The Pittsburgh weather at the end of the semester is enough to give anyone a boost. It’s snowing one day, then 80 degrees the next, but impending climate change catastrophe aside, it’s supposed to be spring, then summer.
Whether you’re a senior grad or a freshman finishing up your second semester, summer awaits us all. What better way to cheer up the warm weather than to indulge in a “summer movie?”
“Grown Ups” (Netflix) // Diana Velasquez, cultural editor
Nothing says an American summer more than heading out to the woods, to a cabin, or camping, and messing around with your friends for a week. I’m sure that’s how Adam Sandler directs most of his movies, especially “Grown Ups.”
“Grown Ups” centers on a group of friends led by Lenny Feder (Adam Sandler), who played together on a college basketball championship team. Following the death of their former coach, the teammates, now adults, spread his ashes and reunited with their respective families – catching up after years of separation.
The cast is literally too long and full of famous people to name, but Lenny’s group of friends are played by some of Sandler’s favorite comedic collabs – Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade and Rob Schneider. It’s honestly a ridiculous movie, full of poo jokes, drunken shenanigans, all the stupid things guys over 40 do when left alone unsupervised for too long in the woods. But it also has its good moments, and overall leaves you with that worn but pleasantly warm feel.
“Call Me By Your Name” (Tubi) // Patrick Swain, Writer
André Aciman’s novel found a faithful adaptation in “Call Me By Your Name” by Luca Guadagnino. The film follows Elio (Timothée Chalamet), a bookish European on the verge of adulthood who crosses paths with his father’s (Armie Hammer) American research assistant on the Italian Riviera in the summer of 1983. Tension simmers between the two and infatuation blooms throughout the summer, but their relationship has an expiration date — obligations in each of their countries and social taboos of the time threaten to drive them apart.
Summer romances are beautiful. Anyone who’s taken a week-long trip to the beach or been to summer camp as a teenager knows what I mean. It may be the circumstances, but every encounter or date with a beautiful stranger is hugely liberating.
“Call Me By Your Name” captures that feeling on screen – shimmering waves lapping over glistening dunes, air-drying bathing suits, peeling sunburns, pesky grains of sand between pages of books and clean sheets. Summer is a season of only three months — likewise, it is fleeting. Love follows suit, but the priceless memories created last for a lifetime.
“Mom Mia!” (Prime Video) // Katelyn Kruszewski, Editor-in-Chief
The hit romantic musical “Mamma Mia!” (2008) follows bride Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) as she searches for her real father. Sophie secretly invites her three potential fathers to her wedding, effectively surprising her nervous and independent mother, Donna (Meryl Streep). As the shenanigans ensue, Donna discovers that Sophie may not be the only one looking for love. The film features outrageously dramatic dance numbers featuring ABBA hits set against picturesque Greek islands. “Mom Mia!” will make you want to go on vacation to Greece with your best friends, it’s the perfect feel-good film for your summer movie nights.
“Midsommar” (Hulu) // Lynnette Tibbott, Writer
Director Ari Aster’s 2019 film “Midsommar” follows female protagonist Dani (Florence Pugh). After a tragedy that kills her family, Dani decides to go on vacation to Sweden with her toxic boyfriend and his friends. For this group of graduating college students, a vacation in Sweden seems like the perfect place to write their theses while enjoying the countryside. In a small, seemingly innocent community, they enjoy the activities of a Midsommar – dancing at the festival, eating dodgy cakes, and taking psychedelics. However, this fun summer adventure quickly turns into a nightmare.
As the friends begin to disappear one by one, Dani realizes that all may not be what it first seemed, and the characters discover a shocking truth about their journey. Struggling with psychological and external conflicts, Dani is forced to choose between those she once loved and her own self-healing. This thriller/horror film explores themes of feminism, depression and mental health as well as societal values and morals. Although dark, this film features beautiful summer landscapes and imagery and has a twisted resolution perfect for any summertime bonfire or movie night with your friends.