Fall Movie Marathon –

Fall Movie Marathon –

Image Courtesy of Vogue, Edited by Noah Slayter

By Noah Slayter

Fall is upon us, even if it feels like Lucifer’s front porch. Eventually, though, the leaves will turn, the air will crisp, and all the campus squirrels will go nuts. Here are my top ten fall movies to steady our autumnal appetite for now. Grab a laptop, your favorite blanket, and a pumpkin spice latte cause it’s movie time. 

20. Christopher Robin

This 2018 film follows Ewan McGregor as a grown-up Christopher Robin who finds out his imaginary friends Pooh, Tigger, and the gang are not so imaginary. Set amongst the fall foliage of the English countryside, this movie can be viewed on Disney+.

19. You’ve Got Mail

One of three films Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan acted in together, You’ve Got Mail is a quaint rival to lovers romantic comedy. Hanks and Ryan are both bookstore owners, Ryan’s family-owned business, and Hanks’ national chain of bookstores. They compete to run the other out of business. At the same time, the two are unknowingly conversing with each other through an anonymous email server. 

18. Sweet Home Alabama

In another romantic comedy, Melanie (Reese Witherspoon) is a successful fashion designer in New York City about to be married. She flies back to Alabama to announce her engagement to her rowdy and unorthodox family. There, she meets Jake (Josh Lucas), her current husband, who refuses to sign their divorce papers. Melanie then attempts to organize her wedding and get Jake to divorce her without her fiance’s family knowing.

17. Rudy

September means football season starts, so this list would not be complete without at least one classic football film. Rudy is the story of a short high school football player who dreams of playing for the Notre Dame college team. Based on a true story, this inspiring tale of determination is an excellent film for when the air turns brisk.

16. Little Women (1994)

Despite having an equally successful newer version of this film from 2019, this article highlights the older film. It stars Winona Ryder, Christian Bale, Kristen Dunst, and CUA alumna Susan Sarandon. Based on the book by Louisa May Alcott, this period drama is a quintessential coming-of-age story of sisterhood set amidst New England scenery.

15. Heathers

This dark teen comedy is arguably the antithesis of Little Women within the fall movie genre. Whereas Little Women is a 19th-century drama about sisters and love, Heathers is about murder, popularity, and the 1980’s. This understated film is a weekend watch with your friend group this semester.

14. Autumn in New York

Continuing the Winona Ryder bender, this romantic comedy partners Ryder with Richard Gere, who plays a womanizing restaurateur who falls in love with a terminally ill woman. As the title suggests, this story is set in the Big Apple during the fall months.

13. About Time

There is something about the fall and love stories. This narrative, starring Rachal McAdams and Domhnall Gleeson, is about a family whose men can travel back in time. Some have used it for riches, others to read every book ever; however, the main character of this tale uses it to get a girlfriend. 

12. The Lake House

Starring Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves, The Lake House is a love story that crosses the barriers of time. Two people living in the same house, but existing two years apart. They are able to communicate via a magical mailbox, which allows them to write letters to each other. It is an endearing film that proves absence makes the heart grow fonder.

11. Perks of Being a Wallflower

An archetypal coming-of-age story with themes of both overcoming trauma and gaining self-confidence, this 2012 film explores three outcasts during their high school years. Facing troubles in and outside of school, this quirky trio comes together despite mental health struggles and the most dreaded word any senior hears, “the Future.”

10. Frozen 2

A worthy sequel to the famous Disney Princess film, Frozen. Frozen 2 continues the story of the Arendelle royals, Anna and Elsa, as they explore the Enchanted Forest to discover what happened to their parents. On the way, they discover a tribe of magic forest dwellers and Arendellian soldiers who are stuck in the woods. Both sisters discover more about themselves and their past within these autumnal magic woods.

9. October Sky

Based on a memoir of the same title, October Sky is about a coal miner’s son who dreams of becoming a NASA engineer after viewing Sputnik I in 1957. Encouraged by his teacher, he starts building rockets. Set in the Shenandoah region of West Virginia, this 1999 film is a superb fall film.

8. Remember the Titans

Another amazing football story: during the height of the civil rights movement, a high school in Northern Virginia decided to integrate their school and their football team. This true story is a dynamic narrative about teamwork and what makes us human: love of neighbor.

7. Juno

A movie with an amazing soundtrack, Juno is a coming-of-age tale starring Eliot Page, Michael Cera, Allison Janney, and Jenniffer Gardner. Page’s character is a spunky, outspoken high school girl who becomes pregnant with her boyfriend (Cera). She decides to go through with the pregnancy and places her child for adoption to Gardner. 

6. The Twilight Series

The first of two series on our list. The Twilight series is endemic of the mid-2000s. These films brought Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, and Taylor Lautner to stardom. It’s a love story of epic proportions, vampires, werewolves, and Bella Swan in the middle. This often cringy romance takes place in Forks, Washington state, an often gloomy and shadowy place.

5. Fantastic Mr. Fox

A truly fall tale, Fantastic Mr. Fox, based on a book by Roald Dahl, is a beautiful claymation film. Directed by George Anderson, this children’s film has Mr. Fox (George Clooney), who enlists the help of his fellow animals to steal from three farmers, Boris Bunce and Bean, who later plot their revenge against the animals. A classic fall story, especially since there is an entire scene of the characters fighting over apple cider. 

4. Harry Potter Series

The second series on our list. The Harry Potter series is perhaps the most famous set of films to come out of the 21st century. Based on the novels by JK Rowling, Harry Potter is a boy turned wizarding student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. These films (especially the first) are ideal for viewing during the fall. 

3. Good Will Hunting

The film, which garnered Robin Williams an Oscar, Good Will Hunting focuses on Will Hunting (Matt Damon), a genius low-income MIT student, and his court-ordered therapist (Williams). Throughout the film, the characters are surrounded by sublime Bostonian foliage. This heartwarming narrative is a must-watch if you yearn to see the muddied colors of autumn verdure.

2. Dead Poet Society

The second of our Robin Williams films and arguably the sadder of the two. This is a dark academia film with Williams as an English teacher at a New England all-boys preparatory school. He teaches his pupils to carpe diem or “seize the day,” to take life by the scruff of its neck and live. 

1. When Harry Met Sally

This is the archetype of a fall film. This Rob Reiner-directed movie is an everyman love story. Harry and Sally meet throughout their lives at random and eventually become friends. Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal’s dynamic dialogue, set in the mix of New York City in the fall, could quite possibly make this the perfect fall film.

“I notice that Autumn is more the season of the soul than of nature.” — Friedrich Nietzsche. This soul season is upon us. This upcoming season will entail couples snuggling against the cold, evening walks where you can see your breath, and watching the tree out your window change colors. It’s a season of noticing the small things in life. Hopefully, this list will help you get into the fall feeling.


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