Summer Movie Series: Just Beachy

Summer Movie Series: Just Beachy

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When I think of summer, I think of sand and sun. Every time I go to the beach, I usually watch a few beach movies to put me “in the mood”. Our Summer Movie Series continues with flicks that are well, just beachy.

I don’t know how you all roll when you’re at the beach, but maybe you’re committing flagrant adultery with a past love, hunting great white sharks, boat racing for street cred or just pretending your boss is still alive so you can enjoy his cushy beach house.

Whatever your favorite beach activity may be I’ve got a movie for you!

1. A Summer Place (1959)
I freaking love this movie. Sandra Dee and Troy Donahue are two teens that meet and fall in love while she visits his family’s island inn in Maine while on vacation with her parents.

Oh, and her dad and his mom used to be lovers when they were teenagers and decide to claim some happiness and get back together and tear apart their respective families. All that’s missing is an unplanned teen pregnancy. Oh wait–there is one?

Bonus: An addictive soundtrack – watch the above clip only if you don’t mind spending the rest of the day humming the theme song.

2. From Here to Eternity (1953)
Set against the lush backdrop of Hawaii in the times leading up to Pearl Harbor, nothing makes me feel like hitting the beach more than the iconic Burt Lancaster/Deborah Kerr rolling-in-the-surf kiss scene.

Fun Fact: Lancaster and Kerr carried on an affair while filming.

3. Beach Blanket Bingo (1965)
Probably the most entertaining of the cheesy beach movies featuring forever teen icons Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon. Also stars a young Linda Evans of “Dynasty” fame with her original face!

4. Jaws (1975)
While I have a fondness for Jaws 2 and a guilty appreciation for Jaws 3D (I pretend #4 didn’t happen. Sorry, Michael Caine.), the original Jaws is by far the best. Why? Quint’s monologue.

5. Summer Rental (1985)
John Candy at his humorous best as a frazzled air traffic controller taking his family to the beach on a much-needed vacation. Of course there is an 80’s musical montage of them fixing up a boat so they can race the town jerk in the annual regatta. Love. This. Movie.

6. One Crazy Summer (1986)
John Cusack is a wannabe cartoonist who falls for Demi Moore, a singer trying to save her property from developers. Wait, is that a musical montage where they fix a boat for a boat race against the town jerks? It is! Oh the 80s!

7. Back to the Beach (1987)
Frankie and Annette are back as mid-western parents to a punk wannabe son and a daughter who is shacked up with her surfer boyfriend. While visiting their daughter at the beach they grew up at, they rediscover the people they once were.

Bonus: Highlights include a turf war, a surf-off and Pee Wee Herman. Hey, did you know that the bird is the word? It totally is.

8. Weekend at Bernie’s (1989)
Two guys trying to impress their crooked boss are invited to his beach house for the weekend, where he plans to have them killed. Instead, the boss is double-crossed by his mob partners and he ends up dead instead. Weirdly, nobody seems to notice (These folks must have severely limited olfactory senses…). Of course, hilarity ensues. What’s the jail sentence for abuse of a corpse? *ponders*

9. Psycho Beach Party (2000)
Adapted from an off-Broadway play, this spoof of psychodramas, surfing/beach party movies, and slasher flicks is pretty ridiculous. Lauren Ambrose (of Six Feet Under) plays good girl/surfer girl Florence Forrest, a girl that keeps suffering blackouts just when people turn up dead. Of course she has split personalities. You’ll have fun figuring out whodunit!

Buffy Alert: Third billing in this thriller goes to the hilariously adorable Nicholas Brendon.

10. Blue Crush (2002)
Kate Bosworth stars as a surfer girl in Hawaii who nearly drowned in a surfing accident and has residual fear. A huge competition is coming up and she needs to get her head in the game so she can make it big and get herself, her sister, and two friends out of poverty. And of course, there’s a guy!

Fun Fact: In the big competition at the end, a male pro surfer is doing the stunts for Kate Bosworth’s character. He wore a wig and shaved his legs and everything. They digitally placed Bosworth’s image over his for the final cut, but the male surfer’s feet still appear. I imagine a surfer with Hobbit feet now…

11. 50 First Dates (2004)
Set in Hawaii, Adam Sandler plays a lying womanizer named Henry that falls in love with Drew Barrymore’s Lucy, a character that has significant memory issues due to a car accident. The whole movie is spent as Henry tries to get Lucy to fall in love with him, over and over and over again. Oddly sweet/depressing/funny.

12. Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)
This movie kills me every time I watch it. Written by and starring Jason Segel as Peter Bretter, a composer that gets dumped by his long-term girlfriend, television star Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell). He comes to Hawaii to forget about her…but she’s there with her new flame, famous Brit rocker Aldous Snow (Russell Brand at his finest).

The Hawaiian scenery is gorgeous, but the best parts of this movie are…well, the whole freaking movie. Can anybody say “Dracula Musical”?

Is anybody going to hit the beach this summer? If you get into any boat races, be sure to post it here! If you do any 80s musical montages while fixing up a boat, I want you to film it and send it here. I will then build a shrine in your honor.

Stay tuned for our next installment of my Summer Movie Series: Road Trippin’!

we heartsters – what are your favorite sun and surf movies?

17 thoughts on “Summer Movie Series: Just Beachy”

  1. @krista , I’m getting ready to head to the Jersey Shore and your list has put me in the right frame of mind! I can’t believe your #1 is A Summer Place! I could watch it 100 times and never get tired of the beachy drama.

    My #2 favorite is Shag, which inspired me to visit Myrtle Beach the first time I saw it. Fun!

    1. I’ve never heard of “Shag”! Now I feel like I’m missing out a little…*pouts* I hadn’t seen “A Summer Place” until recently and I instantly fell in love with it :)

    2. Melissa, Have a great time! Where are you going? If you pass by my home away from home down the shore in Lavallette, NJ (lived at 8 Camden Ave.) Please think of me and wave to it and send me some sand! LOL! I love THAT beach!

  2. @krista – I must thank you for adding a number 2 spot on my list of awesome family drama scenes involving Christmas trees! I have never seen A Summer Place, but that Sandra Dee tumbling and taking the Xmas Tree with her then dramatically saying “Merry Christmas, Mother!” is almost as good as Dawn Davenport (Divine) pushing her parents into the tree in disgust for not getting Chacha heels In Female Trouble. Fabulous movie magic there!

    1. @stef – I love that you have a list of awesome family drama scenes involving Christmas trees :) How awful was the mother in “A Summer Place”, though? E-VIL!!!!

  3. Does Grease have a beach scene? I think so, because that’s a good movie.

    There’s Beaches too. It’s a good movie, but so saaaaaaaaaad!

    (It’s really late at night, so forgive me if I can’t exactly think of any movies that I like with beaches. More tomorrow!)

  4. Man, these are great! I’d completely forgotten about A Summer Place and Back to the Beach! One Crazy Summer was an absolute fave of mine when I was younger, mostly for the animation and less for the storyline that I never understood.
    The lobsters in teh pool HILARIOUS to a 7 year old…

    Does anyone remember a terrible movie called “Hunk”? It’s bad bad BAD, but it played over and over on HBO when I was little and unsupervised, so I watched it every time it came on. It definitely makes me think of summer…

    1. I’ve never heard of “Hunk”, but it sounds awesomely bad! Like, the main character’s name is “Hunk”…that’s just outstanding! Bonus points for the deal with the devil…

    1. That’s definitely a beach movie and I probably should have included it….but I have an admission to make: I love Elvis the singer, but HATE Elvis the actor. He kind of creeps me out. Is there a phobia against Elvis movies? *ponders* I also can’t watch him sing–his facial expressions look creepy and I know people are all about the pelvis movement, but I just think he looked ridiculous. I’ve tried to watch his movies and I just can’t. Same thing with video of him performing. I know, I’m weird. However, “Blue Hawaii” does feature Angela Lansbury (LOVE HER) and the song “Can’t Help Falling In Love”, so maybe I can overlook the fact that Elvis stars in this? :)

  5. After seeing Jaws when I was a kid I was ruined forever.. I used to surf everyday without a care prior to it.. not anymore! I love surfing movies too, but am always looking for the black fin! :(

    1. My best friend, Rob, lives in Hawaii, and he surfs. He’s said he constantly sees Tiger Sharks when he surfs, like they BUMP INTO HIM…yet he STILL goes into the water. There is obviously something significantly wrong with him.
      I’m always looking for a fin, too–you are not alone :)

    1. “Blue Crush” isn’t the greatest movie–the plot is pretty much laughable— but I love the surf sequences…especially paired with the music they play in the background. When I see the one sequence with insane waves and “Youth of the Nation” playing, I so want to surf. Until the movie ends and I realize that while I am a passably good swimmer, trying to surf a wave that’s taller than my house is pretty much suicide. Oh, and I don’t know how to surf. FOILED AGAIN!!! *shakes fist at the heavens*

      “50 First Dates” is pretty much the cutest movie about a brain injury and memory loss. Ever. Plus I love Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler together–one of my favorite movies is “The Wedding Singer” :)

  6. Ah, so many goodies! Especially A Summer Place, Jaws, and of course, Back To The Beach! There are a few I haven’t seen that I’ll have to check out. Dare I admit that I’ve never seen Weekend at Bernie’s??

    I’d like to add “Where the Boys Are” to this list. It stars a young, and I must say pretty darn good looking, George Hamilton. Definitely worth checking out!

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