Have you ever noticed how glorious summers seem in the movies? It’s all about location. The best summer-themed movies take place in small towns with nearby lakes and beaches. Bathing suits are proper attire, county fairs and talent shows serve as nightly entertainment, lemonade stands are viable businesses and almost everyone rides a bike. Are you ready to move out of the city yet? Here are some quintessential movies that prove small towns are the best summer destinations.
A place where life is simple and people are perfect: Pleasantville. Okay, fine it’s a fictitious town that Tobey Maguire gains access to through a weird remote control (which I still wish I had). And okay yeah, everything is in black & white until Reese Witherspoon teaches the town about the birds and the bees. But milkshakes! Drive-ins! Varsity jackets!
2. Every Nicholas Sparks Movie
We established that they’re all pretty much the same. And (thank you, readers) they are all set in a small town in North Carolina. They also all appear to take place around the summer. And sometimes there’s a carnival! A carnival with a ferris wheel a guy can climb up to ask a girl out on. But there’s always a body of water, kissing in the rain, and a swoon-worthy love interest. Oh! And sometimes seafood—because nothing is sexier than cracking crabs (that’s not a euphemism).
3. Now & Then
Four best friends. One great summer. This small town had everything: bike rides with radios, a lake with a skinny dipping Devon Sawa, house-painting (a total small town movie summer job). On top of all that, the girls solved both the mystery of Dear Johnny AND puberty.
4. Annie Hall
Speaking of shellfish. . . remember the classic scene where Diane and Woody go into the country and make (attempt to make) lobsters? And it’s so much fun! “Maybe we should call the police? Dial 911 it’s the lobster squad!” Almost makes me want to cook lobster with a significant other. Almost.
This town is so small they don’t allow dancing. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of other fun things to do in Bomont—like yell at a train on the tracks, straddle two moving pick-up trucks, dance in an abandoned warehouse, or just stare at Kevin Bacon. Does this count as six degrees?
6. Dirty Dancing
She thought it was going to be just another summer with her parents, but it turned out to be the “time of her life.” Thanks to Patrick Swayze, who she would’ve never met if she didn’t carry that watermelon.
7. Wet Hot American Summer
And what would summer be without camp? Camps are always set in small towns because they’ve got it all: lakes, sketchy vans to throw your campers out of and Amy Poehler and Bradley Cooper as camp counselors. Yes, please.