Two summers ago, I was trapped. It was 100 degrees of pure, unforgiving humidity in Manhattan and I was without an air conditioner. My tiny CVS fan had collapsed from being overworked and not even two cold showers could cool me down, so I retreated to the cinema, where the only thing playing at a decent time was Adam Sandler’s That’s My Boy. Movies have always been the perfect escape for me, especially in the summer. With spunky kids chasing adventure and spouting sassy one-liners left and right, films have always made my June, July and August that much more special. Here are some classics that take me right back to childhood summers.
9. My Girl
In terms of cuteness, nothing beats My Girl. Anna Chlumsky and Macaulay Culkin shine in this surprisingly tragic coming-of-age movie. I can’t watch the movie without bawling over the ending, but it’s a reminder that life can always throw curveballs, whether you’re young and excited about having a thrilling summer, or 26 and trying to be a grown-up.
Yeah, nothing says summer nostalgia like a Heavyweights viewing. This movie, about a group of underdogs at a weight loss camp, had me rolling on the floor laughing (for real, because children can do that) every time I played it. Ben Stiller and Kenan Thompson are hysterical in this ’90s comedy, and the same goes for the unusual sleep-screamer Lars.
7. The Sandlot
A few months ago, I spotted one of the Sandlot actors at Starbucks and wanted so badly to tell him how much I loved this movie and his unforgettable line, “That wimpy dear?!” I kept to myself but can always turn on this classic when I want to see just how funny he is. The Sandlot made me actually consider joining some sort of sports team, and though I still have zero athletic skills, I have nothing but positive things to say about this brilliant childhood gem.
6. Parent Trap
Because we all went to summer camp hoping we’d make enemies (and then become BFFs) with our long-lost twin after this came out. I never did find my twin at camp, but I never gave up hope that she was out there waiting for me to school her at poker.
5. Jungle 2 Jungle
Even with his long hair and lack of social grace, Mimi-Siku is a charming young ladykiller who knows how to enjoy his surroundings. Any dude that will climb the Statue of Liberty will definitely keep you on your toes!
4. Good Burger
No one wants to spend the summer working at a fast food joint, but if you find yourself with no other options, you better hope to have silly colleagues like Ed!
3. Troop Beverly Hills
I wasn’t made for the wilderness, so I really liked Shelley Long’s approach to outdoorsy stuff. Why sleep under the trees when you can lodge at the Beverly Hills hotel? Count me in for that adventure!
2. Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure
There were some seriously creepy scenes in this movie (I always had to leave the room when Large Marge entered the picture), but Pee-Wee’s character has so much fun traveling the country and meeting oddball criminals on the way. Every time I go to Palm Springs, I’m on the lookout for the big dinosaur featured in the movie.
1. The Baby-Sitters Club
I don’t have an entrepreneurial bone in my body, so I could never start a babysitting business like these teenagers, but I learned a lot about finding the right work style for my personality. These girls taught me I could do more than just play all summer. I could make bank too, all I had to do was find parents who trusted me with their offspring.