Fall is a fresh start for so many people. That’s why many find comfort in movies that make them feel cozy and warm during this season. Certain films are made to bring such warmth and joy to fall because of the wardrobe and fall being present in the movie. Whether it’s a good mystery, a romance, or even some supernatural elements, some movies just have the fall magic in them.
Most of these are annual watches because they are a staple of the season now. Fall is usually hectic, and people want to find that sense of comfort to unwind. There are many sweet, lighthearted films to carry anyone through fall.
‘When Harry Met Sally’ (1989) — stream on Netflix
Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal have become the cinematic poster children for fall with When Harry Met Sally. It is one of the few movies that shows autumn with all its beauty. This movie is directed by Rob Reiner and is considered by many to be, perhaps, the best romantic comedy of all time. It’s not a love-at-first-sight story at all, it’s a romance that builds over time and the foundation of their relationship is friendship.
Over time, Harry and Sally get closer, and they get to know each other deeper than any other relationship they’ve ever been in. The season’s change and so does their relationship, but new beginnings happen in the fall.
‘Knives Out’ (2019)
It’s sweater weather, and Knives Out has one of the best wardrobes for autumn. Rian Johnson‘s murder mystery has a stacked cast and a complex web of lies that will keep you guessing until the end.
When the patriarch of the Thrombey family, famous crime novelist Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) dies unexpectedly, Detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) steps in to solve the case. It is a fun autumn movie because of the mystery, and it’s all cozy because they are pent-up in one house.
‘Dead Poets Society’ (1989) —stream on Disney Plus
Once the school routine starts, it feels like summer has come to an end. Dead Poets Society has a beautiful performance by Robin Williams as Mr. Keating. When a new English teacher (Williams) is introduced to an all-boys preparatory school that is known for its ancient traditions and high standards, he uses unorthodox methods to reach out to his students.
This film shows the immense stress that teenagers are under because of the pressure to do well from their parents. Mr. Keating reminds students like Neil (Robert Sean Leonard) and Todd (Ethan Hawke) that there is more to life than just reading a book and taking tests.
‘Hocus Pocus’ (1993) —stream on Disney Plus
The Sanderson sisters will always be famous because of the integral part they play in the fall. Once September hits, Hocus Pocus is on television almost every other night and the nostalgia is what carries this movie every year. When a curious youngster moves to Salem, he struggles to fit in before awakening a trio of diabolical witches that were executed in the 17th century.
At the time Bette Midler was well-known, a young Sarah Jessica Parker was breaking into the industry and Kathy Najimy had just come off Sister Act. Little did they know that this little film would be considered a campy classic for years to come. The movie is so loved by everyone that Disney wanted to bring a sequel to Disney Plus to modernize it a bit.
There are video games that get adapted into feature films, but there are rarely board games that do. Clue is one of those old-fashioned whodunits’ that felt so fresh and original at the time. When six guests are anonymously invited to a strange mansion for dinner, they find out that their host gets murdered, and they must cooperate with the staff to identify the murderer as the bodies pile up.
It is a movie you can cozy up with on a cold rainy night and try to solve the murder with the rest of the players. The movie is pure camp and is a lot of fun because of the cast of characters. Tim Curry, Christopher Lloyd and Lesley Ann Warren are clear standouts among the cast because of how funny they were.
‘Good Will Hunting’ (1997)
Even though this may be a tearjerker, it is still one of the best films that take place during fall. Good Will Hunting is special because of the magnetic performance by Robin Williams. A janitor at M.I.T. named Will Hunting (Matt Damon) has a gift for mathematics, but needs help from a psychologist to find direction in his life.
This movie is filled with life lessons, and has wonderful conversations about moving forward from past trauma. It’s a moving journey with these characters because they are processing how they’re feeling and at the same time the viewer can too.
Sweet Home Alabama (2002) —stream on Disney Plus
When Melanie (Reese Witherspoon) moves to New York City to pursue her dream, her boyfriend ends up proposing to her. Little does he know that Melanie has a husband back in Alabama who she has been separated from for seven years. She wants her new life so badly, so she returns home with divorce papers for her husband to sign.
While there she begins to realize the little things that made her hometown great and that being a flashy New York socialite isn’t what she wanted to be. There’s this warmth that radiates from Witherspoon in this movie and being out on the farm in Alabama for most of the film makes for a cozy fall viewing.
The Edge of Seventeen (2016) —stream on Amazon Prime
The Edge of Seventeen is one of the most underrated coming-of-age movies in recent years. After a great performance by Hailee Steinfeld in True Grit, the young actress took the lead role alongside Woody Harrelson. When Nadine’s best friend Krista (Haley Lu Richardson) starts dating her older brother high-school life gets even more unbearable for her.
There are so many things to keep up with in high school from grades to social life and of course family life as well. It’s hard to balance everything, and it’s even harder when you feel like you have no one to support you. It feels like an old-fashioned John Hughes movie and anything centred on school is comforting to watch in the fall.
Everyone needs a feel-good movie in the fall and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is one of Spielberg’s best. The beauty of this film is that the emotional depth is masked by a cute alien and the weight of it doesn’t hit the viewer until the very end. It’s pure magic on screen and will make any audience member escape into the world with E.T.
The movie sucks the viewer into the adventure when a troubled child summons the courage to help a friendly alien escape from Earth and return to his home planet. It’s a simple story but from the very beginning, there’s this connection between Elliot (Henry Thomas) and his little sister Gertie (Drew Barrymore). It is one movie that will make anyone feel like a kid again.
‘Practical Magic’ (1998)
Fall is the season for witches and magic spells to cozy up with. In Practical Magic, Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock are witch sisters, raised by their eccentric aunts in a small town. They face closed-minded prejudice and a curse which threatens to prevent them from ever finding lasting love.
It is a romantic dramedy that has the two sisters trying their best to find love in different ways which make for a fun story. Kidman and Bullock are entertaining and have great chemistry with each other. There’s so much drama for the two of them while the leaves change colour, and it’s entertaining to watch.