by KAREN COOPER
Spring is here! What better time to get in the mood for longer days and the arrival of early spring bloomers than by lining up a few movies that make us feel spring-ish? And by spring-ish we mean movies that take place in spring, those that have lots of beautiful flowers or nature vibes and/or movies about rebirth. In other words, movies that lift us up out of the dreary doldrums of winter with the promise of flowers, sunshine, and certainly some baseball!
Field of Dreams (1989)
Iowa farmer Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner) is inspired by a persistent voice he can’t seem to ignore to pursue a dream he can hardly believe. With his supportive wife by his side, Ray begins to turn his ordinary cornfield into a place where dreams can come true. This is a movie about the heroes of baseball, but, as Ray learns, along with the audience, this field of dreams is about so much more.
Emma (1996 & 2020)
Emma is a period comedy based on the 1815 novel of the same name by Jane Austen. Emma (Gwyneth Paltrow) is a young socialite in Regency era England who entertains herself by playing matchmaker. Austen’s novels often capture the spirit of spring: with light, love and beautiful English gardens and Emma is no exception. Gwyneth Paltrow is a delight in the 1996 original, but you should also check out the new version released in 2020, with The Queen’s Gambit’s Anya Taylor-Joy playing the title role.
Eat, Pray, Love (2010)
Springtime is about rebirth, so Eat, Pray, Love feels like a great choice for this list. Based on the 2006 memoir of the same name, it follows a woman, Elizabeth (Julia Roberts) who has set out on a worldwide journey of self-discovery after a long period of unhappiness and a difficult divorce. What she finds along the way is sometimes tragic, often breathtaking and ultimately exactly what we wish for her.
The Sound of Music (1965)
Who can forget the memorable shot of Maria (Julie Andrews) playing a nun-to-be who becomes governess to a naval officer’s seven mischievous children? The movie has engaging music, beautiful landscapes, an incredible love story, and good conquering evil atop the breathtaking Alps. The Sound of Music, a five-time Oscar-winning gem, is one of our favorite springtime things.
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
When was the last time you played hooky? When it comes to taking a sick day, no one does it better (or worse) than Chicago high schooler Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick) and his friends in this iconic John Hughes film.
A League of Their Own (1992)
More baseball! This movie based on the real-life All-American Girls Professional Baseball League has a legendary cast including Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, and Madonna, and is sure to make you feel warm inside as well as thoroughly amused by the antics of the headstrong players and their harried coach who famously coined the phrase “There’s no crying in baseball”.
The Secret Garden (1993)
Possibly the most famous adaptation of the 1911 novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett, this film centers on a young recently orphaned girl who is sent to England to live with her sickly cousin after living in India all her life. Together, they discover a rambling, neglected garden and set upon bringing it back to life. In the end, the garden serves as a new beginning in more ways than one.
Fever Pitch (2005)
And at last, another movie about baseball! If you’re an MLB fan, this one is a real winner! Fever Pitch tells the story of Ben (Jimmy Fallon), a young teacher, who meets pretty workaholic Lindsey (Drew Barrymore). The two don’t have much in common, but opposites attract, and they fall in love. Things take an odd turn when baseball season begins, and Lindsey realizes Ben is not just an average Red Sox fan. Fun fact: The directors, screenwriters and cast had to abruptly change course as the ending was re-written when it became clear the Red Sox might actually win the world series for the first time since 1918.