It’s summer. If the warmer weather didn’t clue you in then maybe the constant complaining did the trick. I swear, only Czechs complain about the weather ALL OF THE TIME. In Winter – it’s too cold, and when will it end?! Spring hits and it turns into – Oh it’s so hot! How can we bear it?
Well, I have but two little words for you – SHUT UP. It’s summer, and that means it’s hot. And in the Czech Republic that means it’s about 85 (F) for about one month… if that. So again I say… shut up and quit your whining. You wanna see some real heat? Go to New York, California, Arizona or Texas. Until then take off your socks and sandals, head to the couch, and watch one of these great summer movies. *NOTE* These are not “Summer Blockbusters”, these are movies that take place in the summertime.
1. “Vicky Christina Barcelona“ (2008) – This movie has everything you want in a summer flick: beautiful scenery, romance, travel, intrigue, comedy and a hot threesome. Maybe I connected to the Scarlett Johansen character who just wanted to live a different life and makes a lot of bad decisions, but this movie was great.
2. “Wet Hot American Summer” (2001) – I know, I know. I coulda, shoulda gone with Meatballs here. But I didn’t. Meatballs is great, but WHAS stands the test of time. It riffs on the Summer Camp genre and takes the mockery a step further. If seeing Detective Stabler as an insane fry cook who humps fridges isn’t reason enough, see it for the scene where the counselors head to town for an hour and end up prostituting and chasing the dragon.
3. “Rear Window” (1954) – Aside from this being my favorite Hitchcock movie and just all around awesome, this movie encapsulates summer. Jimmy Stewart is stuck in a wheelchair is his tiny apartment during a sweltering summer in Manhattan. It is so hot that his neighbors across the way are sleeping on their fire escape. But our hero has Grace Kelley for a girlfriend and she keeps coming and bringing him fancy food and sleepover lingeri… that is until she gets tangled up in a murder.
4. “Stand By Me” (1986) – When you were a kid I bet all you wanted to do was have an adventure – a real adventure. Stand By Me is a classic for a reason – this is what kids do when real life hits them square in the nose. It’s one of the best coming of age films thus far and it stars all of my jr high Teen Beat favorites: River Phoenix, Keifer Sutherland, John Cusack, Wil Wheaton, that fat kid who grew up to be Jerry O’ Connell, and the ugly Corey. Oh, and it is narrated by Richard Dreyfuss! The term Lard Ass will never be the same again.
5. “Vacation” (1983) – The seminal summer movie, in my humble opinion. Forget that my family had its own share of regrettable summer vacations, and that my dad isn’t even half as cool as Clark Griswald – this movie has one thing that no other movie has: John Candy kidnapped and forced to ride rollercoasters with Chevy Chase. 1 ticket to Wally World please!
6. “Dirty Dancing” (1987) – In what way did this movie NOT influence the course of my life? That is the real question. Because of Dirty Dancing I know all of the words to a song called “De Todo un Poco”. Because of Dirty Dancing I want to go to the Catskills Mountains. Seriously. Because of Dirty Dancing I now hesitate any time someone asks me to carry a watermelon.
7. “Almost Famous” – (2000) Ever dream of going on tour with a rock band back when rock bands were cool? Before bands like Coldplay and Oasis there were bands like Cameron Crow’s fictional but awesome band Stillwater. This is another great coming of age movie. It gives one kid the best ever answer to the question, “So, what’d you do over the summer?”
8. “Summer of Sam” (1999) – Spike Lee tackles two topics in this excellent film. First, he covers the Son of Sam murders that were happening in New York in 1976-7, and the surrounding craziness that went with it. Second, he tackles the massive triple digit heat wave that was happening at the same time as the murders. He demonstrates how one affected the other all while keeping a Spike Lee feel to everything. Oh, and Adrien Brody is HOT in this movie as a skinny punk rock boy with a mohawk who does a striptease in a sex club… You’re welcome.
9. “The Seven Year Itch” (1955) – You know that picture of Marilyn Monroe in the white dress? Well, this is where it comes from. And that isn’t even the best part of the movie. The movie is about a businessman (played by Tom Ewell who debuted the role on stage) who gets rid of his pesky family for the summer so he can have some much-needed alone time. That is until he starts having hilarious fantasies about his hot neighbor who is known only as “The Girl”.
10. “Jaws” (1975) – You say 4th of July and I think JAWS. This movie changed everything. In fact, it was because of this movie the term blockbuster was born. That’s right people lined up so much that it went around the block thus – blockbuster. That’s your lesson for today kiddies. If you haven’t see JAWS yet don’t tell anybody, just go do it. Then you can laugh when you hear the term “…We’re gonna need a bigger boat…” or understand what REALLY happened out there on the U.S.S. Indianapolis.
P.S. – Richard Dreyfuss!