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The Top 10 Summer Themed Movies

Updated on February 2, 2015

These classic, comedic, and dramatic top summer themed movies are a must see!

The top summer themed movies will make a great addition to your movie collection!

Scanning the shelves at your local video store for something to watch this weekend? Summer is almost here, why not try one of these summer themed films to help enhance the anticipation and kick off the celebration. Sure to get your bellies laughing and your feet ready to hit the beach. Sorry, suntan oil not included.

My pick for top summer themed movie!

1. One Crazy Summer

First on the list is an old John Cusack fave, One Crazy Summer, which also stars a hippie-styled Demi Moore. One Crazy Summer was the second film that marked Cusack as the simple comedy heartthrob, the first being Better Off Dead.

Upset about his constant quest for love never yielding any results, Cusack heads off with his pal to Nantucket Island to continue to wallow in his misery. There, he meets Demi Moore, a bluesy singer fighting to regain control of her grandfather's home, now threatened by a greedy island restaurateur.

In typical 80s movie fashion, comedic highjinks ensue, with a familiar supporting cast of crazy characters adding to the fun. Though the plot is typically cliched and the laughs aren't as free-flowing as Better Off Dead, Once Crazy Summer is still a nostalgic must-see comedy.

My second pick for top summer themed movie

2. Summer School

In the underrated comedy Summer School, Mark Harmon stars as gym teacher Freddy Shoop, forced to teach English to a summer class of full of rejects by the annoying antagonist principal. Shoop shows even less enthusiasm for teaching than the students do for learning, content to arrange field trips to amusement parks and the beach rather than stew away in the classroom.

Not until he tries to romance his fellow teacher Kirstie Alley does he apply some seriousness to the teaching process, in essence bribing his students to learn. Amidst the hilarity, Shoop and his students both learn some important life-lessons. Student Dean Cameron is hysterical as a horror-movie buff nick-named Chainsaw, and a young Courtney Thorne-Smith of Melrose Place fame also joins the cast.

More entertaining than you might think, Summer School shows that you don't need excessive nudity or vulgarity to have a successful comedy that is both timeless and heartwarming.

A John Candy Classic

3. Summer Rental

The classic comedic talents of John Candy exploded onto the big screen with his leading role in Summer Rental, directed by Carl Reiner, who also directed Summer School. John Candy plays the straight man admirably, as a father who rents his family a beach-side summer cabin in Florida, for their enjoyment and his relaxation from a stressful job.

Unfortunately, the stress continues to grow to monstrous proportions as Candy finds himself butting heads with a multitude of problems, stemming from strange neighbors, unruly beach-goers, and the jerky, wealthy antagonist of the film, who happens to be Candy's landlord. Threatened with eviction, John Candy challenges his landlord to a boat race. The stakes: Mainly John Candy's sanity.

Summer Rental is another notch in the belt of endearing comedies that make us laugh and wish for more, especially from John Candy, whose unfortunate passing was a major blow to traditional comedy.

The classic, cheesy trailer for Summer Camp Nightmare

4. Summer Camp Nightmare

Veering away from the comedy side of things, we head into darker territory with Summer Camp Nightmare. While some may find laughs in the highly unlikely plot developments, this wannabe dark-teen thriller still entertains profusely, with real moments of suspense, thrills, and even some mildly disturbing context.

Summer Camp Nightmare tells the story of a summer camp run amok. When a rebellious teen begins to convert many of the campers to loyal followers and draws the ire of a mildly fanatic camp leader, a revolt ensues. The counselors are locked up and the children now run the camp of their own accord, under the leadership of the rebel Franklin Riley.

The Summer Camp Nightmare really begins when order begins to break down throughout the revolution, and the movie leaves the territory of suspense/comedy, and enters into more disturbingly dramatic situations, such as rape and murder.

Eventually, the revolution is overthrown by a few do-gooders who were never hip to Riley's particular brand of leadership. Somewhat of a cult favorite, Summer Camp Nightmare is certainly not one of the more popular summer-themed movies, but it is one of the most daring.

Anything with Kevin Bacon is good!

5. White Water Summer

The triple combination of action, comedy, and drama lends itself rather well to the splendid adventure film, White Water Summer. This movie stars a young Kevin Bacon as Vic, a gruffly intense outdoorsman, who takes four boys into the wilderness to teach them about camping and living off the land. Of note is Sean Astin as one of the boys and the other star of the film. Sean Astin is now known worldwide for his role of Samwise the Hobbit in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Sean Astin's character, Alan, is not thrilled to be in the great outdoors, and even less thrilled about Vic. The two cannot see eye-to-eye on anything, making for increasing levels of frustration in both the characters and ourselves as we watch the character study elevate to increasingly dangerous levels.

The heated battle of wills between Vic and Alan culminates in a life-threatening accident that puts everyone to the test. In the end, all have learned important lessons, and a deeper understanding of each other is forged.

White Water Summer gives us a chance to see Bacon and Astin at the beginning of their careers in a movie unfettered by over-stylized drama or special effects, just all-around good story-telling.

Classic cool Bill Murray in this summer themed movie

6. Meatballs

Not to be discounted is perhaps one of the greatest summer comedies, still unrivaled despite the new crop of comedic selections being churned out by Hollywood. The 1979 camp comedy Meatballs, starring Bill Murray as a camp counselor, is one of those timeless movies that can be continually enjoyed for its true-to-life portrayals of all the wacky characters.

Meatballs follows the cast of characters throughout the summer, and as the characters grow, we are there with them and we begin to like them even more with each scene. Of course, every movie needs a wrap-up, and though the ending of Meatballs is rather anticlimactic, it manages to instill a sense of feel-goodness, along with a few ounces of sadness, for we feel the end of the summer adventure as much as the characters in the film do.

So it would seem, at the end, there is nothing left to do but sit back, relax, and watch it again.

The Meatballs Movie Trailer - don't miss this summer movie!


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