Summer is deliciously, tantalizingly close and since I’ve already cut all my jeans into Daisy Dukes and painted every nail a different shade of neon, it’s time to switch our focus over to summer movies. The period between May and August always brings a magical onslaught of popcorn movies, big budget blockbusters, glossy romantic comedies, and quirky fun-loving indie films. But between trips to the drugstore for more Sun-In and elaborate glamping excursions, it can be stressful to figure out which movies to see and how. Heaven forbid you take your boyfriend or girlfriend to a movie you clearly should have seen at midnight by yourself. So in the spirit of school’s-almost-out-for-the-summer, I present to you my Summer Movie Yearbook superlatives.
Best Movie to See When You’re Really Depressed Because You’re Too Old for Sleepaway Camp
Moonrise Kingdom - Release date: May 25, 2012
From the whimsical mind that brought you The Royal Tenenbaums, Rushmore, and The Fantastic Mr. Fox, Wes Anderson’s latest is the perfect way to kick off your summer movie marathon. Shot in his usual quirky-and-oh-so-pretty style and set in the 1960s, Moonrise Kingdom tells the story of a pair of very young lovers who flee their New England island town together. And, yes, sleepaway camp is featured heavily.
Best Movie to See While Under the Influence or With People Who Are Under the Influence
High School - Release date: June 1, 2012
This under-the-radar comedy is about a high school valedictorian who smokes pot for the very first time only to find out his school is instituting mandatory drug testing the next day. Rather than risk losing his college scholarship, our hero teams up with the local stoner and concocts a plan to get the entire school high (think “special” bake sale). This trippy little flick will remind you why summer vacation is the greatest. Plus how can you resist Adrien Brody as a psychotic drug dealer?
Best Movie to See After That Cute Summer Fling Stomps All Over Your Heart
Lola Versus - Release date: June 8, 2012
Co-written and co-starring Zoe Lister-Jones of Whitney fame and fortune, Lola Versus presents indie darling Greta Gerwig as a woman dumped by her fiance just three weeks before her wedding. The break-up prompts her to gather up her friends for an adventure as she reevaluates her life. See this with your BFFs and remember why being single can be pretty awesome – especially in the sticky days of summer.
Best Movie to See If You’d Rather Be Home Watching TV
Safety Not Guaranteed - Release date: June 8, 2012
Between Parks and Recreation‘s Aubrey Plaza and New Girl’s Jake Johnson, this clever little comedy will make you feel like you’re back in your living room. If your living room was made by the same people who produced Little Miss Sunshine and allowed for the possibility of time travel, of course. This is definitely one of those movies with something for everyone: wit, romance, science fiction. Plus it’s a total genre hybrid (is it a comedy? a romance? a time travel movie?), which means you can go a little crazy with the snacks. Pour some peanut M&Ms over your popcorn and create a hybrid of your own!
Best Movie to See When You Suddenly Realize There Won’t Be a New Twilight Until Thanksgiving
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter - Release date: June 22, 2012
Definitely one of the catchiest, most succinct movie titles of all time, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is exactly what it promises. Our 16th president has a secret identity as a vampire hunter. When he finds out vampires are planning to take over the United States, he must defeat them and protect our country. A perfect blend of history, action, and awesome vampire stuff, this is the movie to see with that person who always wants you to see action movies when all you really want to do is talk about how gross Kristen Stewart looked when she was pregnant with Renesmee.
Best Movie to See If You’re Into This Whole Older-Men-With-Impossibly-Hot-Love-Interests Thing
Seeking a Friend For The End of the World - Release date: June 22, 2012
Despite the fact that the pairing of Steve Carell and Keira Knightley is patently absurd, this movie’s premise has a lot of potential. An asteroid is about to hit Earth, Steve Carell’s wife leaves him, and he embarks on a journey with his neighbor (Knightley) to track down his childhood sweetheart before the world explodes. Assuming this film lives up to its claim of being a comedy, I’ll excuse the oddball pairing and settle in for some good old end-of-times enjoyment.
Best Movie to See Alone On the Hottest Day of Summer with a Bucket of Ice Cubes Next To You
Magic Mike - Release date: June 29, 2012
This is one that will do nothing to cool you off in the summer heat. Based on Channing Tatum’s abs, er, real life experiences, Magic Mike tells the story of a veteran male stripper who takes a protege under his wing and schools him in the art of partying, picking up women, and making easy money. It’s definitely written into Channing’s contract on every movie that he must be shirtless for at least 85% of his screen time, and I’ll bet you this little flick rounds it up to an even 100%.
Best Movie to See On Opening Day Because Otherwise You Probably Will Never Be in the Mood Again
Katy Perry Part of Me 3D - Release date: July 4, 2012
This is definitely a movie for one of those shut-off-your-brain kind of summer days, and for me it’s an opening day or at least opening weekend type of movie because the longer it’s in theaters, the less likely I’ll be in the mood to go watch concert footage for two hours. Especially as more of the summer blockbusters get released. BUT when it first comes out, I can definitely see myself buying a gigantic Diet Coke, slapping on some 3D glasses, and zoning out to Katy Perry tunes all afternoon.
Best Movie to See With Your Favorite Stuffed Animal Stashed in Your Purse
Ted - Release date: July 13, 2012
A hilariously trippy premise from the creator of Family Guy, Ted is about a dude (Mark Wahlberg) whose childhood wish for his teddy bear to come alive actually came true. Of course, now that he’s an adult, it’s not so charming to have an immature, vulgar, furry little companion at his side day and night. This is a movie that is sure to be outrageously funny and twisted, perfect for a long summer night with nothing to do.
Best Movie to See With Your Friend Who Claims They Prefer NPR to Any Scripted Entertainment
Sleepwalk With Me - Release date: Aug 24, 2012
If you’ve never heard of Mike Birbiglia, you have never lived. One of the funniest and most appealing comedians working today, Birbiglia adapted his popular one-man show into a movie based on his own experiences as a struggling comedian with a sleepwalking problem. Co-written and co-produced by This American Life auteur Ira Glass, this movie is sure to be hilarious, heartfelt, and just indie enough that you can impress people by suggesting they go see it.
Of course, there are a number of important, sure-to-be-a-smash-success movies not on this list because they all fall under a single category: Movies You Are Probably Going to See Whether I Tell You About Them or Not. These include but are not limited to: Snow White and the Huntsman (June 1), Rock of Ages (June 15), Brave (June 22), The Amazing Spider-Man (July 3), The Dark Knight Rises (July 20), and The Bourne Legacy (August 3).
So tell me, what summer movie is Most Likely to Be At the Top Of Your List?