Fall has finally arrived! Here are five movie recommendations that are the perfect accompaniment to a brisk day, a hot cup of coffee, and a cozy blanket.
- When Harry Met Sally
I associate fall with comfort, warmth, and coziness. What genre of movie better encapsulates those feelings than the rom-com? Of course, I had to start this list with the best romantic comedy of all time: When Harry Met Sally (1989).
The jazz soundtrack features songs such as “It Had To Be You”, “Love is Here to Stay”, and “I Could Write a Book” that will give you those “Autumn in New York” feelings no matter where in the world you’re watching from. This movie also serves as the perfect timeless autumn outfit inspiration. Just look at those cozy sweaters!
After this, be sure to watch director Nora Ephron’s 1998 collaboration with Meg Ryan, You’ve Got Mail, if you can relate to one of its iconic quotes: “Don’t you love New York in the fall? It makes me want to buy school supplies.”
- Dead Poets Society
Dead Poets Society (1989) serves as the perfect late-fall to winter transition movie, beginning with the back-to-school season at an all-boy’s private boarding school in the 1950s and continuing into snowy Christmastime. It is filled with beautiful external shots of the school’s gothic architecture, brilliant sunrises, and majestic fall colors.
This film begins wholesome and uplifting and finishes with one of the saddest endings of movie history. Don’t dive into this one unless you’re ready to be in tears by the end of it.
- Good Will Hunting
This list contains not one, but two movies featuring tear-jerking speeches and an amazing dramatic performance from Robin Williams.
As a BU student, I knew my list had to feature a film set and shot in the Boston area. Good Will Hunting (1997) is not only the perfect fall movie but also the perfect Boston movie. This is evidenced by the amount of Dunkin coffee cups featured in its two hour runtime, but not by the cleanliness and emptiness of the T (we all know that’s not what it looks like).
This film contains compelling performances from Matt Damon, Robin Williams, and Minnie Driver, as well as dozens of iconic quotable lines. Its color scheme and settings provide the autumnal atmosphere, along with the amazing Elliott Smith soundtrack, one of my favorite artists to listen to during the colder months.
No fall movie list would be complete without a Halloween-themed pick. However, this entry is a little different from a typical slasher or monster flick. Scream, released in 1996, takes a meta approach to the horror genre, which historically takes itself a bit too seriously.
The script pokes fun at its tropes and traditions while simultaneously serving up a truly terrifying, yet iconic opening scene and closing sequence. The film was also directed by horror movie legend Wes Craven, the man behind The Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, another great series to check out this spooky season!
- Fantastic Mr. Fox
To me, nothing says fall more than the beautiful color palette of burnt orange, bright reds, and golden yellows that comes with the changing leaves. Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009) showcases beautiful stop-motion animation and a meaningful story adapted from a Roald Dahl novel of the same name.
In typical Wes Anderson fashion, the film is awash in a single color – in this case orange – which fully immerses the viewer into the story. It will leave you craving nutmeg apple ginger snaps and apple cider, and with a new appreciation for movies that are often misleadingly labeled “for kids.”
- Honorable Mentions
No list is complete without plenty of honorable mentions!
If you’re looking for something less blood-curdling and more horror-adjacent, Beetlejuice (1988) and the Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) both provide fun practical effects and oddities without the gore of something like Friday The 13th.
Wes Anderson fans who love Fantastic Mr. Fox should check out his second film, Rushmore (1998), about an overambitious teenager’s exploits throughout a year of high school. 1980s movie fanatics looking for classic camp will love the teen black comedy Heathers (1988) or the mystery spoof Clue (1985).