Saturday, June 20th marked the official first day of summer for this truly banner year of 2020, but who’s keeping track anymore? Just in case you are, happy summer! Seeing as we’re in a global pandemic, social interaction outside your home isn’t highly recommended, but staying inside and watching these ten iconic summer films definitely is.
“Dirty Dancing” (1987) – This classic summer film follows Frances “Baby” Houseman as she discovers herself, finds an unforgettable summer love, and learns to dance while on vacation with her family in the Catskills. You simply can’t go wrong with this nostalgic coming of age story.
“Jaws” (1975) – Where would we be without this infamous summer blockbuster, directed by the one and only Steven Spielberg? When a popular beach town is terrorized by a rogue shark, three men venture out into the ocean to track down the beast. Nothing says summer like the Jaws’ theme.
“Dazed and Confused” (1993) – It’s the first night of summer for a group of teens in 1976 suburban Texas, and they intend on making the most of it. This weed-fueled cult classic is centered around Randall Floyd, a jock who has no trouble floating between stoners and geeks alike.
“Stand by Me” (1986) – Leave it to Stephen King to give us a different (creepy) kind of summer adventure – one where four friends decide to go see a dead body near their rural town. While it isn’t exactly a happy story, “Stand by Me” highlights those friendships you only had when you were young.
“Little Miss Sunshine” (2006) – The Hoover family has 48 hours to get their young daughter Olive to the “Little Miss Sunshine” beauty pageant in Los Angeles. This underappreciated gem of a film also happens to be a perfect summer road trip movie that you should watch at your earliest convenience.
“Wet Hot American Summer” (2001) – No list of iconic summer films would be complete without this campy (literally) comedy. This star-studded film follows a group of wild and quirky counselors who bring you right back to your sleepaway camp days.
“The Way Way Back” (2013) – Introverted teenager Duncan is forced to go on summer vacation with his overbearing mother and her easy-to-hate boyfriend and struggles to fit in, but finds solace at Water Wizz water park, headed by the messy but lovable manager Owen.
“The Sandlot” (1993) – Another throwback movie for the ages, “The Sandlot” follows a group of neighborhood kids as they navigate the ins and outs of, well, whatever suburbia has to offer to young boys in 1962. Mostly, they play baseball, go to the pool, and form lasting friendships.
“Point Break” (1991) – There’s a lot of great surfer movies out there, but one with Keanu Reeves as an undercover federal agent sent to track down bank robbers headed by an endless summer-seeking surfer dude played by Patrick Swayze? Enough said.
“Call me by Your Name” (2017) – Maybe this doesn’t count as a classic summer movie yet, but it is quickly becoming iconic. Set against the romantic backdrop of northern Italy, this love story between a 17-year old and his father’s research assistant is as heart-wrenching as it is beautiful.