If you're like most people, you might find the changing of seasons to be quite taxing. And while autumn might be a favorite for many, even this season can be disheartening as we leave the heat of summer.
Hopefully we can help make it more bearable! Here are our favorite movies that can help you transition into the fall season mood, making you want to curl up in a blanket with a cozy sweater and a hot beverage.
4. Dead Poets Society (1989)
The Welton Academy is a strict conservative school for boys. It's the kind of environment where students must wear uniforms and behave appropriately on every occasion, while professors are inflexible and detached from the actual struggles and passions of their students.
But, one day, Professor Keating (Robin Williams) enters the scene—and everything changes for his students.
Dead Poets Society is a story about growing up. It explores themes of sexuality, love, freedom, dreams, talents, and personal power. It shows the generational gap between 1960s teenagers and their parents, but remains as relevant today for people of our age.
Yes, I know, Dead Poets Society is actually pretty corny, with a depiction of boarding school that isn't all too real. And yes, I know, Dead Poets Society is an idealized depiction of friendship, education, and everything else.
But even so, it's still immensely enjoyable—and, more importantly, Dead Poets Society is incredibly atmospheric.
Suspend your disbelief regarding how "accurate" the film is and instead immerse yourself in a story that you would've loved when you were a teenager. Hang with the protagonists as they explore the woods and cycle across a deserted sea of grass.
The color palette of Dead Poets Society is an ode to the coziness of autumn. You can be critical later, so make sure you take the time to enjoy the visual beauty of this classic film.
3. Juno (2004)
Juno is quirky and indie to the bone. Juno McGuff is pregnant at sixteen years old, but instead of getting an abortion, she decides to continue with her pregnancy and later give the baby to someone who wants him.
Set across the span of nine months, Juno uses the seasons as an indicator of the passing of time. And with its amazing dialogue, iconic soundtrack, and three-dimensional characters, the result is remarkably immersive.
Every season is clearly marked and enhanced by seasonal color palettes, unique outfits, and special attention to detail (like Juno's nose turning red in the cold but not in the warmth of summer).
Juno is the kind of film you watch when you miss being a teenager. It gives you that "high school vibe" without any of the fake gloss in most teen dramas. It's friendly realism with life depicted in all its flawed beauty, edgy corners, and vulnerable spots.
2. Driving Lessons (2006)
Starring Rupert Grint and Julie Walters, Driving Lessons is a coming-of-age story that'll make you feel like camping in a forest or going for a car ride in the middle of the autumnal countryside.
At its heart, Driving Lessons is the story of Ben becoming an adult. He's part of a conservative, hyper-religious household led by a toxic mother and avoidant father—and he's told to find a job for the summer.
In steps Evie Walton, an alcoholic actress in her sixties who needs help around the house. As Ben and Evie strike up an unlikely friendship, the film lasts an entire summer and ends just when the days start becoming shorter.
Surprisingly unknown, Driving Lessons is a true hidden gem. The soundtrack blends indie and folk songs into a perfect mix of adventure and serene melancholy, making you feel like you're about to leave on an adventure—and who's to say you aren't?
Perfectly seasoned with philosophical insights on the meaning of home and one's sense of belonging, Driving Lessons will make you laugh, then cry, then laugh again. Put on a sweater and channel your inner campfire!
1. When Harry Met Sally (1989)
Directed by Rob Reiner and written by Nora Ephron in 1989, When Harry Met Sally is a great story about love, friendship, personal growth, and the passage of time. A true classic to this day.
Two newly-graduated college students are both moving to New York, so they drive there together. The thing is, they don't know each other... and soon find out that they are extremely different people.
Sally is square, prim, and has it all figured out. Harry is smug, and whenever he starts a new book, he always reads the ending first ("That way, in case I die before I finish, I know how it ends.")
The uptight optimist and arrogant pessimist are stuck in the car together for twelve hours, and summer is ending all around them beyond the windows. When they finally arrive in New York, they go their separate ways—but serendipitously bump into each other again, and again, and again...
Across her filmography, Nora Ephron has a special relationship with time, shown through her interweaving of weather, nature, and the changing of seasons. In When Harry Met Sally, time is itself a character whose beauty is depicted in the orange leaves of Central Park and Sally's autumnal outfits.
The film spans twelve years, with each year its own visual and auditory journey through the wheel of seasons. I proudly admit that I often watch this film every year at the start of autumn, and recommend you try it, too!