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Film Marathons for the New Year: 19 Epic, Binge-worthy Film Menus to Ring in 2019

It’s a tradition in my family of homebodies to ring in the new year with an epic evening of watching films. We’d put in the VHS tapes and settle down for a film marathon. Often it was film series we watched. All of the original Superman movies, Indiana Jones, Star Wars, Monty Python, Bruce Lee – yeah, you get the picture. With lots of snacks and blankets, we could go for hours, all the way into a brand-new year.

So, if you’re not up for a grand evening out, how about snuggling in for a good evening at home? Put on the jammies, get the popcorn ready and pig out on some good films.

Here are my suggestions for 19 binge-worthy film menus to ring in the new year. Feel free to add and subtract and substitute films as necessary. Do supplement and complement with your own selections.

Happy 2019, everyone!

19 Epic, Binge-worthy Film Menus to Ring in 2019

(In No Particular Order)

Dirty Dancing | Baby takes Penny's place dancing with Johnny at a gig
Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey in Dirty Dancing. Photo: Vestron Pictures.

1. 80s Vintage Victuals

Since I’m a child of the 80s, let’s start with a nostalgic rom-com menu from that decade.

Starter: Legal Eagles (1986 – 116 minutes) – Start with this rom-com whodunit, full of witty banter between our darling leads, Robert Redford and Debra Winger.

Main: Dirty Dancing (1987 – 100 minutes) – Savor the sensual dance scenes between Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey.


Dessert: Romancing the Stone (1984 – 106 minutes) – Sink your teeth into this romantic suspense delight. Starring Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner.

Total length: 326 minutes.

Joseph Fiennes and Gwyneth Paltrow in Shakespeare in Love. Photo: Universal Pictures.

2. The Bard on the Menu Board

A classic choice, you can never go too wrong with a selection of Shakespeare adaptations. Plus, it feels very cultured.

Starter: Much Ado About Nothing (1993 – 110 minutes) – Begin with the real Elizabethan deal in this faithful adaptation of the Bard’s romantic comedy. Starring Emma Thompson and Kenneth Branagh.

Main: Shakespeare in Love (1998 – 123 minutes) – Sate yourself on award-winning, historical romantic fiction, exploring the Bard’s love life. Starring Joseph Fiennes and Gwyneth Paltrow.

Dessert: Overboard (1987 – 112 minutes) – End on this very zany 80s take of The Taming of the Shrew. Starring Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell.

Total length: 345 minutes.

romeo + juliet
Claire Danes and Leonardo DiCaprio in Romeo + Juliet. Photo: Bazmark Productions.

3. The Three-Course Baz Special

Baz Luhrmann has his own three-course meal with his Red Curtain trilogy. Music, dance, laughter, love, action, tears – why not see them in order?

Starter: Strictly Ballroom (1992 – 94 minutes) – Be swept up in the transformative romance that is Fran and Scott and their forbidden steps. Starring Paul Mercurio and Tara Morice.


Main: Romeo + Juliet (1996 – 120 minutes) – Enjoy this pop edition of the classic, Shakespearean tale of woe. Starring Claire Danes and Leonardo DiCaprio.

Dessert: Moulin Rouge! (2001 – 128 minutes) – Savor this sumptuous bittersweet tale of star-crossed love. Starring Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman.

Total length: 342 minutes.

Warmblood meeting cold blood in Moonlight. Photo: Warner Brothers/ CBS

4. A Moonlight Buffet

It only had the one season, so why not go totally epic and hunker down and see Moonlight (2007-2008) in one go? No starters, no mains, no desserts, just all combined into one deliciously vampiric feast. Gorge yourselves on the burgeoning love affair between Mick and Beth. Starring Alex O’Loughlin and Sophia Myles.

Total length: 692 minutes.

Dance therapy in group detention in The Breakfast Club. Photo: Universal Pictures.

5. The John Hughes All-Day Breakfast

He’s getting a bit of a retrospective bad rap in this age of #metoo. But why not refresh yourself on John Hughes’ films and taste for yourself.

Starter: The Breakfast Club (1985 – 97 minutes) – Start with this ensemble piece of teenage angst in this tight and intense dramedy. Starring Molly Ringwald, Emilio Estevez, Michael Anthony Hall, Ally Sheedy, and Judd Nelson.

Content Note: Rated R for language, sexual references, and drug use. A lot of F-bombs are dropped, and a joint is smoked.

Main: Pretty in Pink (1986 – 96 minutes) – Savor and sew along to Andie’s aspirations in life and love. And send a little love to Duckie. Starring Molly Ringwald, Andrew McCarthy, and Jon Cryer.

Dessert: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986 – 103 minutes) – Round off the evening with the exploits of the irrepressible imp, who never ceases to charm. Starring Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck, and Mia Sara.

Total length: 296 minutes.

The fairytale transformation in Ever After. Photo: Fox.

6. A Fairytale Feast

Looking for that deeply contented feeling from the happily ever after? Sate yourself on some solid fairytales with the fairytale endings we all hope for.

Starter: Penelope (2006 – 104 minutes) – Let the evening begin with this enticingly quirky gem of a fairy tale of the girl with the pig’s nose, who learns to love herself. Starring Christina Ricci and James McAvoy.

Main: Ever After (1998 – 121 minutes) – This Cinderella retelling is enough to sate the diehard romantic. Starring Drew Barrymore and Dougray Scott.


Dessert: Ella Enchanted (2004 – 96 minutes) – Lap up and linger over this fun and funny fairytale of the cursed Cinderella-like daughter, who embarks on an adventure. And fall in love with the Gilbert Blythe of princes, whom she meets along the way. Starring Anne Hathaway and Hugh Dancy.

Total length: 321 minutes.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Photo: Paramount.

7. The Indy House Special

Do it, watch all the Indiana Jones’ films, starring Harrison Ford, one after the other.

Starter: Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984 – 118 minutes) – Start with number two in the series since it’s technically a prequel to the first. And squeal at monkey brains for dinner. Co-starring Kate Capshaw.

Main: Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981 – 115 minutes) – Dig your teeth into the movie that started it all, a romantic, action classic. Co-starring Karen Allen.

Side: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989 – 128 minutes) – Delight at father and son Jones taking on the Third Reich. Co-starring Sean Connery.

Dessert: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008 – 119 minutes) – Find room for the action-packed (albeit somewhat disappointing) final installment. Co-starring Karen Allen and Shia LaBeouf.

Total Length: 480 minutes.

Northanger Abbey. Photo: ITV.

8. An Austen All-Night Supper

Gnaw on some Georgian period propriety with adaptations of Jane Austen’s classics.

Starter: Becoming Jane (2007 – 120 minutes) – Break bread with a fictional biopic of the literary lady herself. A look at the love thwarted, inspiring a canon of classics. Starring Anne Hathaway and James McAvoy.


Main: Persuasion (1995 – 104 minutes) – Cut into this meaty classic, an adaptation of Jane Austen’s final book. And try not to get too tipsy when a certain captain declares his devotion via the pen. Starring Amanda Root and Ciarán Hinds.

Dessert: Northanger Abbey (2007 – 86 minutes) – Linger and laugh over this delectable, Gothic morsel of an adaptation. Yum! Starring Felicity Jones and JJ Feild.

Total length: 310 minutes.

Photo: Sullivan Entertainment.

9. The Anne (With an E) All-You-Can-Eat

Hitch a ride to the bonny isle of Prince Edward and fall in love all over again with orphan Anne, Avonlea, and Gilbert Blythe. Oh, Gil. Starring Megan Follows and Jonathan Crombie.

Starter: Anne of Green Gables (1985 – 199 minutes)

Main: Anne of Avonlea (1987 – 230 minutes)

Dessert: Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story (2000 – 185 minutes)

Total length: 614 minutes.

Turn to page 2 for more film menus for New Year’s…
By on December 31st, 2018

About Jessica Jørgensen

A lover of words, stories and storytellers since her youth and just plain curious by nature, Jessica embarked on a very long academic journey that took her across a continent (from Canada's west coast to its east) and even to the other side of the globe, where she currently lives an expat existence in Denmark. She now trails many fancy initials behind her name, if she ever cares to use them, and continues to be ever so curious. She's a folklorist, a mother, a wife, a middle child, a small town girl, a beekeeper, an occasional quilter, a jam-maker. She curates museum exhibits, gets involved in many cultural projects for this and that, collects oral histories when she can find the time and continues to love stories in all their many and varied forms. The local librarians all know her by name.

More posts by this author.

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