? In an even bolder move, Lucy (Sandra Bullock) then goes and falls in love with his brother, Jack (Bill Pullman). The NYE scene is a swoony turning point in the movie, and that just gives us an excuse to recommend this quintessential rom-com that would never work in the age of selfies.
2. About Time
When Tim (Domhall Gleeson) finds out from his father (Bill Nighy) that he has inherited the ability to go back in time, the first thing he does is return to their New Year's Eve party the night before and kiss the girl he'd been hanging out with. Rather than change the world, Tim uses this gift to correct awkward conversations and make sure he can woo the woman of his dreams (Rachel McAdams). Watch this movie on your own NYE for its moving lesson YOLO-ing the heck out of your life.
3. Waiting To Exhale
It doesn't get much worse than getting dumped by your husband on NYE. But it also doesn't get much better than watching Angela Bassett's character, Bernadine, torch said husband's expensive clothing and BMW.
If you've got some baggage you're eager to be rid of in the new year, save yourself the matches and arson charges and enjoy this catharsis—along with the beautiful friendship of four women (Angela Bassett, Whitney Houston, Loretta Devine, and Lela Rochon)—from the comfort of your home.
Young Winona Ryder and Christina Ricci are adorable in this 1960s-set coming-of-age story. But we're here for their fabulous free-spirit mom, Cher, and the iconic mermaid costume she wears to ring in 1964. Because if you're going to invite Cher to a NYE party, why not make it a costume gala?
5. Strange Days
What better way to celebrate a new decade than to watch what went down on New Year's Eve 1999? Or...director Kathryn Bigelow's depiction of ex-husband James Cameron's dark vision of a future 1999 from the perspective of cyber-punk obsessed 1995. (Eh...it'll make more sense when you watch it. Trust.)
Strange Days stars a very hot Ralph Fiennes as an ex-cop who sells virtual reality minidiscs filled with gruesome crime content that allow the viewer to experience the emotions of the person who filmed the footage. The result is surprisingly prescient about our current voyeuristic culture (not to mention police brutality). Angela Bassett is breathtaking as the chauffeur/limo driver who consistently saves his ass.
6. Sex And The City: The Movie
While Sex and the City takes place over the course of a year, its standout sequence is the New Year's Eve montage that shows Carrie running through the snowy streets of New York (in heels, obviously) to get to her buddy Miranda while Mairi Campbell's "Auld Lang Syne" plays in the background. I'm not crying.
7. When Harry Met Sally
Watching two people fall in love over the course of several years is always gratifying, but Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal perfected the process in When Harry Met Sally. Their climactic New Year's kiss is one of the all-time most romantic, slow-burn smooches of all time. Treat yourself to watching it while the ball drops.
8. Bridget Jones's Diary
Another iconic New Year's smooch happens in Bridget Jones's Diary, the quintessential rom-com for the perpetually single woman.
9. Ocean's Eleven
The original Ocean's Eleven stars Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr, and Dean Martin as part of the OG Ocean crew led by a pre-Clooney Danny Ocean. Their casino heist takes place on New Year's Eve, with an explosive twist punctuating the moment the clock strikes 12.
Musical fans everywhere will recognize Rent as a favorite. Its first act takes place in the time between Christmas Eve and New Year's and genuinely captures the hope that a new year might bring to anyone.
Snowpiercer is a bizarre, post-apocalyptic adventure that takes place entirely on a train, but as weird as the premise sounds, it works. There's something about bearded Chris Evans, gorgeous sets, plot twists, and the oddest New Year's celebration ever filmed that make the movie completely unforgettable.
12. New Year's Eve
Some might argue that this is not one of Gary Marshall's best works, but it's truly the pinnacle of "cramming-as-many-stars-as-possible-in-to-one-movie-and-calling-it-a-day" films. From Zac Efron to Leah Michelle to Ashton Kutcher to freakin' Bon Jovi, there actually is something for everyone in this New Year's Eve celebration.
13. 200 Cigarettes
While New Year's Eve gets all the hype, the '90s movie 200 Cigarettes pretty much serves the same function. This film about "a collection of twenty-somethings try to cope with relationships, loneliness, desire, and their individual neuroses," may not have Zac Efron or Ashton Kutcher, but it does have Paul Rudd, Ben Affleck, and Kate Hudson. Who knows, maybe that's more your speed.
14. Eat Pray Love
Listen, Eat Pray Love might not have anything to do with New Year's Eve, but if running off to Europe to find yourself—while indulging in amazing food and falling in love—doesn't sound like fulfilling all your New Year's resolutions, then I don't know what to tell you. Plus, JULIA ROBERTS.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.