5 Movie Musicals to Watch on New Year’s Eve 2021

New Year’s Eve is set to be a little (or a lot) quieter at the end of 2020. Most of us will be spending quiet nights at home rather than celebrating with raucous get-togethers. Still, you can add a little noise, pizzazz, and fun to your evening with these five New Year’s Eve musical movies, ranging from oldies-but-goodies to contemporary films.

A lobby card for Mark Sandrich's 1942 film musical 'Holiday Inn' with Marjorie Reynolds, Bing Crosby, and Fred Astaire
A lobby card for Mark Sandrich’s 1942 film musical ‘Holiday Inn’ with Marjorie Reynolds, Bing Crosby, and Fred Astaire | Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

‘Holiday Inn’ (1942)

Choreographed by Danny Dare with original music by composer Irving Berlin, Holiday Inn is an Academy Award-winning Paramount Pictures musical starring Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, Virginia Dale, and Marjorie Reynolds as a singing and dancing quartet of would-be lovers.

Crosby’s character, Jim, turns his farm into the titular “Holiday Inn,” where folks can settle in for performances on holidays only. The result is a cornucopia of pieces about just about every major holiday you can think of.

In addition to Berlin’s famous songs “White Christmas” and “Easter Parade,” Holiday Inn also features two songs for New Year’s Eve: “Let’s Start the New Year Right” and “Happy Holiday.”

Ashley Tisdale, Vanessa Anne Hudgens, and Zac Efron
Ashley Tisdale, Vanessa Anne Hudgens, and Zac Efron | Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images

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‘High School Musical’ (2006)

Is Disney’s High School Musical considered an oldie yet? Uh-oh.

Revisit Gabriella (Vanessa Hudgens) and Troy’s (Zac Efron) unexpected karaoke duet of “Start of Something New” in the very first scene – at a ski lodge on New Year’s Eve during their winter break from school – and see them both have a revelation about their unknown singing talent. When Troy and Gabriella return to school in a coincidence reminiscent of Grease, they realize that they’re now going to be classmates, too.

Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher in 'Bundle of Joy'
Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher in ‘Bundle of Joy’ | George Rinhart/Corbis via Getty Images

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‘Bundle of Joy’ (1956)

Bundle of Joy is a sunny, musical reimagining of the 1939 film Bachelor Mother starring Ginger Rogers, a movie about a department store salesgirl (Debbie Reynolds) who falls in love with the son of the store’s owner (Eddie Fisher) after she is left to raise an abandoned baby on her own.

Nobody in either of their lives believes the baby isn’t theirs – and, as expected, a whirlwind of chaos ensues as a result. They kiss for the first time at a New Year’s Eve party.

Tracie Thoms and Idina Menzel
Tracie Thoms and Idina Menzel | E. Charbonneau/WireImage for Sony Pictures-Los Angeles

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‘Rent’ (2005)

The song “Happy New Year” doesn’t appear in the 2005 movie version of the Broadway musical Rent – starring Idina Menzel, Anthony Rapp, Taye Diggs, Rosario Dawson, Wilson Jermaine Heredia, Adam Pascal, Tracie Thoms, and Jesse L. Martin. Still, the story centers around New Year’s Day, with the ragtag group of East Village artists being locked out of their apartment by their newly straitlaced friend Benny as the new year begins.

Lou Reed
Lou Reed | Michael Putland/Getty Images

‘Get Crazy’ (1983)

Fans of Xanadu will also appreciate Get Crazy, a rock musical in which a group of performers at the legendary Saturn Theater tries to save the venue from a nefarious concert promoter (Ed Begley Jr.) on New Year’s Eve.

There are plenty of fun, Saturday Night Live-esque cultural parodies and send-ups along the way. Lori Eastside parodies all-female bands like the Go-Gos, while Lou Reed spoofs Bob Dylan, Reggie Wanker imitates Mick Jagger, and Bill Henderson steps in to sing the blues as a caricature version of Muddy Waters.