Monday, May 17, 2010

"You're Killin Me Smalls!": Favorite Summertime Movies

It's all happening so fast. Somehow May is flying by and is quickly moving towards my first official summer after being hit in the face by real life for an entire year. Even after a whirl wind time this year, summer still has the same exciting appeal that it has had since I was younger.

Whats better than movies that capture what the perfect summer was like growing up? Not much else, and I will probably embarrassingly treasure all of these movies for the entirety of my life. Warning: These movies should be consumed only actually during the summer. Otherwise, it will be just plain depressing to watch something about kids going on vacations and playing baseball, when where you are it's snowing outside. Plus, saving them for a certain time of the year just makes it feel more like the season, much like those reserved for Christmas. Here are some memorable ones:

1. The Sandlot
Baseball, friends and hijinx for an entire summer was never captured better than this classic from 1993. The dialogue is still hilarious. Ah,  back to the days when they still made movies where kids could swear-thats what they do! I'll leave you with the end all of clips and yes, it involves the best trash talk.

2. Stand By Me
Definitely the most critically acclaimed story and film that falls into the category. Following four boys on a journey to see a dead body is equally tragic, moving, and just plain awesome. The interaction between the four actors in the lead roles make this an all time favorite.

3. Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
Don't judge if you haven't seen it, because "girl" movies tend to get a bad rap and this one shouldn't.  For the first time four best friends will be spending the summer alone and just by chance they discover a pair of pants that fit them all, which end up keeping them connected even though they are miles apart. Seriously, though forget about the pants for a second. Four accomplished young actresses (even Blake Lively) make this movie both believable and completely memorable.

4. Now and Then
This is often called the Stand By Me for girls, which I don't like. Once again in a familiar trend, four friends meet up when they are older and look back on an unforgettable summer from their youth. This movie is probably not remembered by many, but is beloved by people of my generation. The cast is great, has a swingin soundtrack and is one of the only movies that truly captures the innocence of girls growing up. This movie always made me wish I had grown up in the late 60s.

(Who didn't want a portable radio so this scene could be recreated? My friends and I tried miserably for most of my childhood.)

5. Rookie of The Year
Now this doesn't necessarily take place during the summertime, but when I started making this list I felt like it was imperative it was included.  A kid breaks his arm and when it heals he is able to throw baseballs faster than professional pitchers. Naturally, his talent amazes everyone and is instantly put in the major leagues. He is a huge success, but as always he has to go back to being a kid sometime. Come on, it does feature America's pass time.

6. My Girl
This movie will, I'm sure, always be remembered as the first movie that made many of us weep uncontrollably. I can definitely vouch for that. A simple movie, but much like Stand By Me, it perfectly compiles all of the important things about growing up and, even, many of the worst.

7. Camp Nowhere
Okay, this is on here simply for the hell of it. Not by any means a classic piece of film, but man was this entertaining when I had sleepovers. The movie does have an appealing premise; all of the kids in a neighborhood are being forced to attend lame summer camps (computer camp, theater camp, etc) so what do they do? Steal money from their parents and make their own damn camp! Also, don't forget with the help of Christopher Lloyd.

8. The Parent Trap
Oh the good old days before Lindsey Lohan lost it. People had such hopes for her. Although, she could still bounce back, there's still time. A decent retelling of the classic film is entirely held together with the brilliance of Lohan as the British twin (her accent is uncanny) and the amazing Natasha Richardson (I'm serious about that, RIP)!

9. Breaking Away
Man, the Dennis Quaid train just keeps on comin. I didn't realize the connection between the last movie and this one until this minute. I just love some Quaid. Anyways, this film deals with four friends (why is there always four in these movies?) who just graduated from high school and sense their lives are heading nowhere. They take up competitive bicycle racing and end up showing those college kids!

10. American Graffiti
One of the best, this movie takes place in one night, movies.A group of friends spend the last night of summer before leaving for college hanging out and cruising the town. Everyone watching this movie is transported to  the early 60's with the classic soundtrack, fast cars, and drive thru burger joints. One last perfect night for these friends before their lives change forever.

Honorable mention: Dazed and Confused and Heavyweights

Either one last summer or one night, all of these movies accomplish the same thing that makes them classic; capturing some of the simplest, but what are actually, some of the best moments in our lives.

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