The best movies about summer are those that conjure images of a lazy, hazy, hot summer day. Films like A League of Their Own and Point Break each offer up a summer fair of baseball and surfing amidst the drama and adventure. Take a trip back to the best summers in your memory with this great selection of summer films.
Boys (and Girls) of Summer
Summer and baseball are a seasonal home run anytime of the year. Great baseball movies include:
Set in the early 1960s, this film classic focuses on Scotty Small who has just moved to town with his parents. He's the awkward kid who can't throw a baseball, but the neighborhood team recruits him anyway to play at their local sandlot. This summer escape takes viewers right back to childhood rites of passage.
A League of Their Own
Set during World War II, the film stars Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Rosie O'Donnell and Madonna as it follows the story of two sisters recruited to play for an all girls baseball league. The women bring their own emotional baggage (Davis' character misses her husband who is away at war and Hanks is an alcoholic), but they discover unity and inspire a nation with their games.
Field of Dreams
The now classic Kevin Costner film features the line, "If you build it, he will come." Costner portrays Ray Kinsella, a novice corn farmer in Iowa who acts on whimsy to plow under his cornfield and build a baseball diamond. Players from the 1919 strike come and begin to play and Kinsella seeks out others who forgot or lost their dreams, eventually realizing that the reason he built the baseball field was to see his father again. It's a journey of the heart that urges viewers to reconnect with childhood dreams.
Coming of Age Summer Movies
Summer is the season of transition, marking the time between academic school years for most children. The freedom of summer encourages children and teens to explore the world around them in an effort to become the adults they will be. Coming of age summer movies include:
It's the 1950s and Frances "Baby" Houseman (Jennifer Grey) plans to become a doctor like her father and work in the Peace Corps. When she and her family spend an idyllic summer at a Catskills resort, Baby discovers love with dancer Johnny (Patrick Swayze). The two overcome stereotypes to reach across their economic divide and dance the summer away.
Stand by Me
Based on the Stephen King novella The Body, Stand by Me is the narrated memoir of Richard Dreyfuss' character as he recalls an adventure with boyhood friends one Labor Day weekend in 1959. The film stars Wil Wheaton, John Cusack, Corey Feldman, River Phoenix and Jerry O'Connell. The four friends embark on a journey to see a dead body, forming a bond that will last the rest of their lives.
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
This film and its sequel feature Amber Tamblyn, Alexis Bledel, America Ferrera and Blake Lively as four best friends who want to stay connected despite their differing summer plans. They discover a pair of enchanted jeans that fit each and every one of them, no matter their different sizes and agree to pass the jeans to each other along with their adventures. They stay connected through letters and mail the jeans on to each other.
Summer Adventure Movies
What would summer be without action movies? From the first of May to Labor Day weekend, high action movies are summer's calling card.
The classic Steven Spielberg film actually set the standard for large summer features with its popular wide release in 1975. Set in the fictional town of Amity Island, the Sheriff wants to close the beaches after a series of attacks from a great white shark. When the town council refuses, it's up to Sheriff Brody, an oceanographer and a shark hunter to take on the great white before more bodies pile up.
The 1996 alien invasion vehicle became much more as it focused on the apocalyptic events happening on America's Fourth of July weekend. Alien ships take position over major capital cities and destroy them, one by one. Military forces seem to be able to do very little, when a handful of survivors at Area 51 work together to come up with a plan. Bill Pullman's President Whitmore gives a stirring speech as survivors and military operations from around the world coordinate their strikes against the invaders.
Going Back to School
Great summer movies aren't always about the summer vacation. From summer school to summer work to summer camp, these summer films focused on how summer can lead to change.
Long before he was NCIS' Gibbs, Mark Harmon was Freddy Shoop, a high school shop teacher who finds his summer plans canceled when he has to teach remedial English class. Shoop struggles with teaching and his students have no interest in learning; teacher and kids have a great time until Shoop's job is threatened. Shoop works with the kids, offering them favors in return for studying, and the class makes great improvement.
High School Musical 2
The second film in the popular Disney franchise follows the kids to their summer jobs at a country club. In between lots of music and fun, the kids earn money for college with hard work and dedication to the job.
The Parent Trap
Hayley Mills starred in the original and Lindsay Lohan in the remake, but both films share precocious charm as a pair of twins discovers each other at summer camp. Together, they realize their parents divorced and each took one child. Determined to reunite their parents, they trade places and focus on becoming a real family.
Summer Loving and Laughing
From the corny comedies to the cult classics, summer films are about entertainment. Other great summer movies worth checking out include:
- What About Bob
- National Lampoon's Vacation
Not all summer movies are about a coming of age or discovering yourself. Instead they are just about fun, laughter and sometimes a little romance. Summer movies are fun and nostalgic treats all year long.