In this episode, I talk about the movie “New Year’s Eve” and the themes of hope, forgiveness, and second chances that it embodies. I encourage listeners to think creatively about achieving their goals and to remember the people who make special holidays possible. The episode ends with a challenge to write down three things to attain and to start taking small steps toward them. Along the way, I share personal stories of my experiences in New York and the lessons I’ve learned from the movie’s characters.
[Music] Have you ever wondered if New Year’s Eve could really mean something that will change your whole life. That’s what we’ll talk about today.
[Music] Bear with me, this is a long quote.
It’s suspended there to remind us before we pop the champagne and celebrate the new year. To stop and reflect on the year that has gone by. To remember both our triumphs and our missteps, our promises made and broken. The times we opened ourselves up to new adventures or closed ourselves down for the fear of getting hurt. Because of what New Year’s is all about, getting another chance, a chance to forgive, do better, do more, to give more, to love more. and stop worrying about the what ifs, and start embracing the what would be. So when that ball drops at midnight, and it will drop, let us remember to be nice to each other, kind to each other, and not just tonight, but all year long. Claire, from the movie “New Year’s Eve”, 2012.
You know I like to do movies around the holiday times, so we will talk about the movie “New Year’s Eve”.
It starts off by showing New York. For those of you who listened to my podcast for a while, you know I’m not much of a city person. But I have to say, after getting a chance to travel to New York a couple of times and spend a few weeks there because of work, I have to say there is something magical about New York.
And Stan in the movie says, “Nothing beats New York on New Year’s Eve.” And one of my trips was right at Christmas time, snowing a little bit, a blizzard was coming in, and I got to walk around. I had this set walk inside of New York. Generally when I go to a place a few times, I end up getting a standard walk that I try to explore the city a little bit. And my walk took me down Fifth Avenue, which is where you have Tiffany’s and all the big stores, a lot of historic buildings inside of New York. Then it takes me up to Broadway and I see all the amazing and obnoxious and wonderful things in Times Square. I make my way to Central Park because you know if there’s a tree I’m gonna go find it. And walked around Central Park, made me think of all the movies that were filmed there, all the runs, all the things that happen in Central Park. It really is a magical place. And then I walk back up 7th Avenue, a lot more historic places, you get to see a lot of different buildings that are there, including places that you’ve seen in television shows like Seinfeld. So I got a big kick out of this walk.
But one of my favorite memories had to be walking by 30 Rock. The ice rink, the Christmas tree, all the people bundled up in their coats and mittens, and it just was that scene right out of the movie and that’s where this movie really takes place. That amazing magical time right before New Year’s Eve.
One of the tours I did was a walking tour of New York and they took us into the Times Square New Year’s Eve building. Had some histories of the ball that drops and how tiny the ball used to be and how enormous it is right now. And then when you’re in this room there’s little pieces of paper all over the place and what you can do is you can write a message to someone who might get this piece of paper. They fill the ball with paper or somehow the paper comes out as the ball drops and you see it when you’re watching TV shows. You actually do see it in this movie too, where there’s little pieces of paper that come down. The thing you might not know is people can write messages to other people on those papers. And so I ended up writing a message of hope, hoping that the next year brought something amazing and that it gave someone this idea that if it felt hopeless, there is hope out there and there’s always another chance. And I think that in the end, that’s what this movie is about.
Each character represents an archetype of a person. We have Ashton Kutcher, hates holidays. He’s also very smart. He lets you know that he is smarter than everybody, but in the end, he’s just a cynic. He thinks he sees behind the curtain of the whole world and that nothing is worth anything to anyone. However, the thing he doesn’t realize about it is that it’s also making him a miserable person in general and a miserable person to be around. He is just cynical all the time.
We meet Michelle Pfeiffer, who has dreams. She wants to have a happy life. She has a job she hates and she never does the bold thing in order to make her life happen.
We have Jessica Parker who must have had her heart broken at some time. Maybe he’s given up on love and she’s a very watching parent. Cares about her daughter a great deal.
Zach Efron is kind of a dude. He is a bike messenger and he’s trying to make a living. I’m not going to say he’s a bad guy, but he’s not the most responsible guy.
The big story is that the ball drops at midnight and all the different storylines are intertwined. You have all these different people who are trying to get to the New Year’s Eve party and all the different things that happen to them.
One of the stories that really stands out is the story of Michelle Pfeiffer and Zach Efron. Michelle Pfeiffer has a list of things she wants to do before the year ends and one of the things on the list is to have an amazing experience. She hires Zach Efron as a bike messenger and he takes her on a journey to experience all the things on her list in one night.
In the end, the movie is about hope, forgiveness, and second chances. It’s about taking risks, being bold, and going after what you want in life. It’s about not giving up on love and remembering the people who make special holidays possible.
So my challenge to you, while you’re thinking about what you want the next year to be, what you think the last year was to you, I want you to write down three things that you always wanted to attain, even if they were somewhat foolish. And then think outside the box. Are there different ways that you can accomplish the same goal, even maybe if you can’t get there the same path? Because if other people find meaning in it, there’s no reason you have to tear it down for everyone else. And wouldn’t it be a little bit more magical if you could kind of see behind that too? Remember that getting to that something great starts with small steps.
[Music] Thanks so much for listening to today’s episode. I hope you have a wonderful end of your year and I hope you have a magical, amazing start of a new year. It’s just another day in the calendar, but we can turn it into a starting point of something great.