Alright, Hollywooders. As we approach the “unofficial” end of summer, we figured it’s an excellent time to revisit some of our favorite flicks to bid the summer months adieu! Whether you’re reminiscing about your once-in-a-lifetime roadtrip, packing your things to go away to college, or lazing around after the last barbeque of the summer, we’ve got the best movies to watch this time of year. How many of these films have you seen?
Good Movies to Watch Before Summer Ends: Superbad
Let’s start with an end-of-summer classic! And also a beloved “last summer before college” movie (which could be a genre unto itself!). For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of seeing this coming-of-age adventure comedy, Superbad is certain to bring you all kinds of feels, regardless of what age you are!
Superbad stars Jonah Hill (in his breakout role) and Michael Cera as BFFs who are about to graduate from high school and go away to different colleges. Desperate for a party (and to also lose their virginity) the 2 go on a quest to acquire alcohol for a house party, hosted by Jules, played by Emma Stone (also in her breakout role).
Produced by Judd Apatow, this film was the first feature film written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, and was loosely based on their own high-school experiences. (Did you know Seth and Evan began developing the script for Superbad when they were 13?!)
Seth Rogen also plays a supporting role in the film, alongside Saturday Night Live’s Bill Hader. The 2 are a pair of irresponsible cops who provide even more comic relief to the film’s already hilarious plotline. Full of iconic 1-liners, crass teenage dialogue, and relatable adolescent dilemmas, Superbad is an excellent choice to put a cherry on top of your summer.
Good Movies To Watch Before Summer Ends: Booksmart
If you liked Superbad, chances are you’ll equally love Booksmart, or what some viewers might consider the anti-Superbad. Rather than being about 2 boys who just want to party, this 2019 coming-of-age comedy centers around 2 female best friends in their last week of high school.
Molly and Amy (played by Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever) are conscientious and scholarly students who, upon realizing that other kids in their class still got into Ivy League colleges while simultaneously being party animals, finally decide to break the rules and attend a rager.
Booksmart, which was directed by actress Olivia Wilde in her feature directorial debut, is chock full of Hollywood stars including Jessica Williams, Billie Lourd, Noah Galvin, Lisa Kudrow, Will Forte, and Jason Sudeikis. The film was also executive produced by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay (Anchorman, Talladega Nights, Step Brothers), thus ensuring its hilarity.
This feel-good film will not only make you miss your BFF, it will make you miss who you were on the eve of your high school graduation, whether you were nerdy or not. (Booksmart and Superbad would make one excellent double-feature, just saying…!)
Good Movies To Watch Before Summer Ends: Wet Hot American Summer
How can we have an end of summer movie list and not include this cult classic? Wet Hot American Summer is 1 of those films that just keeps on giving. Released in 2001, the satirical summer camp comedy was a critical and commercial failure, but that hasn’t stopped it from launching a multitude of actors’ careers. Wet Hot American Summer tells the story of the last day of Camp Firewood, where the counselors and campers have 1 more chance of love. It’s an ensemble movie with lots of different storylines including my favorite: camp’s theater directors, Susie and Ben (played by Amy Poehler and Bradley Cooper (in his film debut), attempting to stage the best talent show Camp Firewood has ever seen.
The star studded cast features Janeane Garofalo as Camp Director, Beth, along with David Hyde Pierce, Molly Shannon, Paul Rudd, Christopher Meloni, Elizabeth Banks, Michael Ian Black, and Joe Lo Truglio, just to name a few. If you’re melancholy about saying farewell to summer, this film will have you doubling-over with laughter. Wet Hot American Summer was also developed by Netflix into 2 spin-off series, an 8-episode prequel series, released in 2015 with most of the original cast, and an 8-episode sequel series released in 2017, set 10 years after the film.
Good Movies To Watch Before Summer Ends: Dirty Dancing
Speaking of summer classics, Dirty Dancing may be the most popular summer love story told since the release of Grease. This is 1 of the most famous summer flicks of all time.
The 1987 romance tells the story of Frances “Baby” Houseman (Jennifer Grey), whose family goes to an upscale vacation resort in the Catskills. Trying to abate boredom, Baby finds herself at a party for the resort staff where she meets the resident dance instructor, Johnny Castle (played by Patrick Swayze in one of his most iconic roles). As the summer progresses, Baby begins to take more dance lessons with Johnny and the 2 quickly tumble into a scintillating and forbidden summer romance.
Full of iconic songs, ‘80s summer fashion, and dance numbers (obviously!), Dirty Dancing became a critical box office hit. The film’s closing song “I’ve Had (The Time Of My Life)” earned an Oscar and a Golden Globe that year for Best Original Song, and the film remains a pop-cultural staple today.
Good Movies To Watch Before Summer Ends: Pitch Perfect
Speaking of musical films, we would be remiss if we didn’t include 1 of the most successful movie musical franchises of recent history on this list! Pitch Perfect is a 2012 ensemble musical comedy all about going away to college and finding your niche. Starring Anna Kendrick as the reclusive and cool-before-her-time, Beca Mitchell, Pitch Perfect tells the story of the Barden University Bellas, an all-female a cappella group who aspires to win the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella.
Beca, who enjoys keeping a low social profile and working at the college radio station, doesn’t consider a cappella groups her style. However, when 1 of the Bellas leaders, played by Brittany Snow, hears her singing in the shower of her dormitory, she’s recruited into the group. Relenting, Beca joins the Bellas, alongside Anna Camp and Rebel Wilson (as “Fat Amy,” the comic relief of the group), as well as other stars. Also in this film: Adam Devine as the head of the Bellas’ rival group, the Barden Treblemakers. Other Treblemakers include Skylar Astin, Beca’s fellow freshman and love interest, his roommate, Ben Platt (in his film debut), and Wet Hot American Summer alum Elizabeth Banks.
Elizabeth also produced Pitch Perfect and went on to direct Pitch Perfect 2, released in 2015. Rounding out the trilogy, Pitch Perfect 3 was released in 2017. This is a trilogy where we love all 3 movies equally, lending itself to a perfect musical marathon.
Good Movies To Watch Before Summer Ends: Zola
Swinging back to the present, you may have missed Zola in movie theaters this summer. Fear not, we couldn’t let you end your summer without having a chance to catch 1 of the most buzz-worthy films of the season.
One of the reasons why we absolutely loved Zola is because it was the first movie we’ve ever heard of that wasn’t adapted from a book, but rather a captivating series of tweets! The film centers around Zola (played by Taylour Paige), a young waitress/exotic dancer who meets a new friend, Stefani (Riley Keough), while working at Hooters.
Very quickly after meeting, Stefani invites Zola to join her on a road trip from Michigan to Florida, under the pretense of stripping for the weekend and making a ton of cash. Joined by Stefani’s boyfriend Derrek (Succession’s Nicholas Braun), and their mysterious “roommate” (Colman Domingo), the strange foursome make their way to the Sunshine State and quickly encounter trouble.
Turns out, stripping was not the only thing on Stefani’s agenda for the weekend. Of course, Zola has to learn that the hard way. It’s a party, a tragedy, and a coming-of-age story, all wrapped into 1. And it’s completely true… for the most part!
Good Movies To Watch Before Summer Ends: The Social Network
When it comes to films to watch before summer ends, The Social Network is a must-see. If you’re not familiar, this biographical drama tells the story of how Facebook began. Starring Jesse Eisenberg as a young Mark Zuckerberg, the movie is set at Harvard University and documents how the young college student first came up with the idea that would transform social media, the millennial generation, and digital communication at large.
The Social Network boasts a royal Hollywood pedigree. Not only was it directed by David Fincher (Fight Club, Seven, Zodiac, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), the screenplay was written by Aaron Sorkin (Moneyball, Steve Jobs, The Newsroom, The West Wing). The stacked cast performs Aaron’s screenplay with aplomb. Justin Timberlake, along with Andrew Garfield, and Max Minghella, all play formidable supporting roles in this biopic. But if you’re thinking The Social Network is a total sausage fest, you’ll be reassured to know that Hollywood A-listers Rooney Mara, Rashida Jones, and Dakota Johnson all have feature roles that bring complexity to the plot. Also, the film’s soundtrack by Atticus Ross and Trent Reznor is absolutely worth a listen on its own!
And there you have it, Hollywood fans. In the real world, summer is just a season, but in Hollywood, you can relive the summer months all year long. If you start now, you’ll be able to watch all of these summer movies before the first leaves of fall begin to drop.
Whatever your summer brought you this year, we hope you’re able to give the season the send-off it deserves with these summer-themed flicks, old and new.
Which ones will you add to your watchlist? Let us know on Twitter.
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