Sam’s top 10 movies for summer

By Sam Wildow -

Photo Courtesy of Vestron Pictures “Dirty Dancing” is one of the top summer movies ever made.

With summer halfway over but still managing to be oppressively hot and miserable for delicate flowers such as myself, here are my top picks for summertime movies that make hate the heat, crave the beach, and want to go to camping — and I tend not to like camping.

1) “Mad Max: Fury Road” (2015)

It is hot outside. Even if by some miracle the temperature is only in the 70s when you’re reading this, it is still so annoyingly hot outside because it’s still not 65 degrees and the middle of autumn. What movie is a better embodiment of how hot it is and how disgruntled I am about it than one about a dystopian universe full of dust and poor access to water?

There is also an oppressive regime, and it is also quite frightening, in my opinion, with the people painted different colors and the tyrant racing to recapture his numerous enslaved wives. It is a nonstop action thriller, though, for those who like to be totally stressed out and full of anxiety while trying to relax and watch a movie.

2) “Dirty Dancing” (1987) and “Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights” (2004)

I included both of these movies as one because I’m not a super huge fan of the first one, but that’s considered the classic one and “Havana Nights” is kind of the cheesy remake. But “Havana Nights” is based in Cuba in the 1950s, and the male love interest is way nicer than Patrick Swayze’s character in the 1987 film.

3) “The Parent Trap” (1998)

I love this movie, because what is cooler than realizing you have a twin sister while you’re at summer camp? Especially a twin sister who is British and, for some reason, at an American summer camp?

Although, as I watch this movie as an adult, these are pretty terrible parents for splitting their twin daughters up at birth JUST so they wouldn’t have to go through the hassle of co-parenting because sharing custody like normal people is just too much stress for their delicate souls… But bad parenting aside, it is still an adorable, fun movie full of characters, and by characters, I mean Meredith Blake. Kids today will never know how much we (kids from the 1990s) hated Meredith Blake.

4) “Blue Crush” (2002)

It’s been awhile since I watched this movie in its entirety, but it’s all about a young woman trying to make it. From taking care of her family to being a pro-surfer to even letting herself be in love, she’s trying to accomplish a lot.

But it’s the surfing and the beach aspects that are why it made it on this list.

5) “National Lampoon’s Vacation” (1983)

Who doesn’t love these movies? Who doesn’t watch National Lampoon/Chevy Chase movies every single holiday? If you don’t, I highly recommend you start.

6) “Camp Takota” (2014)

This movie got me more than I thought it would.

Elise Miller (Grace Helbig) has hit a particular low point in her life. She lost her job in the publishing world over a social media flub and her fiancé is a metaphorical piece of poop just walking around doing terrible, poopy things (my attempts to not give away TOO much of the plot). If I were her, I would be feeling like life just wasn’t how I thought it was going to be when I daydreamed about being a powerful corporate machine.

So she drunkenly decides to return to her roots as a camp counselor at Camp Takota, reuniting with two friends that she kind of judges at first as she wonders if they ever really left camp. Then, she finds the experience of returning to a place that made her happy once both annoying and healing at the same time.

It makes you rethink what it means to be successful and happy, though, because if you’re happy and you’re making it, what does it matter if you’re a small-time camp counselor versus a hotshot in a big city?

This movie is also the brainchild of three of my favorite YouTube stars – Grace Helbig, Mamrie Hart, and Hannah Hart – and Mamrie wears a fanny pack. Hannah Hart also throws in one of her famous puns.

This movie is unrated, so beware of the fact that there are some drinking scenes and Elise gets poison ivy from going to bathroom in the woods, so the poison ivy is in a unique spot.

7) “The Lizzie McGuire Movie” (2003)

This choice stems from my past teenage self. Lizzie McGuire (Hilary Duff) is on a trip to Rome, Italy after graduating middle school – which, by the way, when did we start graduating middle school? I thought we just, you know, went to ninth grade. But this was the dream for when I was that age – go to Europe, somehow manage to get tons of unsupervised time with a cute Italian boy, become a pop star, etc.

It should go without saying that this movie basically only meant for pre-teens and teens. Also, anyone who watches it will never be able to think of the phrase “hey now” the same again.

8) “Super 8” (2011)

This movie takes place during the summer of 1979, and it follows some kids who see some really weird stuff happen in their town after a train crash. This is the scifi thriller for both people who love scifi thrillers and people who only like to watch scifi thrillers once every couple of years after being scarred by “Alien” and “The Thing.”

9) “Addams Family Values” (1993)

This Gothic comedy is for anyone who needs a break from the norm. Or who loves their weird family.

10) “Fool’s Gold” (2008)

Yes, this is another cheesy romance and I seem to major in cheesy romance movies, but it is also a fun story of a father and daughter who reconnect while an ex-husband and ex-wife drive each other crazy while literally searching for gold.

Photo Courtesy of Vestron Pictures “Dirty Dancing” is one of the top summer movies ever made. Courtesy of Vestron Pictures “Dirty Dancing” is one of the top summer movies ever made.

By Sam Wildow

Reach the writer at (937) 451-3336 or at

Reach the writer at (937) 451-3336 or at