Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Summer fun, without the sun

Everyone loves summer. Or rather, everyone loves the idea of summer. Many of us, though, while waiting in anticipation for the end of school, don’t necessarily love the realities of summer. It’s hot and sunny, and some of us are pale and burn easily. It’s filled with beaches and barbeques, but some prefer to stay inside and not socialize.

For those of us who react to sunlight as if we were vampires, there is an answer to enjoying summer without having to deal with that pesky provider of all life on Earth: Movies. You can experience the joys of summer from the comfort of your own living room (or screen porch, if you’re feeling adventurous). Here are some summer-themed movies that will appeal to everyone.


For the Nostalgic

Before college, summer marked the beginning of three months of bliss. As the poet Alice Cooper said, it meant, “no more pencils, no more books, no more teachers’ dirty looks.” Now, it’s still nice, but it also means getting a job and contributing to society.

Watching a movie can always be a nostalgic experience, whether it’s a film from your childhood or one that reminds you of it. There are countless summer-themed movies that will bring you back to the days when responsibility was just a word on your spelling test.

A classic summer movie is, of course, “Stand By Me.” Like many summer movies it’s about young boys coming of age while also sporting crew cuts and running away from dogs. This model has been applied to such films as “The Sandlot” and more recently, “Super 8.” Although the latter replaced crew cuts with mop tops and dogs with an alien, it still followed the same basic principles.


For the Cynical

If youthful wistfulness isn’t your thing, there are other summertime movies that avoid sentiment completely.

“The Graduate” is a coming-of-age film where young Benjamin Braddock realizes how miserable the world can be sometimes. He meets the love of his life and ends up falling in love with her daughter. It made Dustin Hoffman famous and its influence is so great, it’s been parodied in everything from “Wayne’s World” to “Bee Movie.”

Or perhaps a robbery-gone-wrong is the hyphenate you desire. Sidney Lumet’s “Dog Day Afternoon” features great performances from Al Pacino and John Cazale as the world’s worst bank robbers. Taking place over the course of a summer afternoon in New York City, the film follows its hapless heroes as they’re engulfed in a media circus.

A similar concept is enacted in “Do the Right Thing,” where Spike Lee follows the events in one New York City neighborhood during the hottest day of the summer. The movie deals with racism in an honest and confrontational way that’s sure to turn a friendly barbeque into a debate. The fact that all three of these movies are excellent is another benefit.


For Everyone

There is one summer movie that is sure to entertain everyone. It crosses boundaries of every kind to provide an experience all human beings can enjoy. “Jaws” invented the summer blockbuster and is rightfully considered one of the best films ever made. It’s about many things: A shark, fear, Robert Shaw’s manliness and John Williams’ greatness.

But it’s mostly about a shark, and that’s why Steven Spielberg is a genius. It’s nearly 40 years old and it still makes it impossible for a first-time viewer to go in the water soon afterwards. You can have your beach-loving friends over to watch it and never have to turn down an invitation to go near an ocean again.

These movies are by no means the definitive list of summer-themed entertainment, but they will provide the freckled and the frail with hours of enjoyment.

Danny Marchant can be reached at [email protected].


Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Massachusetts Daily Collegian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *