Because aren’t we all mentally on a beach somewhere on the European coastline about to jump into crystal clear waters?!
Whether you’re scrolling through Instagram photos at work or watching TikTok videos before going to bed, it feels like everyone, from your aunt to your favorite singer, is vacationing alongside the sea this summer. And while you get your fair share of the summer sun, you only seem to catch it on the way to work, most nights leaving the office after it has set. And instead of diving into an endless ocean, you might find yourself diving into never-ending reports, emails, and errands.
Don’t worry, I’m not here to remind you that you’re not living that Pinterest-worthy summer. I’m here to offer you a solution; a way you can still experience that outdoorsy summer you always wanted without even having to lift a single finger or break your bank account. I present the perfect summer movie watchlist because who wouldn’t want to live through some characters vicariously?
Mamma Mia! (2008)
First up, we’re starting strong with this 2008 hit rom-com/musical. Set on a small Greek island, Mamma Mia tells the story of a young bride-to-be, Sophie, determined to find her father. That’s why she secretly invites three of her mother’s past lovers, all of which she learned about through her mother’s dairies, to her wedding. And that’s how her mother, Donna, discovers these men all huddled up in her abandoned goat house! Trying to hide them from Sophie, she orders them to leave her hotel and the island. However, she’s unaware that, unlike the last time she encountered them, they don’t plan on letting her slip through their fingers as easily.
Gathering Meryl Streep, Amanda Seyfried, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, and many more in a dream-like cast, Mamma Mia is bound to become your new favorite summer movie, the amazing soundtrack, inspired by ABBA songs, forever engraved in your mind. Now, if you loved this film, you’ll be happy to know that a sequel has been released. Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again is set five years after the first film’s events, in which Sophie learns more about her mother’s past as she reopens Donna’s hotel.
French Kiss (1995)
Another great summer rom-com is the 1995 film starring Meg Ryan. Taking you from Paris to the countryside of France and the French Riviera, French Kiss is not just another film about an unusual pairing; it’s also a love letter to the country. The story starts with Kate deciding to do the one thing she fears the most; fly. To surprise her fiancé, she must board a tin can and become suspended in the air in a way God never intended. And that is how she meets Luc, the arrogant French passenger sat next to her.
After having as many arguments as one might be able to have during an eight-hour flight, the two land, ready to part their ways, that is after Luc retrieves the diamond necklace he smuggled into Kate’s bag. Because charmers with perfect smiles can still be crooks. But his entire plan evaporates when the bag gets stolen during the few minutes he’s away from Kate. Now paths tied together, the two embark on a journey across the country, Kate on a quest to get back her straying fiancé and Luc on a quest to find the necklace that’ll change his future. Will they kill each other before they each get what they each want? I guess you’ll have to watch to find out.
Murder Mystery (2019)
Now, if romcoms aren’t really your genre of preference, Murder Mystery might be the film for you. Combining elements of mystery, the movie still manages to stay light with comedy. I mean, that’s what happens when you put Jennifer Anniston and Adam Sandler together. The plot revolves around Audrey and Nick, a middle-class couple from New York, as they finally decide to go on their dream honeymoon for their 15th wedding anniversary. However, their plans of touring Europe on a crowded tour bus change when they meet a Charles Cavendish, who invites them to stay on his billionaire uncle’s private yacht.
Things for the couple couldn’t be going any better… until they don’t. Framed for the murder of Charles’ uncle, the two run around the continent from Monaco to Italy, trying to prove their innocence and find out which of the other guests on the yacht is the murderer. Relationships will be at stake, lies will be uncovered, and identities will be revealed. Can this couple, a hairdresser who loves mystery novels, and a cop who constantly failed his detective exam, really take down a killer? Let’s hope so because their lives surely depend on it.
The Parent Trap (1998)
Next up comes a movie that will make any summer camp goer nostalgic. The film tells the story of a pair of unusual twins. They’ve never met, each separated from a parent during a divorce. One was brought up in sophisticated London, while the other lived in sunny California. But their lives change when the two reunite during summer camp. However, instead of a love-filled reunion, the two constantly try to best one another until they’re put in a cabin alone together. Soon they realize that they can’t pretend their similarities don’t exist, discovering what they might have never considered before; they’re sisters.
Each deciding that they want to spend time with the parent they never knew, they form a plan to switch places, certainly putting no doubt in the fact that they’re identical. But what if they could reunite their parents, finally living like real twins for the first time? That’s what they aim to do. Unfortunately, things never go as planned. And in their case, the unexpected obstacle is their dad’s fiancé. Will they be able to scare her off? While this movie definitely put Lindsay Lohan on the map, the classic 1961 version is also worth checking out.
Under the Tuscan Sun (2003)
And last but not least comes a film perfect for those who dream of nothing but escaping their busy big city life to a small Italian town, buying a fixer-upper, and spending the rest of their days enjoying the Italian countryside. That’s exactly what the film’s protagonist, Frances, does. After getting divorced and experiencing the worst writer’s block she’s ever had, the San Francisco-based author, pushed by friends, decides to visit Italy. And while she swears off men, wary of finding love in a foreign country, she never expects to fall in love with a house. But can buying an Italian house really change her life? There will undoubtedly be downs, but there will also be ups as our heroine explores Italy and herself.
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