15 Movies That Give Us All The Nostalgic Fall Vibes

Believe it or not, there’s more to fall than Halloween.

By Meghan Dillon4 min read
Screen Shot 2022-09-20 at 2.27.53 PM
Castle Rock Entertainment/When Harry Met Sally

While we’re big fans of spooky season, we also love everything pumpkin spice and curling up to watch a good movie on a cool fall night. There’s something about fall that makes us nostalgic for some of our favorite childhood movies, and here are some that give us all the fall vibes.

Sweet Home Alabama (2002)

Melanie is living her dream as a fashion designer in New York City and just got engaged to her dream man, but she has a secret back home in Alabama. She travels to Alabama to ask her husband for a divorce, only to discover that she may have left the perfect life back at home. The Alabama fall vibes are immaculate, and we can never get enough of Reese Witherspoon.

Legally Blonde (2001)

It’s the back-to-school vibes and Boston aesthetic that truly make this a fall movie, and there’s no doubt in our minds that Elle Woods loves fall. She’d be all over everything pumpkin spice (Starbucks lattes included), and we already know she loves cozy sweaters. It’s also one of the greatest rom-coms ever made, which makes us want to relive our back-to-school childhood sleepovers watching Legally Blonde and indulging in our favorite late-night snacks.

Homeward Bound (1993)

Three beloved family pets are confused when their family moves away, and they get lost trying to find their way back home. Shadow, Chance, and Sassy go on an adventure through the wilderness to try to find their way back to their new home, leading to the most wholesome antics we’ve ever seen. We can’t get enough of the fall landscape in this family-friendly adventure and are convinced that anyone who doesn’t shed a tear at the end of this movie doesn’t have a heart.

Anastasia (1997)

Okay, hear us out: It looks like winter in St. Petersburg, but it also looks like fall during Anya, Dmitri, and Vlad’s trip to Paris, so we’re dubbing this a fall movie. It’s probably a late fall movie since there’s literally a song called “Once Upon a December,” but the leaves are still colorful in Paris. This movie never fails to make us smile, making it the perfect feel-good ‘90s movie for your next cozy movie night.

Mean Girls (2004)

Like Legally Blonde, it’s the back-to-school vibes that make this a fall movie, but how could we forget that National Mean Girls Day is on October 3rd? It all started on the fateful day when Aaron Samuels asked Cady Heron what day it was (it was October 3rd) in calculus class, and now we celebrate every October 3rd by wearing pink and quoting this masterpiece of a movie.

When Harry Met Sally (1989)

Possibly the greatest rom-com of all time, When Harry Met Sally asks if men and women can ever truly be just friends. We follow both Harry and Sally over several years of friendship and watch them fall in love against the backdrop of autumn in New York. It might be a little too predictable, but it’s the perfect movie for a cool fall night.

You’ve Got Mail (1998)

Another one of our all-time favorite rom-coms, we can’t get enough of this enemies-to-lovers classic. A small bookstore owner is feuding with a businessman IRL, but unbeknownst to them, they’re also engaged in an email relationship with each other. Of course, only the audience knows this, leaving us on the edge of our seats to see what happens. Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan are also some of the most likable and charming Hollywood stars, making this movie that much more enjoyable.

Knives Out (2019)

Though this movie is only a few years old, many of the eccentric characters give off ‘70s vibes, and the cable knit sweaters and New England fall weather only add to the fall aesthetic. We love curling up with a cup of tea to watch a mystery on a fall night, and Knives Out is the perfect fall murder mystery. And how could we forget Ana de Armas stealing the show in a star-studded cast? It’s one of the many reasons why we’re obsessed with her.

The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

Though this movie takes place over a year, we can’t help but categorize it as a fall movie because the fall fashion is immaculate. Andy becomes the assistant to a famously tough editor of a top fashion magazine, hoping to prove herself in the journalism world, only to find out so much more about herself and the world of fashion. It’s one of the last great rom-coms, making it one of our all-time favorites.

Matilda (1996)

Born to neglectful parents, 6-year-old Matilda is not only smart beyond her years, but she has telekinetic powers. She bonds with her kind-hearted teacher, Miss Honey, and uses her brain, kindness, and telekinetic powers against the cruel principal, Miss Trunchbull. Based on the classic children’s novel by Roald Dahl, this wholesome movie teaches the importance and power of kindness and learning.

A Cinderella Story (2004)

We love Cinderella retellings, and this is one of our favorites. Sam lives with her cruel stepmother and stepsisters but finds solace in her work friends, quirky best guy friend, and email pen pal. As she falls for her pen pal, the two plan to meet at the school’s Halloween ball, only to discover that he’s the most popular guy at school.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)

Many of the Harry Potter movies give off fall vibes since they all begin at the start of the school year, but the first movie takes it to another level. From the first quidditch game (we’re convinced that quidditch is the football of the Wizarding World) to the Halloween feast and to getting to know our favorite characters all over again, this is the perfect movie for fall nostalgia.

Remember the Titans (2000)

It’s not fall without football, and Remember the Titans tells the story of a newly integrated high school learning to overcome racial differences. The school’s football team must learn to become a better team by overcoming prejudice and loss. This movie is not only timeless and heartwarming, but we’ll watch anything with Denzel Washington in it, for obvious reasons.

Dead Poet’s Society (1989)

Who doesn’t love a classic and wholesome Robin Williams movie? Williams plays an unorthodox English teacher trying to reach his students at an all-boys prep school in Vermont, and he teaches the boys various life lessons through works of classic literature. As the students learn more about themselves, the teacher learns as much from them, becoming one of their favorite teachers.

Good Will Hunting (1997)

Often remembered as the movie that made Matt Damon and Ben Affleck stars and one of the best acting duos in Hollywood. Set at Harvard University (we’ve noticed a New England theme in most fall movies), this movie tackles everything from the meaning of life to how we can rise up against our circumstances. 

Closing Thoughts

From the classic rom-com like When Harry Met Sally to the first Harry Potter movie, there are plenty of movies to choose from when you just want to sip some cider and enjoy a nice night-in on the sofa. Fall brings out a sense of nostalgia and coziness in all of us, so why not indulge in it?

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