We call them the holidays. And yes, that’s because December is the time of not just Christmas, but Hanukkah, Quanza, and Festivus just to name a few. Plus we get Thanksgiving about a month before all this.
More than that, though, we call this time of year “the holidays” because of the absurdly close proximity of December 25 to December 31–New Years Eve. And because “the holidays” are such a cultural event, pop culture and consumerism is quick to jump on the bandwagon. Christmas shopping starts on “black friday,” the day after Thanksgiving, and from that point on you can look forward to parades and light shows, parties and TV specials and constant Christmas music on the radio. And yes, Christmas movies.
After Christmas, the tone shifts to alcohol and partying. The little black dresses get pulled out of the closet, and stores start half-hearedly marketing party supplies, streamers, and contraceptives.
But with this shift in shopping and marketing…a tonal shift from family to unfettered debauchery and “resolutions”…there really isn’t a shift in the world of film. We get all the awards movies released toward the end of the year, yes, and that makes for some fun movie-going, but I still have to ask the obvious question:
Where the hell are the New Year’s movies?
I mean, think about it. Just about every other holiday has a slew of movies. Christmas is the worst, with thousands and thousands of terrible films burying the three or four gems under a pile of useless Holiday DVDs. But there are also movies set around Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day, and even Groundhog Day for goodness sake.
I wouldn’t be so annoyed if it didn’t seem like a complete no-brainer. Here is the one night of the year when people go out and get smash-drunk, eager to hook up with anything with a pulse that might kiss them come midnight. Then there’s the sex, the fancy season-inappropriate clothing and the day-after regret: everything we love about the make-believe world of movies.
Where is that film of a college kid party-hopping to find the love of his life to kiss at the stroke of midnight? Where’s the movie about the group of guys who decide to end their year with a bang and get as drunk as humanly possible? Where’s the “night in the life of” flick that’s begging to be made.
Hollywood, you’ve made a gross mistake. With your focus on the lovey-dovey world of Christmas cinema, you’ve neglected what people really want to watch: seedy, alcohol-induced sex with half-naked women who, through New Years, find the best excuse since Halloween to go out and slut it up.
This kind of “adult” entertainment (with the obligatory “true love” or “lesson learned” denouement) would be crackerjack at the box office. Get on it! And barring that, you can always just do a creepy horror film about a masked killer stalking horny teenagers at a New Year’s Eve field party.
Just give me something, anything, to watch late at night on December 31 while I’m sitting at home with my bottle of jack and a container of beef jerky. That’s what movies are all about: creating an elevated, unrealistic false memory of an event so I don’t actually have to go out and make my own.
(NOTE: I know I’m neglecting the existence of a few good New Years movies. Correct me in the comments below, please)