What's On HBO: November


Now that we’ve hit November, we can finally begin to bridge the gap between the holidays. Since finals are coming up, you'll need some study breaks and what better way to unwind than with a movie? Use our guide to cut down on the stress of wading through your watchlist!

1. Practical Magic (1998)

Halloween is officially over, but the spooky season lives on in our hearts and this movie is the perfect way to celebrate. Starring Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman as two witch sisters, Practical Magic is the perfect brew of rom-com, drama, and fantasy. Be warned, watching will give you extreme envy since the family resides in the most beautiful house ever put on film, but the combined charm of this cast (which also includes Stockard Channing, from Grease, and Dianne Weist, from Law & Order) is the perfect remedy.

2. Beetlejuice (1988)

Beetlejuice is another perfect way to bow out of October! It’s a Tim Burton flick about the recently deceased Maitlands, a couple that now haunt their house as ghosts. When the Deetz family moves into the house with a whole host of plans for new renovations, they have to call on supernatural aid to restake their claim. Michael Keaton is at his most unhinged as the titular poltergeist, Winona Ryder is at her most Winona Ryder as Lydia Deetz, the gothic daughter who can befriend ghosts, and Catherine O’Hara cements her status as a comedic icon as Delia Deetz, Lydia’s eccentric stepmother. It’s super chaotic and fun—like you might expect from Tim Burton—and is a guaranteed good time!

3. Juno (2007)

Nothing says fall quite like the color palette in Juno, and the story is pretty stellar besides. It follows high schooler Juno MacGuff (Elliot Page, from The Umbrella Academy), who becomes pregnant and chooses to adopt out the baby to a young couple (Jennifer Garner and Jason Bateman). Along the way, her relationship with the biological father, Paulie (peak Michael Cera), must evolve and she has to balance the difficulties of pregnancy with getting through high school. Overall, this is a heartwarming coming-of-age story with a surprisingly stacked cast, equally touching and funny.

4. Excess Baggage (1997)

We know this much to be true: Benicio Del Toro should have been cast in approximately every rom-com ever. We can’t quite put our finger on what makes him so perfect—perhaps it’s the ideal 90s hair, the tired eyes, or the way he delivers every line like he’s never been more confused in his life. And Alicia Silverstone is, as we all know from Clueless, rom-com royalty and she’s expert at playing a lovable brat like Emily in this movie. Emily is the neglected daughter of a wealthy man—to get his attention, she fakes her own kidnapping and ends up accidentally getting kidnapped by Vincent (Del Toro) in the process. Family friend Ray (Christopher Walken, enjoyable as ever) is sent to hunt her down and hijinks ensue. Excess Baggage is easy to love and a great quick movie to watch for a study break, so don’t delay!

5. The Polar Express (2004)

We're inching closer to the holidays, so why not start your Christmas movie binge a little early? The Polar Express is infamous for toeing the line (maybe plunging into) the uncanny valley, what with the dead eyes of all the characters and that traumatizing marionette scene, but we’re asking you to give this one another chance. It’s got, oddly, really good music, Tom Hanks playing what feels like almost every single role, and it actually does well to capture both the magic and melancholy of the holiday season. Maybe we’re biased as major Tom Hanks lovers, but this is a strong start to the holiday season!

Now that fall is in full swing, read on for our picks to celebrate the season.