As the weather begins gradually warming up, it’s time to update your seasonal what-to-watch movie list. While most winter movies feature snowy settings and depressing plots, spring movies are meant to be light and happy. With sunny settings and funny, feel-good plots, spring movies are bound to boost your mood (especially if the seemingly perpetual rain of April has got you feeling down). This season, bask in the warmth, joy, and nostalgia that spring has to offer (all from the comfort of your couch) by watching these five films:
1. Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
Moonrise Kingdom (2012) is director Wes Anderson’s seventh film, and also one of his best. It follows a tale of adolescent love between the characters of Suzy and Sam, who are two children seen as outcasts in their respective worlds. All they want is to be together, but it is forbidden. The film’s 1960s summer setting on an idyllic New England island, with picturesque beach homes, grassy meadows, and secluded ocean coves, makes it an ideal spring movie. The narrative of the two child protagonist’s adventure, when paired with the film’s setting, vintage-looking color palette, and old-school soundtrack, evokes strong feelings of childhood nostalgia. The cast includes stars such as Bruce Willis, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Edward Norton, and Bill Murray, which alone makes this movie worth watching.
2. Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
Little Miss Sunshine (2006) is a comedy-drama road film that follows one family’s 800-mile road trip in order for the daughter to compete in a beauty pageant. With mechanical problems, major job setbacks, ex-boyfriend encounters, dream-crushing realizations, and even death, a lot goes on on this family’s one trip. Though each family member is going through their own personal issues within their own separate lives, the film is ultimately about the coming together of family and their realization for their dependence on one another. With the film’s sunny New Mexico to Southern California route, and numerous joy-filled scenes (such as Olive’s pageant performance), it is the perfect feel-good movie to screen every spring.
3. Dazed and Confused (1993)
Dazed and Confused (1993) follows various groups of Texas teenagers during the last day of school in 1976. Even if one was not in high school in the 70s, the movie still brings about strong feelings of nostalgia and appreciation for the past. The film’s stylized depiction of teenagedom and American culture in the 1970s, with kids drinking beer, smoking weed, playing “mailbox baseball,” and listening to rock music, is enough to prompt many to feel like they were “born in the wrong generation.” That all too familiar last day of school experience/feeling that every student knows embodies the spring to summer transition, making this movie perfect for when you finish all your finals (or need a distraction from them).
4. Electrick Children (2012)
Electrick Children (2012) is an indie movie about a 15-year-old girl from a fundamentalist Mormon community in Utah. When it is discovered she is pregnant (through what she believes to be an “Immaculate Conception”) the girl flees the community and goes to Las Vegas in order to avoid an arranged marriage. She embarks on a journey to find her child’s “real father,” who she believes is a man who sings on a cassette tape she listened to. Now, based on this synopsis, it’s clear that the film’s narrative isn’t overly strong; many questions the film raises go unanswered. (But, it’s an indie movie, maybe we’re not supposed to get all of it). The film is not exceptionally spring-like, but it does have a balmy Utah/Nevada setting, a red Mustang convertible motif, the warm neon glow of Las Vegas, and a recurring upbeat beachy song. Plus, there is some underlying homey, pleasant, and warm quality associated with the depiction of the girl’s “simple life” Mormon community and the film’s recurring use of Bible passage quotes. This notion of pureness, innocence, and naitivite of the girl is juxtaposed with the daring, heavy-metal-loving, long-haired skater boys whom she befriends. All this considered, this fillm is fairly interesting and will suffice for your spring movie night needs.
5. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
The end of the school year is when the desire to skip class is arguably the strongest. When it’s 75° and sunny, one asks themselves, “how could I possibly be expected to handle school on a day like this?” In Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986) high schooler Ferris Bueller pretends to be sick in order to stay home from school. Only he doesn’t stay home. Along with his best friend and girl friend, Ferris embarks on an exciting day in the city. The trio’s day is filled with fine dining, baseball games, priceless art, parade performances, and wrecked convertibles. With plenty of iconic quotable moments, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is a classic feel-good film for when you simply cannot possibly be expected to handle school anymore.