Excuse me Southern California but do you know you’re … Southern California? That means, as stated in the official Mother Nature’s Guide to SoCal Weekends, you must be ceaselessly sunny on Saturdays and also provide as good or better weather than all states along the Eastern coastline. (How can we possibly maintain our reputation as the “Best Coast” if my New York friends are right now posting photos basking upon golden, swan-shaped pool floaties while I’m stuck inside my apartment, wearing a Ricky Martin concert tee circa 1998 and listening to the uninterrupted sounds of dog farts?)
Alas, if you too find yourself somewhere in the world with less-than-ideal weather, here are five summer-inspired movies to make you stop and smell the sunscreen … and not your haven’t-showered-yet-today stench:
Synopsis: In classic David and Goliath meets 80s comedy fashion, the big, bad corporate golf course owners of aptly named Bushwood Country Club try to stop a crew of rag-tag caddies, nutty golfers and one eccentric greenskeeper from overrunning their stuffy establishment with total and complete awesomeness.
Starring: Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield, Cindy Morgan and Ted Knight.
Why it’s cool for the summer: Who hasn’t wished they could drop a chocolate bar into a pool full of self-absorbed morons and watch havoc ensue?
SidewaysSynopsis: A failed writer/wine aficionado takes a weekend trip with his best, soon-to-be-married buddy, and though the vino-centric voyage is originally meant to restore sanity, it’s quickly revealed to be a drunken romp among grapes that’s nothing short of insane.
Starring: Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church, Virginia Madsen and Sandra Oh.
Why it’s cool for the summer: You’re right. A drive through California’s vineyards doesn’t immediately evoke memories of hot August nights or bonfires on the beach but road trips are essential to summer and also, wine.
Wet Hot American SummerSynopsis: It’s 1981 and the last day of summer camp for the sexually frustrated counselors and unruly campers of Camp Firewood. Oh, and a death-dealing piece of NASA’s Skylab is set to collide with Earth that very night. If it hits, the world will end before its inhabitants are able to experience the dramatic perfection that is the Camp Firewood Talent Show.
Starring: Paul Rudd, Bradley Cooper, Amy Poehler, Michael Showalter, Elizabeth Banks, Janeane Garofolo, Michael Ian Black, Christopher Meloni, Molly Shannon, David Hyde Pierce, Marguerite Moreau, Joe Lo Truglio, Zak Orth, Judah Friedlander … and basically anyone funny in, around or levitating above Hollywood at the time of filming.
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ND7yJ7sMosk&w=420&h=315] Why it’s cool for the summer: Amy Poehler and Bradley Cooper as pretentious theater directors. Law and Order‘s Christopher Meloni as a sexual innuendo-laden war vet/cafeteria chef. Paul Rudd as a lazy playboy who can’t even be bothered to pick up a plate. I mean, if any of that doesn’t convince you to watch this movie … nothing will.
She’s Out of My LeagueSynopsis: Dorky T.S.A. employee finds cell phone left behind by gorgeous, business-trip bound woman and, in returning the device to said gorgeous woman, realizes he may have found much more than an iPhone after all.
Starring: Alice Eve, Jay Baruchel, Krysten Ritter, T.J. Miller, Mike Vogel, Lindsay Sloane, Nate Torrence and Geoff Stults.
Why it’s cool for the summer: A tribute to every time you’ve been in a bar, spotted a man/woman so good looking across the way you wanted to cry baby tears of joy, then slinked off in defeat before you could even get up to bat. Sigh. Summer love.
Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Synopsis: A music composer gets dumped by longtime girlfriend—who happens to be the beautiful star of the TV show he’s been working on for years!—and, like all dumpees, decides to take a spur-of-the-moment trip to Hawai’i in search of piña colada-closure.
Starring: Jason Segel, Kristen Bell, Mila Kunis, Russell Brand, Paul Rudd, Jonah Hill, Bill Hader, Maria Thayer and Jack McBrayer.
Why it’s cool for the summer: Summer means fun and nothing says fun more than getting over a gut-wrenching breakup with someone better in every way then also writing a successful vampire musical tragi-comedy. Productivity under the sun for the win!
And there you have it. Five cinematic slices of summertime to warm even the coldest, cloudiest of days. No mosquito bites or sunburns required.
[MELISSA MARNI is a Southern California-based writer and the founder of little word studio. You can follow her musings on Instagram here.]