Writer’s pick: Summertime lovin’ – Five films to celebrate the upcoming season


Illustration by Elijah Uche.

Elijah Uche, Reporter

After the semester ends, many students will take the chance to unwind and have fun outdoors, not worrying about being cooped up inside a classroom all day. However, there is another way to celebrate the end of the school year: staying inside with the AC cranked up high and enjoying the world of cinema.

In recognition of the incoming season, here are five movies you can watch about all the great things involving summer.

“(500) Days of Summer”
Summertime is not only about beaches and ice cream, it can also be about romance. In the film “(500) Days of Summer,” greeting card writer Tom Hansen falls for new employee Summer Finn. They begin a casual relationship until Summer suddenly breaks up with Tom, devastating him. The film then focuses on Tom reflecting on the 500 days he and Summer were together to figure out what went wrong.

Richard Propes of The Independent Critic wrote, “Yet in ‘500 Days of Summer,’ … it becomes obvious rather early on that director Marc Webb is opting for authenticity over Hollywood formula and the final result is a film that somehow manages to seamlessly blend hopefulness with heartbreak and the magic of love with its mundane realities.”

“I Know What You Did Last Summer”
Halloween is in October, but why not tickle the scary bone early with some horror? When four teenagers accidentally hit a pedestrian on their way to the beach, their first instinct is to dump the body in the water. A year after the incident, the four find themselves being stalked by a killer with a hook, who claims to have known what they did last summer.

This movie was the first of three films from the “I Know What You Did Last Summer” franchise.

“It has been 24 years since the release of I Know What You Did Last Summer, and while aspects of the film have aged over time, it is undeniable the mark within the horror film genre this film has left,” wrote Stephanie Archer of Film Inquiry.

“Into the Wild”
Summer is also the time for graduation for those students whose years in school have come to an end. Graduation signals new beginnings and opportunities, and also a chance to find yourself. Based on a novel with the same name, “Into the Wild” details the life of Christopher McCandless as he embarks on a journey of self-discovery.

McCandless, the son of wealthy parents, has just graduated from college. Instead of landing a job, he gives up all his possessions and embarks on a hike through North America into the Alaskan wilderness. McCandless leaves his seemingly perfect life for a chance to live with no restraints and security.

“This film is extremely relatable for anyone who is unsure about their future, or even their present. The movie inspires the viewer to be hungry for new experiences, to get out of their comfort zone and live a life worth talking about,” wrote Natalie Ryder of The Daily Nebraskan.

“The Way Way Back”
This film features the coming-of-age story of Duncan, an awkward teen forced to spend the summer at a beach house with his mother and her narcissistic boyfriend. When Duncan feels like he cannot take any more badgering from his family, he runs off to a water park and gets a job working for park manager Owen, whose wisecracking humor and encouraging behavior make him easy for Duncan to get along with.

A.A. Dowd of The A.V. Club wrote, “It’s an effervescent performance–as breezy as a gust of ocean air, and vital to a summertime comedy that’s never as refreshing as it’s constantly straining to be.”

“Do the Right Thing”
Director Spike Lee produces a comedy-drama that explores the racial tensions between the Italian American owners of a Brooklyn pizzeria and the city’s African American residents. The animosity in the movie is furthered by the heat wave occurring throughout the film.

The tension and violence all happen over a wall, specifically the wall at the pizzeria that only displays posters of famous Italian actors. The absence of the portrayal of Black actors makes the wall a symbol of racism to the Black residents. Eventually, it causes a spiral of hatred and violence toward different members of various racial communities.

Roger Ebert of The Criterion Collection wrote, “Leaving the theater after the tumultuous world premiere of Do the Right Thing at Cannes in May of 1989, I found myself too shaken to speak … I thought it was a call to empathy, which of all human qualities is the one this past century seemed most to need.”