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As some of you may recall, I’ve tackled a Scary Movie Series for wht and now that the sun is out, the water is warm and summer is here, I figured I would present you with a Summer Movie Series — filled with all the things a summer movie demands!
I literally watched DOZENS of summer themed movies and tried to narrow down my favorites. My only real criteria for the movies I picked are that they make me think of the summer and/or occurred during the summer. I’ve divided all of these movies into several categories and over the next few weeks, I’ll share my top picks with you!
So it’s Graduation – What happens now?
First up in our Summer Movie Series is the rite of passage in a young person’s life: GRADUATION. Gone are the carefree days of school (i.e. “the best years of your life”). Here are the sunny days of freedom leading to the new life experiences that will shape you forever.
Now, the paths that we follow all lead in different directions – some of them may lead us to a love affair with a much older person – some may lead to a 3 way with Daryl Hannah and some vacation strange – some may lead to having John Cusack standing outside our bedroom windows, boom box raised high (if this has happened to anybody reading this, I want to hear about it).
Needless to say, graduation is definitely a time of change and the beginning of a new adventure. Here are some summer movies celebrating that magical moment:
1. The Graduate (1967)
Dustin Hoffman stars as Benjamin Braddock, a recent college graduate. He’s at a loss as to what to do next, so he does his father’s law partner’s wife, Mrs. Robinson (played by Anne Bancroft). Of course, the next step is dating her more age-appropriate daughter and then crashing her wedding. Katharine Ross of “Stepford Wives” fame plays Elaine, the would-be bride.
Fun fact: Ross is the real-life wife of Sam Elliot, the only other man besides Tom Selleck and my dad that I think can pull off a moustache. Also, the Benjamin Braddock character was almost played by Burt Ward, Robin of the “Batman” television series. Holy seduction, Mrs. Robinson!
2. Caddyshack (1980)
Recent high school graduate Danny Noonan is trying to earn money for college working at a country club as a caddy and is hopeful he may win a caddy scholarship from the club. Featuring Rodney Dangerfield, Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, and an animatronic gopher, hilarity ensues. This golf-based comedy culminates with a big “golf-off” and ends with a bang. Here’s my favorite clip from this movie, featuring a summer time musical classic!
3. Summer Lovers (1982)
Two lovers graduate college and go on vacation to the Greek islands. Where they meet a sexually permissive French woman. This movie stars Daryl Hannah and Peter Gallagher’s eyebrows.
Warning: The above video is NSFW and contains a ridiculous amount of nudity for a trailer. Yay.
4. Say Anything (1989)
In Cameron Crowe’s directorial debut, Lloyd Dobler (John Cusack), an underachiever, sets out to win the heart of class valedictorian Diane (Ione Skye) before she leaves for a fellowship in England. This movie is iconic for the scene where John Cusack standing under a bedroom window with a boombox raised over his head, the romantic Peter Gabriel tune “In Your Eyes” playing.
Fun Fact: In reality, Cusack was a big ska fan and this is the song that was actually playing on the stereo when he held it over his head.
5. I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997)
If you ran over a murderous fisherman whilst celebrating your high school graduation and dumped him in the ocean and left him for dead, then this Kevin Williamson-penned flick is on to you! Plus, I know you Buffy fans will take any excuse to watch some SMG.
6. Can’t Hardly Wait (1998)
This movie centers around a high school class nobody (Ethan Embry) trying to win the heart of the most popular girl in school (Jennifer Love Hewitt) after she’s been dumped by her equally popular boyfriend (Peter Facinelli of “Twilight” fame) on the day of graduation.
I think my favorite character in this is Seth Green’s Kenny, or “Special K” (above) but keep an eye out for cameos from a ton of future stars including Jaime Pressly, Jason Segal, Sara Rue, Donald Faison and Selma Blair.
7. Ghostworld (2001)
Two best friends and social outcasts graduate high school and make plans for their future. To kill time, they play a prank on a middle-aged loser (played expertly by Steve Buscemi), whom the one befriends. Over the course of the summer, the two girls make choices that will send them in opposite directions.
8. Eurotrip (2004)
Scotty graduates high school and his sweetheart, Fiona, promptly dumps him. He decides to pursue romance with his German Pen Pal Mieke and takes a trip to Europe with his best friends. Oh the wacky hijinks that follow! The best scene ever is Matt Damon playing the rocker that Fiona cheats with – at a graduation party, of course.
9. Superbad (2007)
Graduation is approaching and two co-dependent best friends (Michael Cera and Jonah Hill) are about to go off to different colleges and are trying to deal with their first separation. Of course there is a party and of course teenage antics abound!
Fun Fact: This movie is to blame for my husband introducing himself as “McLovin” to complete strangers.
10. I Love You Beth Cooper (2009)
The class nerd reveals his love for the most popular girl in school in his valedictorian speech. (Well that’s a change of pace from all the grad speeches I’ve heard). She responds by showing up at his house later that night. What happens next? Shenanigans.
Now I’m sure y’all can probably think of a dozen other graduation based summer movies, so feel free to chime in and contribute! Any wild graduation stories you’d care to share with the rest of us?!
Stay tuned for the next installment in my Summer Movie Series: Coming of Age!
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