Fall Films


I love all seasons: spring because of the gradual warmth in the air and flowers abloom, summer because of beach trips, its long sunlit hours and sleeping with the windows open to let in the evening breeze, fall because of the crisp air and everything pumpkin and apples, winter because of Christmas (the best birthday celebration), all the peppermints and gingerbreads, and then my birthday.

And for every season, I have a list of films I enjoy watching. Here is my list of my favorite films to watch in the fall in no particular order:

  • Harry Potter 1, 2, 3: The first three films (and books) set a certain excitement and mood for fall: the beginning of school and seeing familiar faces, back-to-school shopping at Diagon Alley, the train station and Hogwarts, the great feast, pumpkin juice, etc. The 4th one is more Christmas-y, and the 5-7th ones orient around Voldemort, therefore not so festive.
  • Good Will Hunting: They’re in school, fall foliage; basically, school.
  • You’ve Got Mail: 90% of this film is fall.
  • When Harry Met Sally: I would consider this is a perfect winter/New Year’s Eve movie. Sure, the film begins with Harry and Sally setting off for New York in the fall and there are many scenes that take place in the fall, so it can be a fall film, but I’d say it is 40% fall. haha.
  • Pride and Prejudice (film and BBC TV series): Honestly, this can fit into every season. :)
  • Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel: Anne working as a school teacher, school picnics and plays, apple-picking, and that last scene with fall foliage in the background. ;)
  • Hocus Pocus: a classic and clean-ish 90s Halloween movie even though I don’t celebrate Halloween. It’s still pretty funny.
  • Love Story: I watched it for the first time a couple years ago and it was SO cheesy I couldn’t bear it, but I remember Ali MacGraw’s outfits being so chic and perfect for fall. I wouldn’t watch it again, but it’s almost quintessentially fall and it would be wrong to leave it out of the list.
  • Garden State: the soundtrack
  • Godfather I: somber in mood, scenes take place at the end of summer, then fall and so on, but I’d say the main events occur in the the fall and winter. (This is one of very few violent films I can handle).
  • Dan in Real Life: a family reunion in the middle of the school year, sometime in the fall, and it’s heartwarming. Also, the soundtrack.
  • Chocolat: the color scheme and tones, warmth emanating from food, and all the chocolate reminds me of Halloween
  • About a Boy: a boy in his school year, “Santa’s Super Sleigh” and the scene where Hugh Grant’s character is shopping in a supermarket and hears it playing and he says, “November the sodding 19th… Six weeks before Christmas and already they were playing the bloody thing.” This film can also fit into my winter category.
  • Ratatouille: Paris in the fall
  • Lord of the Rings: end of summer–ready for adventure kind of feel
  • Coco: obviously, Dia de los Muertos. That scene at the end though: if you didn’t cry, are you even human? ;)
  • The Royal Tenenbaums: color scheme and tones. I haven’t watched Fantastic Mr. Fox, but supposedly that’s also fit for fall.

What would be on your favorite fall films list? Anything to add? Take away? Watch for the first time?


Film: La La Land

Like everyone, I loved this movie, and I’m not a fan of musicals (except Sound of Music)! I believe the film was loved for obvious reasons: 1) Ryan Gosling: a male character who is handsome and flawed/helpless. I don’t think he’s very handsome, but as my husband would say, he is a “stud”, 2) Jazz, piano, orchestral music, (and dancing): drama and all the emotions, 3) Struggling artists: so L.A., so relatable, 4) L.A.: a romanticized city, 5) some not-so-over-the-top comical scenes: Ryan’s 80s ensemble, his Christmas music performance, his “biting of the lips” (haha!), and 6) the ending: something to which everyone can relate-the one with whom it didn’t work out. Emma Stone was great, but I think her voice needed to be louder (more powerful), and for some reason, I couldn’t get it out of my head that she looked like Michael Jackson. Okay, that has nothing to do with the movie, but the closeup scenes were a bit funny/uncomfortable for me, especially during her solo performance (“Audition (The Fools Who Dream)”). Maybe the director could have zoomed out a bit and filmed Emma walking through the streets of Paris (next to the Seine)/L.A. while singing. Just a thought. I loved the song, though.

My sister and I often joke about writing a book, song, or screenplay, and what we realize over and over again is, in order to be successful, one has to create something people will obviously love, like the above 6 reasons.


Film: What if (2013)

whatif Daniel Radcliffe plays a med school drop-out named Wallace. Zoe Kazan plays an über hipster illustrator/animator named Chantry (the name itself!).  He’s alone, she’s in a relationship, and she just wants to be friends. Yes, we know how this film will end. (The happy kind of ending).



Though the plot is cliché, the film makes up for it with unrealistic witty banter and humorous scenes. I love Wallace’s character–he’s sincere and sentimental. I don’t love Chantry’s character, but I do love her job and outfits, which makes her more tolerable. My favorite scene is when Wallace gets invited to dinner at Chantry and her boyfriend’s place. Her boyfriend accidentally rubs his eyes while dicing jalapeños and starts to scream in pain. Wallace, being a former med school student, suggests using saline solution and runs to the bathroom. He’s in a hurry to deliver the saline and the boyfriend is in a hurry to get it. Wallace ends up whacking the boyfriend out the apartment window while coming out of the bathroom. Luckily the boyfriend is  alive and later everyone ends up riding the ambulance singing “O Holy Night.”  So random and funny.

I would watch this film more than once, therefore I give it two thumbs up.


(all images from IMDb)

Food, Friends, & Film

“All the diversity, all the charm, and all the beauty of life are made up of light and shade” (Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina). I try to capture this through my camera, but for Tolstoy who can do this through words, I admire him greatly. For those who like theater, Russian literature, British actors, whimsical characters, and dark plots, all-in-one or one-or-the-other, I recommend watching Anna Karenina. And if you have spare time and like to read, I recommend reading the novel beforehand. The film will catch you by surprise.

Here are some photos from yesterday’s excursion:
bonchon chicken


Another pleasant surprise in the mail.  When my sister said she watched Tangled in theaters, I scoffed at such ridiculousness. Because I thought Tangled was going to be like The Princess and the Frog — which I also didn’t watch because of its ridiculousness. (Can you tell I’m very judgmental? keke).

Anyway, I was surprised at how many people were saying Tangled was a good movie. Coming from adults. of the male gender, no less.

After trying to avoid watching the film by pushing it further and further away from the “Next” on my Netflix queue, I finally received it in the mail today.  And… I liked it! I loved Maximus the white stallion and the little frog. I mean, chameleon. So cute.

Though I’m not a fan of fairy tales (because of their creepy nature),  there’s something about the fairyland that draws my attention.  I like the idea of living in a kingdom with little roads and little shops and little roads that lead to where the castle lies above, and an enchanting lake in the middle of town, where people can ride their little boats and light their lanterns into the night sky.  Now that’s a kind of date that’ll make me really happy. ;) (where can I find such a town?)

But yes. I liked Tangled. And yes, I’m very behind in grading my last batch of papers. But yes, there’s hope. Because… because……. next Thursday, all will be over and I will be free to dream of my own castles in the air.