So much skin. So much sweat. So many scenes that will possibly make you collapse in a crying heap. Though we might not have plans for the summer because uncertainty, we’ve created a handy guide of feel good summer movies that range from honey-this-blockbuster-is-fully-booked-for-two-weeks to the subdued indie tearjerkers.
Whether you swing either way, your weekends are now fully planned courtesy of us. You’re welcome so go forth and prep a box of tissues and an easy to make cocktail.
The Endless Summer (1966)
The Setting: The beaches of Australia, Hawaii and South Africa; the feel good bromance vibes and a yearning to swim in the big blue.
The Genre: It’s a documentary with little to no narration; you’re supposed to put yourselves in the shoes (or lack of) of the surfers.
The Apparel: Remember when Billabong board shorts were a thing? Yeah, we do.
My Girl (1972)
The Setting: Good ol’ surburban America with its manicured lawns, white picket fences and rubber pools.
The Genre: The coming-of-age comedy revolves around two kids falling in love over the summer. Mild spoiler alert — the movie ends badly.
The Apparel: The rise of dad-core style? This movie was one of the culprits to blame.
The Setting: In a sun soaked town set in 1958, horny teenagers dance, sing and prance around while drinking coke. Also, expect a lot of existential teenager crisis.
The Genre: The romantic comedy has a lot of singing. If you’re able to sit through it without wincing, this movie is still a timeless wonder.
The Apparel: Super gelled hair and biker jacket. Not exactly appropriate for our weather unless you have no sweat glands.
Do the Right Thing (1989)
The Setting: A sunny day in Brooklyn that explores the neighbourhood’s simmering racial tension, like what’s happening in real life now (sort of).
The Genre: Comedy-drama — you’re gonna be taken on an emotional roller coaster.
The Apparel: Basketball shorts and a rekindled love for Nike Air trainers? Sure.
Before Sunrise (1995)
The Setting: A scenic train ride through the Budapest countryside and into the romantic cobblestreets of Vienna.
The Genre: What screams romantic-drama other than a film about strangers falling in love on a train and having to split up because of their differences in life?
The Apparel: Ethan Hawke’s facial hair is glorious, he must use a lot of beard oil.
Romeo & Juliet (1999)
The Setting: Shakespeare’s famous romantic drama has now been modernised in an urban jungle where everybody loves wearing Hawaiian shirts.
The Genre: Like the OG play, it’s romance meets crime. It’s directed by Baz Luhrmann, so do we need to say more?
The Apparel: The tourist store Hawaiian shirt is featured prominently alongside the underrated summer uniform — nudity.
The Talented Mr Ripley (1999)
The Setting: Overtly masculine jazz clubs, hair-raising sexual tension between Matt Damon (when he was still hot) and Gwyneth Paltrow, summer cocktails and romantic views of the Italian coastline.
The Genre: A psycho thriller that seems plausible in real life.
The Apparel: You’re going to want to add a pair of high-waisted linen shorts to your cart.
Wet Hot American Summer (2001)
The Setting: A summer camp filled with teenagers with raging hormones and grumpy adults wondering when their life went wrong, and a piece of NASA’s Skylab that’s hurtling towards Earth.
The Genre: A coming-of-age film that proves that geeks always manage to win the girl. Sort of like real life, look at Elon Musk.
The Apparel: Puka shell necklaces, but make sure they’re from Prada.
Blue Crush (2002)
The Setting: Surf, sand and a whole lot of skin. Bonus points for the three bad ass heroines who rip up the surf better than the boys.
The Genre: It’s a sports film without the usual testosterone overload. Just three women who love to surf while taking down the patriarchy.
The Apparel: Billabong. So much Billabong.
Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)
The Setting: What happens when you’re an out-of-luck magician (aren’t they usually?) who runs into his ex in Hawaii? A lot of surf, sand and sexually charged scenes.
The Genre: Romantic-comedy solely because Russel Brand stars in it.
The Apparel: Hawaiian shirts, board shorts and a whole lot of self loathing.
Adventure Land (2009)
The Setting: A classic background trope that entered the noughties — an amusement park with a classic ferris wheel kiss. Lots of neon lights too.
The Genre: A coming-of-age film about a teenager falling in love with his fellow employee in the summer. It’s cliche but aren’t most summer movies?
The Apparel: It’s against our code of conduct to advise you to dress like the main characters. Just watch it for the feels.
Moonrise Kingdom (2013)
The Setting: A secluded beach where the water is crystal blue and the sands is white. Before you get funny ideas, the movie revolves around two kids.
The Genre: A coming-of-age with two kids running around from their suburban life to a beach. True to Wes Anderson’s style, it’s a little kooky.
The Apparel: Socks worn above your knees just like how you did it during your boy scouts days.
The Way Way Back (2013)
The Setting: A small sea side town in America and a water park — the pinnacle of suburban American life.
The Genre: A coming-of-age film about boys turning into men. Expect a lot of teenage angst.
The Apparel: The panama hat, previously a Jason Mraz thing makes a comeback.
Southside With You (2016)
The Setting: Chicago summers apparently involve a lot of backyard barbecues, lolling about in a park and porch love confessions.
The Genre: The biographical romance film is the story on how Barack Obama met Michelle Robinson in 1989. It’s gorgeously romantic.
The Apparel: It’s proof that you can’t go wrong with a humble blue oxford shirt.
Call Me By Your Name (2017)
The Setting: Crystal blue waters, an Italian villa with an orchard, Greco-Roman statues and an infamous scene with a peach. It’s homo-heaven.
The Genre: A coming-of-age romantic drama that’s going to hit you hard in the feels. Don’t watch this movie drunk.
The Apparel: Lacoste polo tees and really short shorts. We’re sensing a pattern here.