Staff Picks | Summertime Flicks

“Grownups,” one of The Pitt News’ picks for summertime flicks.

Screenshot via Netflix

“Grownups,” one of The Pitt News’ picks for summertime flicks.

By The Pitt News Staff

Pittsburgh’s weather at the end of the semester is enough to give anyone whiplash. It snows one day and then it’s 80 degrees the next, but the impending doom of climate change aside, it’s supposed to be spring, and then summer.

Whether you’re a graduating senior or a first-year student wrapping up your second semester, summer beckons us all. What better way to encourage the warm weather than to indulge in a “summertime flick?”

“Grown Ups” (Netflix) // Diana Velasquez, Culture Editor

Nothing represents an American summer more than heading out to the woods, to either a cabin or for some camping, and screwing around with your friends for a week. I’m convinced this is how Adam Sandler conducts most of his movies, especially “Grown Ups.”

“Grown Ups” centers on a group of friends headed by Lenny Feder (Adam Sandler), who played on a championship basketball team together in middle school. After the death of their former coach, the teammates, now adults, spread his ashes and reunite with their respective families — catching up after years apart.

The cast is quite literally too long and full of famous people to be named, but Lenny’s group of friends are played by some of Sandler’s favorite comedian collabs — Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade and Rob Schneider. It’s honestly a ridiculous movie, full of poop jokes, drunk shenanigans all the dumb things that dudes over 40 get up to when they’re left alone without supervision for too long in the woods. But it’s got its nice moments too, and overall leaves you with that worn-out but pleasantly warm feeling.

“Call Me By Your Name” (Tubi) // Patrick Swain, Staff Writer

André Aciman’s novel found a faithful adaptation in Luca Guadagnino’s “Call Me By Your Name.” The film follows Elio (Timothée Chalamet), a bookish European at the brink of adulthood who crosses paths with his father’s American research assistant (Armie Hammer) on the Italian Riviera in the summer of 1983. Tension simmers between the pair and blossoming infatuation flourishes throughout the summer, but their relationship has an expiration date — obligations in each of their countries and the social taboos of the time threaten to pull them apart.

Summer romances are beautiful. Anyone who took a weeklong beach trip or went to sleepaway camp as a teenager knows what I mean. Perhaps it’s the circumstances, but every encounter or rendezvous with a beautiful stranger feels immensely freeing.

“Call Me By Your Name” captures this feeling on-screen — shimmering waves lapping at glistening dunes, air-drying bathing suits, peeling sunburns, pesky grains of sand between pages of books and clean sheets. Summer is a season of just three months — likewise, it’s fleeting. Love follows suit, but the invaluable memories made remain for a lifetime.

“Mamma Mia!” (Prime Video)  // Katelyn Kruszewski, Staff Writer

The hit musical romantic comedy “Mamma Mia!” (2008) follows bride Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) who is on a quest to find her real father. Sophie secretly invites her three potential fathers to her wedding, effectively surprising her high-strung and independent mother, Donna (Meryl Streep). As shenanigans ensue, Donna discovers that maybe Sophie isn’t the only one searching for love. The movie showcases outrageously dramatic dance numbers featuring ABBA hits in the setting of scenic Greek islands. “Mamma Mia!” will make you want to go on vacation in Greece with your best friends, it’s the perfect feel-good movie for your summer movie nights.

“Midsommar” (Hulu)  // Lynnette Tibbott, Staff Writer

Director Ari Aster’s 2019 film “Midsommar” follows female protagonist Dani (Florence Pugh). After a tragedy that leaves her family dead, Dani decides to go on a vacation to Sweden with her toxic boyfriend and his friends. For this group of college graduate students, a vacation to Sweden seems like the perfect place to write their theses while simultaneously enjoying the countryside. In a small, seemingly innocent community, they enjoy the activities of a Midsommar — festival-dancing, eating some questionable cakes and taking psychedelics. However, this fun summer adventure quickly turns into a nightmare.

As friends start to disappear one by one, Dani realizes not everything may be as it first seemed, and the characters discover a shocking truth about their trip. Struggling with both psychological and external conflict, Dani is forced to choose between the ones she once loved and her own self-healing. This thriller/horror movie explores themes of feminism, depression and mental health as well as societal values and morals. Although dark, this movie features beautiful summertime scenery and imagery and has a twisted resolution perfect for any summer bonfire or movie night with your friends.