Summer is beginning to wind down, and I can’t believe I didn’t think of doing this sooner, but I think it’s time we talk about Summertime movies. Not blockbusters necessarily, but movies that are either about or related to the Summer season. There’s still time to view a few of these before the weather turns, with the upcoming Labor Day holiday being an excellent chance to do so. Or, hey, save a few to watch in the middle of Winter when it’s freezing, dark, and miserable and you’re missing the Summer vibes. Kinda like watching “A Christmas Story” on July 25th.
Anyway, here’s a list featuring some of my favorite Summer flicks. These aren’t presented in any real order here, just as they roll off the top of my noggin. That’s the way things go here at MonDaves! Let’s have at it.
I pretty much have to watch this one every year. For those who may be unfamiliar, it’s a Summer Camp comedy from the late 1970’s featuring Bill Murray and a full collection of young Canadian talent. This was made back in the days before PG-13 was a thing, so it’s a bit stronger than the rating would have you think. There are a few problematic moments by today’s standards, but I think the spirit of the film and the sweetness of its central story make up for those issues.
- National Lampoon’s Vacation:
This one is fairly dated and risque as well. It’s somewhat surprising that a movie featuring as much outrageousness as this has become somewhat of a beloved classic, but here we are. Still funny in between the cringe moments, and serves as a reminder of when we all still loved Chevy Chase. Also the theme song is classic, and I never tire of the performances by Imogene Coca and John Candy.
The ultimate Summer suspense movie. Notice I said suspense, not horror. While the shark attacks are horrific, the film plays more like an adventure movie to me. I just watched this again a few months ago, and it’s still very good. It’s just not a horror film so please stop calling it one. Same goes for “Alien”, although I’m much more willing to let that one slide. Anyway. Moving on.
- The Great Outdoors:
John Candy (again) and Dan Aykroyd in a movie about two families camping, with Candy representing the traditional family values set, and Aykroyd the obnoxious business man brother in law. While this movie was panned during the initial release, cable and home video have made it a semi classic. I have never heard my mother laugh harder or longer than she did at the climax of this film.
- Stand By Me:
Part drama, part comedy, all heart. A group of twelve year old boys hike out to the woods to see a rumored dead body (well, it was written by Stephen King), but along the way they learn about the meaning of friendship in a one of a kind coming of age story that is a definite classic. If you somehow haven’t seen this one, do.
- One Crazy Summer:
John Cusack, Demi Moore, and Bobcat Goldthwait in a pretty bonkers 80’s teen comedy. Is it great? No. Does it try too hard? Yes. However, it’s just absurd enough that it is an interesting view, with likeable people and enough snickers in it (if not outright laughs) to make it worth a look.
- That Thing You Do!:
Perhaps not a traditional Summer movie, but the bulk of the film takes place during the Summer months, and the whole thing just feels like Summer, man. It’s also one of my favorite music movies, and a favorite all around.
- Summer School:
This was a Mark Harmon vehicle about a teacher and teens in Summer school and it’s just as dumb as it sounds, but I saw it about a billion times on cable and can still recite whole passages from the film so it’s on the list. Also, I still think Dave and Chainsaw should have had their own movie franchise, or at least a TV show.
- Beach Blanket Bingo/Psycho Beach Party (tie):
The former is the classic, ultimate “teen beach movie”. Today it is viewed as a reminder of a gentler time. The latter is a modern parody that also throws in references to psychological thrillers and slasher films. It has also spawned a stage play. The two together make a great double feature!
- Lilo And Stitch:
If you haven’t seen it, it’s better than you think. If you have, it’s better than you remember. I love all the Elvis stuff, and the voice cast is great. It mixes Disney cuteness with a manic energy for a good time that can be had by all.
Okay, there we have it, Dave’s Fave Summer Films. There are a few more, but I think this will do for now. Also, I may want to revisit this topic in the future and I need to have a few in reserve. See you next week.