Movies of the Month: Forever Young
Summer, for one reason or another, always seems to be the quintessential time for watching movies. Maybe it’s all the time we’ve suddenly found ourselves with, or maybe it’s the freedom and happiness film can bring that fits so perfectly with the spirit of summer. So, in honor of our favorite season (and Game of Thrones coming to an end), here’s a short list of what I consider to be the essential summer films (however, I’m watching Nacho Libre for the billionth time as I write this, so who am I to tell you? ha ha).
Before I get into my list, I do want to say one thing. I’ve been thinking about this past weekends Tonys opening number, in which James Corden discusses how theatre is so special because it makes us feel alive. I think that film does the same thing. When we are able to see the lives and stories of others, and the pain and love that comes with them, we are reminded of our own. In a world where we see so many things through a screen, the best thing we can do is put our phones down, enjoy each other, and enjoy a good movie. So, without further ado, here’s my essential summer movie list :).
Although this movie doesn’t technically take place in the summer, it is a perfect movie to kick off the season. I had been excited for this movie for a while, but when I saw it last week, I simply could not stop giggling. The movie follows Molly and Amy, who, after remaining socially uninvolved throughout highschool, go on one crazy adventure the night before graduation. It was a breath of fresh air, a great reminder to teenage girls everywhere that they are seen, and a testimony to what putting more women behind the camera can do. The film perfectly captures the spirit of summer: going out on a limb, and maybe, just maybe, breaking a few rules.
Risky Business, 1983
Another film that does not take place in the summer, Risky Business follows Joel, as he cuts loose while his parents are out of town. I certainly wouldn’t condone several of Joel’s actions throughout the movie, but seeing Joel make light of the stressful college application time, can lift anyone’s spirits. And besides, “Sometimes you gotta say ‘What the ****’. Make your move.”
The Way Way Back, 2013
Now I may be a little biased as this is one of my favorite movies of all time, but The Way Way Back is a perfect summer and coming of age film. It follows Duncan, an extremely awkward and anxious teen, as he spends with his mom, stepdad (played by Steve Carrell, and seeing him so mean broke my heart), and step sister at a beach house. Duncan befriends Owen, a water park manager, and a tale of laughter and self discovery ensues.
Moonrise Kingdom and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
I’m pairing these two together because I think few directors can capture the magic and whimsiness of summer (and life in general) like Wes Anderson. MK follows the journey of two teenagers Susie and Sam, as they run away on the coast of New England. The film perfectly captures the spirit, humor, and freedom of young love. This month’s theme at UA is Forever Young, so it’s perfectly fitting. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou follows Steve Zissou, played by Bill Murray, as he and his ship crew hunt down the shark who killed his best friend. With a great cast, bright colors, music of David Bowie, there’s not much more you could ask for in a summer film.
Dazed and Confused, 1993
Another coming of age cult classic, Dazed and Confused follows a group of teenagers who are celebrating the start of summer. Set in Austin, Texas, the film is hilarious and depicts how crazy and fun the lives of teenagers can be. Plus, Matthew Mcconaughey makes his film debut in this, so you know it’s a must watch. This film is about freedom, youth, and truthfully, just messing around and having fun.
The Florida Project, 2017
First off, this movie has absolutely gorgeous cinematography, so if you are interested in stuff like that, this is the film for you. Focusing on the theme of childhood, the movie follows young Moonee, and her mother as they live their summer in a motel in Orlando. Painfully beautiful and accurate, The Florida Project captures youth and growth in all of its glory (fair warning: you’ll probably cry).
Dirty Dancing, Mamma Mia, The Sandlot, etc.
Lastly, summer is supposed to be time for fun, and time for you. Watch whatever makes you smile and laugh, this is your time. Whether it’s Endless Love or 500 Days of Summer, I hope your summer is all you hope it turns out to be.