A great way to beat the heat this summer is to stay inside and treat yourself to a movie marathon. We can pretend that summer is a nonstop party of pool floats and beach bumming, but the truth is we all need some time to unwind, relax, and get out of the sun. Stop by the library to pick up some blockbusters, classics, and quintessential “summer movies.” Listed below are a few suggestions I’ve put together based on my own biased preferences and suggestions via the world’s wisest best friend, Google.
We cannot possibly go any further without acknowledging some of the many films set during the three month span from June through August. This includes classics from the 60s, like the Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon Beach Party films, Gidget, and Where the Boys Are. Summer break hijinks are also explored in the following films you may choose to add to your roster: Camp Nowhere, Little Darlings, Now and Then, Dirty Dancing, Dazed and Confused, Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead, National Lampoon’s Vacation, What About Bob?, Stand By Me, and Weekend at Bernie’s. Lastly, let’s not forget the quintessential beach film: Jaws. This summer marks the 40th anniversary of its release.
Summer vacation is also a great time to watch long movies, the kinds of movies that start before lunchtime and end around dinnertime. I’m thinking Titanic, Lawrence of Arabia, Gone with the Wind, or Saving Private Ryan. Going along with this, you could really hunker down and do an epic marathon of movie series: Indiana Jones, Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, Star Wars, Jurassic Park, and Pirates of the Caribbean. We can add superhero movies into the mix, as well: Superman, Batman, Spiderman, Iron Man, Captain America, and so on.
I know that October is the designated Scary Movie Month. However, if you’re like me and change the channel when scary movie previews pop up unannounced during commercial breaks, then you might enjoy getting your thrills during the daytime. You can even pick a theme to make your couch time more exciting: zombie movies, old-fashioned film noir, classics, or my personal favorite: a Hitchcock marathon. And make sure your doors are locked…just in case.
Finally, it can be a real bummer when you enter the working world of adulthood and can no longer spend two whole months sleeping in, swimming, and eating enough popsicles in a single day to turn your lips and tongue into a rainbow kaleidoscope. To recapture the youth and fun of summer the way it used to be, spend an afternoon or evening viewing your favorite films of yesteryear. Maybe that includes classic animated Disney films like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs or Peter Pan; it might include Bedknobs and Broomsticks or Pollyanna; or maybe it includes more recent Pixar films that speak to the childlike wonder in your heart, such as Up, Toy Story, or Frozen. If you’re looking to share this experience with the children in your life, Parents magazine has put together a great list of 10 family movies for the summer.
Now, I know that I started this post bemoaning the heat and sun, coaxing you into staying inside your nicely air conditioned home. However, if a comfortable evening should come along in the near future—not too hot and not too cool—bring a blanket and snacks outside and host an outdoor movie. Pinterest offers some easy and creative ways to make an outdoor movie possible in your very own backyard.
Lastly, I can’t finish a post about summer movies without mentioning a “classic” film from my adolescence (it’s from 1993 and I recognize that “classic” is a term being used somewhat loosely in this example): The Sandlot. It’s got all the hallmarks of a great American summer film: baseball, friendships, Independence Day, the town pool, father-son relationships, a carnival scene, and an enigmatic “villain” known as “The Beast.” It’s insanely quotable and thoroughly likable. If you don’t like The Sandlot, I have only four words for you: You’re killin’ me, Smalls!
For some more suggestions, check out this list of 21 Classic Summer Movies put together by Paste.
Find a comfy spot on the couch, grab your remote, and settle in for some summer viewing. Enjoy!