top ten//MOVIES OF SUMMER

School's out for the summer and nothing is greater than a trip to the local pool, neighborhood block parties, hanging out with your friends, or making the best of summer school. While most of your time is spent soaking in the sun, it's the down time during the summer showers when the best option is a great, summertime movie. Here's a look at the ten best movies about that time of year when things are carefree, snow cones and popsicles are the foods of choice, and everyone (in the movies, that is) flaunts their beach bods. Slap on some sunscreen, grab an ice cold beverage, and enjoy the Top Ten Movies of Summer.

10. SUMMER SCHOOL

While it's not necessarily anyone's dream to have to spend their summer days in a classroom, Mark Harmon's Mr. Shoop may change a few people's mind. He's a gym teacher-turned remedial English teacher for a group of lazy high school students who didn't make the grade. Although they live practically on the beach, Shoop has to convince himself, as well as the students, that their grades are more important than surfing and checking out chicks. Full of 80's cliches and high school stereotypes, Summer School is winner because of its charm.

9. HEAVYWEIGHTS

If you grew up in the 90's Heavyweights was a part of your pop culture Bible. Ben Stiller's zany look at summer camp gone wrong. Stiller stars as Tony Perkis, the fitness guru who is more villain than inspirational coach as he reeks havoc on a group of "fat kids" at Camp Hope. The kids rebel and a true underdog, summer camp movie is born!

8. (500) DAYS OF SUMMER

So, it's technically not about the season of summer, but the movie is a modern classic anti-love tale of to wayward twentysomethings, one of whom is the delightful and independent Summer (Zooey Deschanel). Joseph Gordon-Levitt begin his career-rising years with this clever starring role in the out of order story of a relationship that heads sour, in the most zany way possible. With clever directing, editing, and writing (500) Days of Summer is a quirky drama worth seeing.

7. NATIONAL LAMPOON'S VACATION

The classic family road trip comedy is completely worth playing hooky from the beach one day, grabbing a popsicle and laying on the couch. The Griswold family is the most-loved family in history because of their travails in Europe, Vegas, and at Christmastime, but it's their first family road trip to a California amusement park that will always epitomize the "family vacation".

6. THE SEVEN YEAR ITCH

In 1950s corporate America, the ideals and morals of the average man included the prospects of a beautiful secretary or voluptuous mistress. The hilarious The Seven Year Itch follows Richard, a married businessman spending the summer heat alone in Manhattan while his family is cooling off in Maine. Once he runs into Marilyn Monroe, he must beat the heat and his "heart" at every turn. The film is most famous for Monroe's white dress antics. It's the classic film for the rainy summer day.

5. WET HOT AMERICAN SUMMER

Packed full of great performances by some of today's biggest comedic geniuses, Wet Hot American Summer was somewhat of a dud when it was first released in 2001. Since then the film about a summer camp during the 1980s and its promiscuous and adventurous counselors has earned quite the cult following. Performances by Molly Shannon, Amy Poehler, Paul Rudd, Janeane Garofalo, and more make this one worth the watch. It'll make you jealous that you didn't attend summer camp with these people...and it'll make your parents glad that you didn't.

4. STAND BY ME

One of the most-loved films of the 1980s, Stand By Me is a Stephen King adaptation about four boys searching for the body of a teen killed by a train. It's a classic coming-of-age story that perfectly captures adolescence, childhood friends, and the bond summer adventures can create. Nostalgia at its best. Friendship at its best.

3. DAZED AND CONFUSED

While it's technically about the last day of school, the hope for the summer to come is something we can relate. Signing yearbooks, the graduating seniors saying their final farewells, the freshman realizing they will no longer be the guinea pigs next year. The summer opens itself up to a greater number of prospects and experiences. Set in the 1970s, Richard Linklater's 90s classic is most memorable for its star-making turn by Matthew McConaughey, but its nostalgic story twisted around a fun, groovy, and absent-minded time makes for a ride you have to take. Come on, everybody's doing it.

2. JAWS

Steven Spielberg's classic thriller is everything a summer movie and summer blockbuster is meant to be. Every kid's fear of the ocean can be attributed to the harrowing scenes in Jaws. It's the fun scare that you love to get over and over again. While it's somewhat dated now, it's easy to look past the shark's machine like looks and still enjoy the thought of a New England beach in terror. The fact that, in honesty, it could happen makes this the best type of thriller. Spielberg has set a precedent with this film.

1. THE SANDLOT

There's no other perfect example of what it's like to be a kid in the summer than The Sandlot. It picks every major kid milestone and memory and slaps it together with the perfect soundtrack. No matter when you were born you can relate to each and every aspect, whether you played baseball with the neighborhood kids, swam at the local pool, over-indulged yourself in new experiences to the point of throwing up at the local fair, or did whatever you could to get a kiss from Wendy Peffercorn, you were a kid during the summer. S'mores, Great Bambino, I can go on and on. A classic for years to come. Can you believe it's 20 years old now?

Honorable Mentions:

ADVENTURELAND

DO THE RIGHT THING

I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER

THE PARENT TRAP

DIRTY DANCING

What are you favorite summer movies? Let me know if I missed anything!

UPDATE (June 6, 2014)

So, I made this list on this day last year and, since then, there have a few releases that could easily be added to either the Top Ten or the Honorable Mentions.
If you get a chance, don't miss The Kings of Summer, The Way Way Back, or Hide Your Smiling Faces. They're all films that explore what it means to be a kid in the summer time. 

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