Making Summer Feel Like a Movie

Nothing describes summer better than stories of friendship, romance, thrill or fun, the main characters all thriving under the hot sun with no school. All these aspects can be found in each of these classic summer movies that will get you excited for summer vacation.

Dirty Dancing:

Dirty Dancing is no doubt the most classic summer movie with the summertime romance, ideal soundtrack and relatable teenage life. This classic takes place in 1963 when a teenage girl, Baby, is forced to travel to a celebrated, over-the-top resort in the mountains of New York. Baby dreads the family vacation and all of the family activities included until she discovers a dance class where she becomes intrigued with the instructor, Johnny Castle. She then discovers an entire secret area of the resort where a group can dance and have fun away from the main functions. She falls in love with Johnny and becomes his new dance partner, but not before they experience multiple complications that they have to overcome.

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants:

            The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants is a typical coming of age movie with a twist. The story is from the perspective of four best friends who use a pair of jeans to stay in touch as they spend a summer apart. This movie definitely calls to mind the meaning of friendship and will make you want to go tell all your friends how much you appreciate them. The movie opens with the backstory of the four best friends who always spent their summers together. However, when a summer comes along during which they have to separate, they decide to mail one perfect pair of jeans to one another along with a letter describing the things they do wearing the pants. The girls each experience opportunity, love and heartbreak, but in the end, they all realize how important their shared friendship means to their lives.

The Way Way Back:

            The Way Way Back is the kind of movie that you wish you could live out. It describes everything a high schooler would want in a summer experience, besides just a few downfalls. Another coming of age movie, it stars an awkward teenage boy named Duncan who is forced to spend the summer at a beach house with his mother, her boyfriend, Trent and his daughter. Duncan struggles with making friends and is miserable staying at the house with Trent, so he decides to take his summer into his own hands by running off to a water park. Duncan becomes friends with the manager and eventually earns a job there, all behind the back of his mother and Trent. Duncan spends the summer working at the park, learning life lessons about himself from the park manager, and finally enjoying himself for once in his life.


Jaws is a slightly off-brand form of the previous coming of age, classic teen movies, but this thriller still earns a spot on the list of movies to prepare for summertime since the entire movie takes place during the summer of 1916 on a beach in New York. Although this movie may instill some fear of the ocean, its exciting story line makes it worth the watch. The movie’s reign of terror begins when a woman is viciously attacked by a shark on a popular beach. People are crippled with fear and the town loses its typical summer tourists. A ship captain and an ichthyologist team up to hunt the shark causing the widespread panic.

Image courtesy of Kate Giebler ’21

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