Monday, May 24, 2010

School's Out for the Summer: Summertime Movies and Shows

Though most of us as adults don't get the luxury of the feverish excitement leading up to summer vacation, summertime still brings many of us a distinct sense of relaxation and fun. Even while we're cooped up working all day, it's a bit heartening to see the sunshine poking through the window of our cell--er, cubicle. It may not be a summer at the rec center pool or sleep-away camp, but we've got to take it where we can get it.

At the very least, the season gives us the chance to re-watch some of our old childhood summertime favorites. Or, failing that, you can at least read about it here while sneaking a break at work. It's minor consolation for those of us stuck pencil pushing, though hey, it's something. You won't get a savage tan or learn to swim a mean backstroke, but hopefully you'll crack a smile or two. At this point, that may be the best we can ask for as we count down to the glorious work-free Memorial Day weekend.

So kick back, relax, and take a journey into summertimes past. Well, don't kick back too much; I don't want to be blamed when your boss gets on your case about sipping frozen margaritas on the job. Use your discretion here.


Here's a fun little-known 90s fact: did you know Heavyweights was produced by Judd Apatow? Oh, and that Ben Stiller plays a variation of that guy he played in Dodgeball and his father plays his father, just like in all those other movies? I admit this trivia is vague, but summertime research is for nerds. Anyway, who knew a movie about fat camp participants trying to take down a malicious fitness infomercial star could be so funny? The premise might not sound like much, but I promise, it's worth your while.

Salute Your Shorts

How many 90s kids out there hear the opening bars of reveille and immediately break into the Camp Anawanna song? It's almost a reflex. Now it's "I hope we never part" not "You make me wanna fart," so get it right or pay the price. Geez.

The Parent Trap

To this day, the main reason I want to learn how to play poker is with the secret hope that "Bad to the Bone" will spontaneously start blaring in the background. Well, secret's out. It's probably not worth it, anyway; I'm not so sure I'd have the guts to jump in the lake naked if I lost.

Now and Then

To girls growing up in the 90s, Now and Then is a legitimate classic. It's just the right blend of humor, coming-of-age drama, and just a dash of shmaltz thrown in for good measure. With its four distinct "types," we all had a character to whom to relate. Personally, I always fancied myself something of a Teeny.

The Sandlot

There's something about a good sports-themed coming of age film that has the power to take you back to a simpler time. To the kids of the Sandlot, the most important priorities for the summer are to play ball, kiss teenage lifeguards, and rescue their bat from the jaws of the dreaded Beast. Throw in some stomach-turning amusement park forays into chewing tobacco use and you've got yourself a hilarious--albeit nausea inducing--summertime adventure.

The Babysitter's Club

Oh, how my friends and I longed to boost an academically challenged peer's self confidence by staging an elaborate biology review complete with "The brain, the brain, the center of the chain" chant. Some abnormally responsible middle school girls have all the luck. I never even got to lie about my age to a 17-year old boy while simultaneously concealing the truth about my diabetes. Sigh.

Camp Nowhere

You have to love a movie built on the premise of a harebrained scheme dreamed up by a bunch of preteens. Even though our rational adult minds know nothing like this would ever unfold in real life, it's infinitely fun to imagine a world where a bunch of kids and Doc Brown could join forces to start a fake camp.

Saved by the Bell: Malibu Sands

Only Saved by the Bell has the power to condense a summer's worth of zany situation comedy and inevitable romantic drama into a neatly packaged six episodes. The show set the bar on introducing and subsequently disregarding all signs of existence of temporary characters, so it's no surprise Zack's romance with Stacey Carosi was short-lived. It was fun to see the whole gang living it up at the Malibu Sands club, but there's only so many beach storylines to go around. Once the girls battled it out in the Miss Liberty pageant, we knew it was time to go home.

Dirty Dancing

If you're interested in having the time of your life and feeling a way you've never felt before, I advise you pack up your things and head to a resort in the Catskills for summer break. There's a chance you might defy your affluent family by falling in love with a working-class guy from the wrong side of the country club kitchen, but that's a chance you've to be willing to take.

Dazed and Confused

Only a skillfully directed movie can stretch the meandering events of a single day into an interesting slice of everyday high school anthropology. Dazed and Confused takes us through the last day of school from the hazing to loitering to partying to eventually getting busted by the cops. It may sound as if I just gave away the whole movie in a short sentence, but don't worry. I didn't even get to the part where he listens to "Slow Ride" on his headphones. Oops. Sorry about that. Anyway, you should absolutely invest in this soundtrack; it's brilliant.

Runner Up: Wet Hot American Summer. Sure, it came out in 2001, but it's 80s themed and one of my favorite movies of all time. If you haven't seen it, it's imperative that you go out and rent it immediately. That's an order.


Kristie said...

I have never seen "Wet Hot American Summer" and I love anything 80s themed! I am having a giveaway right now. So, come on over to my blog and enter to win!

Anonymous said...

Wet Hot American Summer is HILARIOUS. You've listed some of my favorites here; Heavyweights is my #1! I quote it a lot. Some people get it, some don't haha.

Dina's Days said...

Oh the Babysitter's Club movie defined my life in the 90's.

Melissa said...

This was the greatest post! I kid you not, I watched The Babysitter's club this past weekend! The book's defined my childhood, so when I saw the movie on HBO I had to relive the memories! And don't get me started on Dirty Dancing.... it's my favorite movie EVER. i've seen it 45-billion times, and still always cry at the end, haha!

Nys said...

Jessi literally got about 3 lines total in the BSC movie. Poor poor Jessi. At least she didn't have to wear suspenders like Mallory!

Kylee said...

Good post...well they are all good, but i loved everyone of these movies when I was a kid and still do.

I too fancy myself a teeny, I started stuffing my bra with rolled up socks after this movie, not at all realistic mind you.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic post! I loved/love all of these. Especially Now and Then. I always fancied myself a Roberta. Except my mom's still alive, and I didn't have my first kiss with Devon Sawa. Gosh, how I wish I did, though. And what girl didn't try to pause the movie and try to see a little extra Devon when he jumped off of that rope swing?? ;)

Lauren Kelly said...

WOW, all those movies bring back such memories. Loved them all!!

Breanne at Bella Vita said...

Faves: Now & Then, Babysitters Club and Saved by the Bell Malibu Sands. Love them all!

For the record, I was a Sam in N&T, Mary Anne for the personality & Stacey for the clothes in BSC, and and when I was a kid, I liked Stacy Carosi even better than Kelly Kapowski!

More trivia for you: did you know one of the players on the opposing team during the Malibu Sands volleyball episode is none other than McSteamy himself, Eric Dane?

Caroline said...


Ali said...

Now and Then. Only one of my all time FAVORITES!

Dibbly Fresh said...

Oh, Luca, the ONLY BSC boy who had a normal reaction to dating a girl who's barely teenaged. THIIIIIRTEEEN.

I'm so going to have "The brain, the brain" in my head now.

Melanie's Randomness said...

Oh Now & Then. AWesome movie!! And Salute your shorts ruled!!

tvgirl48 said...

My siblings and I still quote The Sandlot and Heavyweights frequently. Heavyweights taught me so many valuable lessons as a child, like "don't put Twinkies on your pizza!"

Heather Taylor said...

Dazed and Confused is forever the movie that defined my summer of 2007.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE Wet, Hot, American Summer.

I love all the movies mentioned except Sandlot LOL that vomit scene still haunts me!!

Anonymous said...

Uhh, we forgot a few key elements here. Camp Anawana and Dude ranch?? lol. ANNDD!! Rugrats? for the younger ones from that era.

Blogger said...

+$3,624 profit last week!

Receive 5 Star verified winning picks on NFL, NBA, MLB & NHL + Anti-Vegas Smart Money Signals...

Digg This!