So summer is here and someone please give me a sweater because I’ve gone into shock after succumbing to heat exhaustion for the billionth time. But before this “I would rather die than go outside because 2011′s based on Munch’s The Scream” summer, summer once meant freedom and green grass and good old-fashioned nostalgia. And to remind you, me and anyone who’s thought seriously about moving to the Yukon because anywhere would be better than Ontario, here’s 10 nostalgic summer films.
10. The Sandlot
Not that anyone’s arguing otherwise, but being a kid was SO MUCH BETTER than being a lousy, “responsible” grown-up. You’re a kid? You just wanted to play baseball, have friends, conquer fears, and say things like “You’re killing me, Smalls”. Now? Well, you get to do more fun things, but it’s just not the same, you know?
9. National Lampoon’s Vacation
For the record, this movie is by no means as good as National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, but it’s not December, so deal with it and forgive me for failing you. So true, it’s really weird that no one dealt with the old lady’s death in a logical manner and that Clark managed to survive past age seven, but seriously – we all prayed during each and every childhood day trip to Niagara Falls that it would somehow result in a version of Chevy Chase-inspired tomfoolery. Unfortunately, most of us only got fleeting glimpses of The Maid of the Mist.
8. Now and Then
Mysteries! Girl talk! Brendan Frasier! “Dear Johnny”! This is why so many of us still want to sneak out in the middle of the night and hold seances in small-town graveyards after bumming smokes off of drifters. And that treehouse. Sigh.
7. Blue Crush
Okay everyone, calm down, you’re getting hysterical! I know this doesn’t constitute as “summer” or “nostalgic” or “good” or “watchable”, but if you were 12 (and/or 17, 18 or 19) at the time when Kate Bosworth was getting her surf on, you’ll understand that every burned CD you made was with dreams of surfing in mind, and Billabong bathing suits miraculously fitting well. You probably wore seashell necklaces and “surfer wear”. Your cottage was a “surf pad” (?), and your lake was the ocean. And that weird Damien Marley/Ace Of Base mash-up was your theme. Remember.
6. Dirty Dancing
Ignore the bad dialogue, the fact that Baby was called “Baby”, and Johnny was obviously a billion years her senior, and look back on a time that none of us knew. A time when you practiced dance moves in your bedroom, and hoped that family vacations at Sauble Beach would yield to a dance teacher with a tortured past. This is what summer looks like: criminal/sexist waiters, back-alley medical procedures and dance, guys, DANCE!
5. Office Space
This is a movie for everyone who looks outside on sunny days and remembers the time they single-handedly destroyed their former company. Who said “nostalgia” is limited to childhood?
4. I Know What You Did Last Summer
Sometimes the movies of our youths look less like PG films and more like a star-studded cast making a string of terrible decisions. Maybe you weren’t allowed to see this movie (I wasn’t). But if you were? You feared the fuck out of hitting someone with your car, leaving them, and then getting killed as a result. Because that’s what summer’s all about! No rules!
Oh, GOD FORBID I don’t include Jaws. Fine: don’t go into the water, blah blah blah, SHARKS. We’re going to need a bigger boat. Richard Dreyfus and harpooning and blood and those poor, poor swimmers. The feel-good hit of the 20th century, that’s for sure. Anyone up for a little dip?
2. The Babysitter’s Club
Oh, you thought I’d forget this, didn’t you? That the hopes and dreams of young entrepreneurs would escape me? NOT A CHANCE. Lemonade stands are lame and babysitting alone on a Friday night is the best way to fall asleep in front of the Mr. Bean movie. But you know what’s awesome? Clubs. And clubs revolving around babysitters? Hello, trump card. We can only assume that Drake’s “Over” was inspired by the wonder of Rachel Leigh Cook and friends just doing them. Just doing them.
1. Dazed and Confused
Let’s look past the incidences of assault, drinking and driving, and the impending fate of former high school football heavyweights who’ll work dead-end jobs while reminiscing about their glory years, and focus on one simple scene: the part where they walk into the arcade and Bob Dylan is playing, and everyone just looks SO F***ING COOL. Alright, alright, alright.