When the temperature cools and Halloween decor begins to line the shelves at your local grocery store, you know fall is right around the corner. The leaves start to change, the air becomes crisp and the scent of pumpkin pie follows you wherever you go.
As the days get shorter and the nights get colder, fall sets the perfect mood for cozying up by a fire and watching movies that embrace all the season’s best qualities. With themes that range from witchcraft to romance, here are five films to watch every fall.
Two sisters, who are witches, live in the waterfront village of Coupeville, Washington. Raised by their whimsical aunts in a town wracked with close-minded people, the sisters not only battle prejudice but a curse that prevents them from ever finding love and keeping it alive. With music from Nick Drake and Stevie Nicks, “Practical Magic” exudes a type of small town, by-the-sea coziness that relates to fall perfectly.
The owner of a struggling, independent bookstore and the developer of a big box bookstore fall in love while hiding behind their anonymous profiles on an Internet messaging board, both blissfully unaware of the threat they pose to each other’s business. Set against the changing seasons in New York City, “You’ve Got Mail” is one of the most charming romantic comedies of all time. Lead actors Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks remind viewers of the beauty in new beginnings with this enemies-to-lovers tale.
There is something so inherently autumnal about the start of a new school year. “Dear White People” takes place at a fictional Ivy League university as Black students navigate a world of racial politics. This satirical, coming-of-age film intertwines identity with the season of shifting leaves. “Dear White People” can educate viewers while also eliciting nostalgia for freshman year of college.
The Peanuts gang celebrates Halloween in this adorable film about friendship, adolescence and –– of course –– a great big pumpkin. Little Linus skips out on the fall tradition of trick-or-treating with the gang to wait for the Great Pumpkin — a Santa Claus-like figure — to appear and deliver gifts. With a faith-against-all-odds attitude, “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” pulls at the heart strings of viewers both young and old.
From the colorful mind of Wes Anderson comes “Rushmore,” a story about Max Fischer, a quirky student at the academically revered Rushmore Academy. When the teenager finds himself attracted to a beautiful new teacher, he asks the father of two of his classmates for advice on how to woo her. Max’s world turns upside down, however, when the father engages in his own relationship with the teacher. With acoustic music from The Kinks and Yusuf/Cat Stevens, “Rushmore” captures the charm of first love and academic ambition.