As we bid a fond farewell to 2014, the promise of a new year offers a wealth of possibilities – just as soon as you recover from New Year’s Eve, that is.
Fortunately, there’s no shortage of movies available via streaming video services that can help ease your transition into 2015 without requiring you to get up, get dressed, or even get sober. The cinematic equivalent of a dish of fried eggs and bacon with a cup of strong coffee on the side, these films may not enrich your life, but they get you smiling and on the road to feeling human again.
Oh, and for anyone trying to recall the particulars of last night’s wild party, they might offer a little hair o’ the dog to spark your memory, too.
21 & Over (Netflix)
The co-writers of The Hangover made their directorial debut in this 2013 film about a pair of friends determined to show their buddy a good time on his 21st birthday, only to end up running from the police, an angry sorority, and… a buffalo? It may be fun to think of this film as a spiritual precursor to The Hangover with its college-age cast of characters and hard-partying hijinks that propel the trio of buddies from one ridiculous scenario to another as they chug their way through a wild, wild night.
Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (Netflix)
Before Keanu Reeves was humanity’s cyber-savior Neo or surfing FBI agent Johnny Utah, he was loveable metal-head Ted “Theodore” Logan, who just wanted to party with his pal Bill S. Preston (Alex Winter). This 1989 classic became a slacker anthem of sorts with its tale of two hard-partying buddies who want nothing more than to rock out, only to learn that they’re destined to save the world with their particular brand of heavy-metal philosophy. Their ensuing journey through time makes the pair unlikely heroes, but it’s their attitude (and a truly memorable role for comedian George Carlin) that makes this film a great reason to stay on the couch and accompany them on their excellent adventure.
Up In Smoke (Netflix)
Stoner comedy duo Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong made their feature-film debut in this 1978 comedy about a pair of potheads who find themselves caught up in one hazy adventure after another when they’re deported to Mexico, only to end up smuggling a van made of marijuana back across the border. A surprise hit at the box office when it premiered, Up In Smoke offers the sort of chill-out laughs that may very well give you a contact high to start off the new year.
Jackass: The Movie (Netflix)
If you’re discovering some mysterious bruises that suggest you might have partied a little too hard this New Year’s Eve, you can take heart in knowing that you probably didn’t do anything nearly as crazy as the Jackass crew. This feature-length film offers an “R”-rated anthology of pranks starring Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera, Steve-O, and the rest of the cast of the hit MTV series doing all manner of indescribable things to each other that will have you laughing, wincing, and – if your current condition has left you with a weak stomach – possibly wretching a little bit, too. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Where The Buffalo Roam (Netflix)
Before Johnny Depp played outlaw journalist Dr. Hunter S. Thompson in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Bill Murray brought the brilliant writer’s surreal adventures to the screen in this 1980 film that draws from several stories penned by Thompson – including his 1977 obituary for his frequent collaborator (and partner-in-crime), attorney Oscar Zeta Acosta. Fueled by a steady diet of booze and other drugs, Thompson’s rise to fame is presented in this semi-biographical, fully-hilarious movie that chronicles the life and literary evolution of one of America’s greatest writers.
Skatopia: 88 Acres Of Anarchy (Netflix)
You may think anarchy reigned at whatever event served to usher in the new year, but you haven’t seen real anarchy until you watch this 2010 documentary on “Skatopia,” the 88-acre private park near Rutland, Ohio, that’s owned and operated by skater Brewce Martin. A blend of post-apocalyptic anarchist compound filled with transient punks and a grungy mecca for skaters’ pilgrimages, Skatopia is a fascinating experiment in free-form society that is anything but civilized, and offers a nice frame of reference for whatever chaos you may have witnessed – or participated in – on New Year’s Eve.
Evil Bong (Hulu)
What can really be said about a film in which a malevolent, sentient bong attempts to kill a group of stoners and turn the world into a haze of death and marijuana smoke? If that synopsis doesn’t make this a must-watch movie on your post-party recovery day, you probably won’t care that Tommy Chong co-stars in the film and that it spawned two sequels (including the 3D feature Evil Bong 3D: The Wrath of Bong) and a crossover film with a killer gingerbread monster, Gingerdead Man vs. Evil Bong. You know you want to watch it.
Ghostbusters II (Amazon Instant)
The arrival of the new year provides the climax for this 1989 sequel to the hit supernatural comedy Ghostbusters, which reunites paranormal investigators Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis), Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd), and Winston Zeddmore (Ernie Hudson) for another adventure in the Big Apple. This time around, a 16th century tyrant who dabbled in the occult is attempting to return to the land of the living via the infant son of returning character Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver). If the team doesn’t stop him by the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, the world will suffer a fate worse than Zuul!
When Harry Met Sally (Amazon Instant)
New Year’s Eve is a recurring theme in this 1989 romantic comedy that explores the question of whether men and women can have a strictly platonic relationship. If your post-party recovery allows for something a little headier on the screen, you can do worse than this memorable, Oscar-nominated film featuring Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan at their very best – and funniest. Widely regarded as one of the best comedies of all time, it’s also a New Year’s Eve classic for anyone looking to ring in the new year with some holiday-specific cinema.
House Party (Amazon Instant)
Kid and Play (of the hip-hop duo Kid ‘n Play, of course) starred in this 1990 comedy about a pair of high-school friends who conspire to throw the greatest house party of all time, if they can avoid the police, their parents, and the neighborhood bullies long enough to pull it off. Written and directed by Reginald Hudlin, House Party quickly became a cult classic of sorts, and spawned four sequels filled with even more great music, big laughs, and hilarious party moments. If any movie is going to get you off the couch and dancing when you really feel like hibernating, this is going to be the one.
New Year’s Evil (YouTube)
This 1981 slasher film isn’t unintentionally funny enough to fall under the “so bad it’s good” banner, but it is a serial-killer film set entirely on New Year’s Eve – which should count for something. A movie about a killer who vows to murder a woman at the stroke of midnight in each time zone on New Year’s Eve, this film is guaranteed not to require too much brain activity and will likely prompt more than a few laughs at how silly and dated it is. But sometimes what you really need to cure that hangover is a concentrated dose of junk food – or in this case, trashy cinema.
Trading Places (YouTube)
Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd co-starred in this 1983 film about a pair of wealthy brothers who wager on the outcome of a “nature versus nurture” experiment in which they replace an up-and-coming businessman (Aykroyd) with a street hustler (Murphy) to discover whether each individual can function in their new place within the economic hierarchy. The story culminates in a wild, New Year’s Eve train ride that involves some serious double-crossing, clever team-ups, and an angry gorilla. One of the most successful “R”-rated comedies of the ’80s, the film is a classic that will have you cracking up as you begin a new year.