Celebrate! Today is the official first day of summer and we have 13 sunny weeks ahead of us. Even better? For those of us with kids, they go back to school before summer officially ends on September 22nd. That gives us parents a few extra kid-free weeks to enjoy! While the box office has a few movies to look forward to, never underestimate the appeal of summer flicks at home!
Rainy day? Pop in a Blu-Ray or DVD! Lazy night in? Check out streaming videos on your preferred provider. So, snuggle up on the couch and enjoy a few oldies but goodies! Whether a romantic, tear-jerker or a family movie for all, there is something for everyone. Grab your drinks and popcorn and join me for 13 summer flicks for 13 weeks of summer!
13 SUMMER FLICKS FOR 13 WEEKS OF SUMMER
(In No Particular Order)
#1 The Sandlot (1993)
Official Film Synopsis: When Scottie Smalls (Thomas Guiry) moves to a new neighborhood, he manages to make friends with a group of kids who play baseball at the sandlot. Together they go on a series of funny and touching adventures. The boys run into trouble when Smalls borrows a ball from his stepdad that gets hit over a fence.
Why You Should Watch: Please…this is one of the quintessential family summer flicks that needs no explanation. Seriously! Funny and sweet, it hits the right notes for kids and adults alike.
Content Note: Rated PG for language and some rude humor.
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#2 A Room with a View (1986)
Official Film Synopsis: Lucy Honeychurch (Helena Bonham-Carter), a young Englishwoman, is touring Italy with her older cousin (Maggie Smith). At a hotel in Florence, Lucy meets the charming and free-spirited George Emerson (Julian Sands). Although intrigued by George, once she’s back in England Lucy ponders settling down with the wealthy, staid Cecil Vyse (Daniel Day-Lewis). When George reappears in her life, Lucy must decide between him and Cecil.
Why You Should Watch: One of the best adaptations of E.M. Forster’s books. The film is unexpectedly funny as it explores the constraints of society on true self. It’s the right combination of actors resulting in a moving, romantic story of what it truly means to love.
Content Note: Rated R for nudity and mild violence.
#3 Roman Holiday (1953)
Official Summary: Overwhelmed by her suffocating schedule, touring European princess Ann (Audrey Hepburn) takes off for a night while in Rome. When a sedative she took from her doctor kicks in, she falls asleep on a park bench. Found by an American reporter, Joe Bradley (Gregory Peck), takes her back to his apartment for safety. At work the next morning, Joe finds out Ann’s regal identity and bets his editor he can get an exclusive interview with her, but romance soon gets in the way.
Why You Should Watch It: Funny and poignant, Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck’s amazing chemistry lights up the screen. As a result, what could have been a typical story of star-crossed lovers becomes a sparkling story of love with a realistic ending.
Content Note: Not rated.
#4 The Age of Innocence (1993)
Official Film Synopsis: Wealthy lawyer Newland Archer (Daniel Day-Lewis) is engaged to sweet socialite May Welland (Winona Ryder) in 1870s New York. On the surface, it is a perfect match. But when May’s beautiful cousin Countess Ellen Olenska (Michelle Pfeiffer), who is estranged from her brutish husband, arrives in town, Newland begins to question the meaning of passion and love as he desperately pursues a relationship with Ellen, even though she has been made a social outcast by Archer’s peers.
Why You Should Watch: Okay, so the setting isn’t technically just summer….but the season does feature! The movie is beautifully filmed, with a rich backdrop that adds to the authenticity of the time period. The film delves into Newland’s sudden discontent with the life he leads and his struggle to maintain his position in society and his love for Ellen. When it’s pouring outside, this is a wonderfully moody summer flick to wait out the rain!
Content Note: Rated PG for thematic elements and some mild language.
#5 To Catch a Thief (1955)
Official Film Synopsis: Notorious cat burglar John Robie (Cary Grant) has long since retired to tend vineyards on the French Riviera. When a series of robberies is committed in his style, John must clear his name. Armed with a list of people who own the most expensive jewels currently in the area, John begins following the first owner, young Francie (Grace Kelly). When her jewels are stolen, Francie suspects John, destroying their tentative romance. John goes on the lam to catch the thief and clear his own name.
Why You Should Watch: This Alfred Hitchcock thriller combines the exotic location of the French Riviera with the steamy chemistry between Cary Grant and Grace Kelly. It’s a movie that draws you in from beginning to end. Hitchcock certainly cornered the market for summer flicks with equal amounts of romance and thrills! To Catch a Thief is perfect for a night in!
Content Note: Rated PG for some action violence, mild suggestive material, and smoking.
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#6 The Goonies (1985)
Official Film Synopsis: When two brothers find out they might lose their house they are desperate to find a way to keep their home. They find a treasure map and bring some friends along to find it. They are all out looking for the “X” and trying to get away from a group of bad guys who also want the treasure.
Why You Should Watch: Another family favorite that will appeal to kids and adults alike. It’s perfect for a family movie night! It’s one of those summer flicks sure to bring back fond memories. First love, friendships, and the freedom of confessing your “crimes!” Goonies forever!
Content Note: Rated PG for adult situations, language, and violence.
#7 The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (2005)
Official Film Synopsis: Bridget (Blake Lively), Carmen (America Ferrera), Lena (Alexis Bledel) and Tibby (Amber Tamblyn) are best friends living in Maryland. After many summers together, the four are finally going their separate ways for a few months: while Bridget heads to Mexico, and Lena visits family in Greece, Carmen and Tibby stay closer to home. No matter where they are, they are connected by a pair of jeans that they take turns sharing — pants that fit all four girls and exemplify their tight bond.
Why You Should Watch: While watching Lena fall in love for the first time is definitely a draw, it’s how the film handles teen issues that cements it as a must see. It deals with themes that are as relevant today as they were 12 years ago. It celebrates the importance of true friendship and acceptance for who you are and not what you pretend to be. As far as coming of age summer flicks go, this is one of the best!
Content Note: Rated PG for thematic elements, some sensuality, and language.
#8 Rear Window (1954)
Official Film Synopsis: A newspaper photographer with a broken leg passes time recuperating by observing his neighbors through his window. He sees what he believes to be a murder, and decides to solve the crime himself. With the help of his nurse and girlfriend, he tries to catch the murderer without being killed himself.
Why You Should Watch: This murder-mystery takes place during one of the longest heat waves in New York. Adding to the heat is the romance between James Stewart’s no-nonsense reporter, L.B. ‘Jeff’ Jeffries and Grace Kelly’s coolly sophisticated Lisa Fremont. One unique aspect of this film is that it takes place entirely in Jeff’s apartment, heightening the intimacy of the film. Trade the summer heat for the comfort of air conditioning for this thriller!
Content Note: Rated PG for adult situations and language.
#9 Dirty Dancing (1987)
Official Film Synopsis: Baby (Jennifer Grey) is one listless summer away from the Peace Corps. Hoping to enjoy her youth while it lasts, she’s disappointed when her summer plans deposit her at a sleepy resort in the Catskills with her parents. Her luck turns around, however, when the resort’s dance instructor, Johnny (Patrick Swayze), enlists Baby as his new partner, and the two fall in love. Baby’s father forbids her from seeing Johnny, but she’s determined to help him perform the last big dance of the summer.
Why You Should Watch: No one puts the original Dirty Dancing in a corner. Despite the cheese factor, this classic coming of age story can’t be beat. This is one of those summer flicks that leaves you seriously considering dance lessons. Kick off your flip flops and rediscover the magic of Johnny and Baby.
Content Note: Rated PG-13 for adult situations and language.
#10 The Long Hot Summer (1958)
Official Film Synopsis: Handsome vagabond Ben Quick (Paul Newman) returns to the Mississippi town his late father called home, but rumors of his dad’s pyromaniac tendencies follow him as soon as he sets foot there. The proud young man’s determination eventually wins over civic leader Will Varner (Orson Welles), who decides Ben might be just the man for his daughter, Clara (Joanne Woodward) — much to the displeasure of Will’s gutless son (Anthony Franciosa) and Clara’s society boyfriend (Richard Anderson).
Why You Should Watch: Paul. Newman. You’ll need a glass of ice cold lemonade for this one! ‘Nuff said!
Content Note: Not rated; however, some mild language.
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#11 Adventureland (2009)
Official Film Synopsis: It’s the summer of 1987, and recent college grad James Brennan (Jesse Eisenberg) can’t wait to begin his long-anticipated dream trip to Europe. Unfortunately, James’ plans come to a screeching halt when his parents announce that they are unable to subsidize his trip. Forced to take a job at the local amusement park, James prepares for the worst summer ever, until he finds love with a captivating co-worker named Em (Kristen Stewart).
Why You Should Watch: It’s sweet. It’s charming. A nostalgic (for those of us old enough to remember the ’80s!) and funny coming of age story. As far as summer flicks taking place in the ’80s go, this one is a winner!
Content Note: Rated R for language, drug references, and sexual references.
#12 For Love of the Game (1999)
Official Film Synopsis: Forty-year-old pitcher Billy Chapel (Kevin Costner) is practically a dinosaur by professional baseball standards, fast approaching the end of his career. But, as Chapel stands on the mound pitching the game of his life, his thoughts don’t turn to his prized history in sports, but rather return again and again to his tumultuous relationship with Jane Aubrey (Kelly Preston), a single mom who has stood at his side through the good and the bad but is now on the verge of leaving him.
Why You Should Watch: It’s a love triangle featuring a major league baseball pitcher, a magazine editor, and the game itself. An uncomplicated film perfect for a night after a day at the beach or pool. Heartwarming and sweet, it’s one of those films to kick back with your favorite drink in hand. Besides, you can never have too many end-of-summer flicks featuring America’s pastime!
Content Note: Rated PG-13 for brief strong language and some sexuality.
#13 The Notebook (2004)
Official Film Synopsis: In 1940s South Carolina, mill worker Noah Calhoun (Ryan Gosling) and rich girl Allie (Rachel McAdams) are desperately in love. But her parents don’t approve. When Noah goes off to serve in World War II, it seems to mark the end of their love affair. In the interim, Allie becomes involved with another man (James Marsden). But when Noah returns to their small town years later, on the cusp of Allie’s marriage, it soon becomes clear that their romance is anything but over.
Why You Should Watch: A list of summer flicks is just not complete without a weepy, heart-warming Nicholas Sparks film. In my opinion, this is by far the best Nicholas Sparks adaptation to date. The disapproving parents trope is given a magical re-invigoration, in large part due to the chemistry between Gosling and McAdams. This is a fantastic movie to watch with your girlfriends or your significant other. Add a bottle of wine and voila! A perfect movie night in!
Content Note: Rated PG-13 for some sexuality.
Do you have some favorite films to watch during the summer? Let me know in the comments!
6 thoughts on “13 Summer Flicks for 13 Weeks of Summer”
I love this list, especially since you’ve included some classics. Sticking with classics Picnic and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof are summer themed. I think Grease would be a good fit as well.
Oooooooh!! Yes!! I originally had Grease on there, but then also had it on the list of romantic beach moments so decided to mix it up a bit!
I totally thought of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” as well — it was the mention of the lovely Paul Newman that did it (-: But I would also add another play turned multiple film adaptations, namely “Long Day’s Journey into Night”, family drama on a hot August night, not so much romance there. “Stand By Me” also came to mind, along with that other boy flick “The Lost Boys”…And I’m so glad that you had “The Goonies” – that is really a personal favourite (-: And now I’m remembering some John Candy summer favourites — “Summer Rental” and “The Great Outdoors”, I loved those as a kid…Great list!
This list was 30 movies long after the first draft! Summer School anyone??? And of course, The Seven Year Itch….one of my favorite classics!
Oh yes, the lovely Mark Harmon in Summer School, where he and his dog share the same spoon while eating peanut butter or something — if I remember it correctly. It’s been MANY years…You’ll just have to make another summer list for the winter solstice, when it’s all dark and cold and we’re dreaming of summer (-:
I’m so glad to see ‘Sisterhood’ on this list. It’s such a cute little summer flick! The friendships are memorable as our the journey’s the girls go on an individuals. 🙂