Griffin Conlogue ’15/ Emertainment Monthly writer
With summer in full swing and this years recent release of films like The Kings of Summer and The Way, Way Back, it is the perfect time to look at movies about summer. Here are the top eight best films about summer that you can watch when it’s just too hot to go outside:
8. Wet Hot American Summer (2001) R
An indie comedy that boasts one of the greatest casts ever assembled. Paul Rudd, Molly Shannon, Michael Ian Black, Elizabeth Banks, Bradley Cooper and many more star as camp counselors at a summer camp in Waterville, Maine. The film combines absurdist humor with satire to create a witty and offbeat comedy classic. Under appreciated upon it’s initial release; the film has since become a cult classic. The film currently has a rumored prequel or sequel in production.
High point: Christopher Meloni as an emotionally scarred Vietnam War veteran who talks to a can of mixed vegetables (voiced by Archer and Bob’s Burgers H. Jon Benjamin)
7. Adventureland (2009) R
Wrongly marketed as a broad comedy, this period piece lighthearted drama tells the story of James Brennan, a graduate student who gets a job at an amusement park to help pay for college. The stacked cast includes Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Ryan Reynolds, Bill Hader, and pre-Bridesmaids Kristen Wiig. The film is semi-autobiographical and directed by Greg Mottola, who is also known for directing the movie Superbad. What really sells the film is the likeable and relatable characters as well as its heart. You won’t be able to resist the inevitable smile you will get at the end.
High point: Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig offer hilarious one-liners to help balance out the dramatic scenes. You’ll laugh till tears come to your face when Hader grabs his baseball bat.
6. Stand By Me (1986) R
Boasting a star studded young cast including Wil Wheaton, Jerry O’Connell, Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman, and the late River Phoenix; this coming-of-age story is about four boys who decide to go look for the body of a high school aged boy that they heard is in the woods outside of town. It’s a film about friendship, and the bonds we make with those closest to us. The film is moving, touching, and beautifully nostalgic. At the end you may find yourself in tears.
High point: The chemistry between the four leads is perfect. They all play off each other so well and help to make each other better actors.
5. Point Break (1991) R
Long before Zero Dark Thirty and The Hurt Locker, director Kathryn Bigelow made a hybrid surfing/bank heist film. Basically The Fast and the Furious but with surfing, this film is a fast paced action film starring Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze. Inherently cool, the film also has well written characters and features strong performances.
High point: The last bank robbery of the summer, and the crazy action surrounding it.
4. Dirty Dancing (1987) PG-13
Swayze stars, again, this time as a hunky dance instructor, who is lusted after by Baby Houseman, a girl whose family is on summer vacation. Tons of dancing, tons of romance, and tons of drama make this an entertaining and fun movie to watch any time you are bored. If you haven’t seen Dirty Dancing you are most definitely missing out on a classic.
High point: Now I’ve…. had, the time of my liiiiife. The original flash mob. You know that every girl wished to be lifted by Patrick Swayze after they saw this scene, or “Nobody put’s Baby in a corner.” the Love Is Strange scene. Man, Dirty Dancing is awesome, isn’t it?
3.The Sandlot (1993) PG
This movie is a coming of age story about a boy, his friend’s, and their love of baseball. An overly nostalgic story staring Benny “the Jet” Rodriguez as the hero we should all aspire to be like. This movie will make you remember and miss your own childhood playing baseball in the backyard with your friends. I guarantee it. The film has two direct-to-DVD sequels.
High point: “You’re killing me Smalls!” One of the greatest film quotes of this generation. That or the fact that this film features Emerson’s own Denis Leary!
2. Independence Day (1996) PG-13
A film that just screams America. What happens when aliens attack Earth? We enlist POTUS, a marine, and Jeff freakin’ Goldblum to stop them. Bursting with American pride, this thinly scripted and relatively stupid film is quite the ride. Regardless of how poorly written the characters are, this movie is still one of the most entertaining films ever made. The first of 2 sequels is set for a release on 4th of July weekend, 2015.
High point: When the spaceship starts destroying major buildings, highlighted by an amazing explosion of the White House.
1. Jaws (1975) R
This one will probably make you want to stay out of the water. Jaws isn’t just one of the best summer films ever, it is one of the best films in general. Spielberg’s masterpiece is exactly what you want in a film. It’s horrifying. This film has incredible fleshed out characters. It also combines everything so neatly into an epic action thriller. The best part you might ask? You barely even see the shark in the entirety of the film. Jaws had three sequels that never lived up to the quality of the original.
High point: The “get out of the water” scene (probably the scariest scene in the entire film). Once again, you don’t even see the shark.