When 2024 arrives, how do you want to celebrate the new year? If you’re looking for movies, literally all of the options are at your fingertips on New Year’s Day. But comedies are the way to go for anyone looking to laugh their way into 2024.
Towards that end, we’ve put together this list of three great comedies to watch on New Year’s Day. And it’s no coincidence that New Year’s Eve plays a major role in all three films. But if we had to pick an absolute favorite out of these three, it’s Ghostbusters II, a sequel that just doesn’t get enough love.
For more New Year’s Eve selections, check out 3 great action movies to watch on New Year’s Eve, 3 great rom-coms to watch on New Year’s Eve, 10 best Netflix movies to watch on New Year’s Eve, 3 great thrillers to watch on New Year’s Eve, 3 great dramas you need to watch on New Year’s Eve, 3 great Netflix thrillers you need to watch on New Year’s Eve, and 3 great sci-fi movies you need to watch on New Year’s Eve.
For New Year’s Day suggestions, try 3 great Hulu shows you need to watch on New Year’s Day and 3 great Prime Video movies to watch on New Year’s Day.
The original Ghostbusters is a classic that gets all of the attention, but the first sequel, Ghostbusters II, is really underrated. After all, this was the last time Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, and Harold Ramis got to be the Ghostbusters again. And that counts for a lot.
A few years after the events of the first film, the Ghostbusters have been disbanded and ridiculed. However, an apparent haunting targeting Dana Barrett (Avatar: The Way of Water‘s Sigourney Weaver) and her young son, Oscar, brings Peter Venkman (Murray), Ray Stantz (Aykroyd), Egon Spengler (Ramis), and Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson) back together to face Vigo the Carpathian (as memorably voiced by Max von Sydow). When Vigo makes his move to overrun New York on New Year’s Eve and possess Oscar’s body, the Ghostbusters have to rally the entire city in a way that only they could.
Ghostbusters II is streaming on AMC+.
The idea behind Four Rooms is that a hapless bellhop named Ted (Tim Roth) finds himself in a series of comical escapades on New Year’s Eve, with four different segments written and directed by Allison Anders, Alexandre Rockwell, Robert Rodriguez, and Quentin Tarantino. It probably won’t be a surprise to hear that the Rodriguez and Tarantino segments are the best since Anders’ short deals with some nonsense with witches while Rockwell puts Ted in a room with a couple that apparently wants to roleplay a hostage situation.
Four Rooms doesn’t really come to life until Rodriguez’s segment, when Ted is bribed to keep two kids, Sarah (Lana McKissack) and Juancho (Danny Verduzco), out of trouble…and he fails miserably. The fourth segment is Tarantino’s, where he plays Hollywood director Chester Rush. That part of the movie is powered by Tarantino’s signature gift for gab. Tarantino may not be the greatest actor, but the man really knows how to talk, and he gives Four Rooms its biggest laughs as it starts to check out.
Former Saturday Night Live star Dan Aykroyd teamed up with then-current SNL cast member Eddie Murphy for Trading Places, an ’80s comedy that remains very enjoyable. Thanks to a bet by greedy and amoral millionaires Randolf (Ralph Bellamy) and Mortimer Duke (Don Ameche), a streetwise conman named Billy Ray Valentine (Murphy) and the Dukes’ commodities director, Louis Winthorpe III (Aykroyd), are manipulated into taking over each others’ lives. That process includes framing Louis as a drug dealer and giving Billy Ray the job that Louis used to have.
At first, Louis and Billy Ray’s ire is turned towards each other. But once they learn the truth behind their rapid change of fortune, they team up with Louis’ butler, Coleman (Denholm Elliott), and a friendly prostitute, Ophelia (Everything Everywhere All at Once‘s Jamie Lee Curtis), for a New Year’s Eve heist that could turn all of their lives around while also getting payback on the Duke brothers.
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