The Best Movies To Get You in the Mood For Summer

Features. Posted 3 years ago

Catalogue Staff
Scene from summer camp classic, Wet Hot American Summer.
Image: Scene from summer camp classic, Wet Hot American Summer. Image Source.

This week we’ve had a taste of some very (very) hot weather already, which seems to suggest that we’re going to be in for a scorcher of a summer this year. And what better way to celebrate the rising of the mercury than with some seriously sunny, classic summer flicks? These are the films that seem to sum up all that salty-skinned, sandy-haired, carefree energy that’s so specific to summer. And, given that this weekend is forecast to see temperatures soar once again into the late twenties, we decided to round them up for you. So settle in with the popcorn and indulge in some summertime madness. If nothing else, it will make for great conversation fodder at your next pool party occasion.

National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983)

Have you ever been on one of those disastrous family holidays, where just about everything seems to go wrong? For me it was a campervan trip in Northern NSW that ended in gale force winds and flash flooding. For the Griswold family, it’s a cross-country adventure to visit the Walley World theme park, that proves to be much more tricky than anticipated. And, if afterwards, you’re still up for more, then there’s always The National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation to get excited about too.

Dazed and Confused (1993)

Endless partying, flared jeans and Matthew McConaughey as that creepy dude with the peroxide blonde bob. What movie could be more complete with the summer flick prerequisites than Dazed and Confused? Plus, it is set in the seventies and for all those people out there who are, like me, lamenting fashion’s current transition into the eighties, this film should set things straight again.



Blue Crush (2002)

OK, so this one’s a little corny, but there’s just something that I love about the fact that the central character of Blue Crush is a) a woman, and b) the one who’s good at surfing. Plus, the movie’s girl gang that includes the likes of both Kate Bosworth and Michelle Rodriguez is one that I totally want to be a part of. That and all the cool-as-fuck panel beater vans and palm fronds make me really really want to visit Hawaii. Anyone?

Jaws (1975)

Sometimes summer days also call for a little horror, right? Well, just in case you weren’t already incredibly scared of sharks — like me — then Steven Spielberg’s OG Jaws movie oughtta do it. Relive your childhood terror with this “mindless eating machine” and then maybe plan a day by the pool with your girlfriends instead?

The Addams Family Values (1993)

This one is for those among us who kind of love summer, but are also kind of allergic to it too. Those who love wearing black above all else and really hate having to go bikini shopping. But who also recognise that, yeah, public holidays and barbeques with friends are pretty awesome too. This film stars Christina Ricci and Anjelica Huston, which is basically a dream team as far as I’m concerned.

Dirty Dancing (1987)

Oh, summer romance. There’s nothing quite like it. Unless of course your summer romance consists of Patrick Swayze, The Foxtrot and a giant watermelon. This movie makes me crave summer sunshowers, endless nights and the freedom to do just about nothing all day long. Totally worth it just for the line at the end: “Nobody puts Baby in a corner”.

Adventureland (2009)

Adventureland is Jesse Eisenberg before he was a Facebook CEO and Kristen Stewart before she was married to a vampire. Kind of cheesy, but then again who doesn’t love a good Carnival backdrop — and I promise that this movie is significantly more light-hearted than The Notebook. This one is for anyone who has ever had a truly awful summer job.


Wet Hot American Summer (2001)

It remains ever a mystery to me why this film didn’t do so well at the box office, because it has since gone on to become one of the greatest cult classics of all time. Literally everyone is in this movie, including but not limited to Amy Poehler, Molly Shannon, Paul Rudd, Bradley Cooper, Lake Bell and Detective Stabler from Law and Order SVU. Set in 1981, it is a summer camp comedy like no other. Oh and once you finish the movie, don’t despair, because Netflix has just brought out an original series that’s based on the film, complete with its original cast. On second thoughts, maybe watch that one first. It is prequel after all.

Liked this? Check out these other film guides:

1) Hang Out With These Epic On-Screen Girl Gangs This Weekend

2) The Top 10 Indie Films You Need to Watch This Year by Rosie Dalton

3) These Are the Best ‘Outsider Girls Come of Age’ Films

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