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Top Ten Summer Vacation Flicks

Maddie Crichton ’17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

Now that we’re in the middle of summer, everyone seems to be packing their bags and taking off. But if you’re staying home this season, watching one of these films is a different (and much more affordable) way to escape.

10. High School Musical 2 (2007)

Ashley Tisdale and Lucas Grabeel in High School Musical 2. Photo Credit: Disney.
Ashley Tisdale and Lucas Grabeel in High School Musical 2. Photo Credit: Disney.

This may be a Disney Channel Original Movie, but it’s part of a trilogy that is arguably a modern classic. Troy (Zac Efron), Gabriella (Vanessa Hudgens) and the rest of the gang head to a fancy country club where they all so conveniently get awesome summer jobs. High School Musical 2 captures the freedom of the last day of school, the excitement and troubles of a summer romance, and of course contains some of the most fabulous musical numbers in Disney Channel history.

9. Big Fat Liar (2002)

Frankie Muniz and Paul Giamatti in Big Fat Liar.
Frankie Muniz and Paul Giamatti in Big Fat Liar.

This, again, is a children’s movie, but it still makes audiences laugh over a decade later. When Jason (Frankie Muniz) and Kaylee (Amanda Bynes) run away to Los Angeles to prove that evil film producer Marty Wolf (Paul Giamatti) stole a script from Jason, chaos ensues. With a goal to get out of summer school Jason will stop at nothing, including ruining a Hollywood premiere, and making things a little blue. Their adventures in sunny California make for an outrageous summer getaway.

8. Gidget (1959)

Sandra Dee and James Darren in Gidget.
Sandra Dee and James Darren in Gidget.

Filled with all the giddiness of any 50’s beach movie, Gidget is the timeless tale of the classic summer fling. When a shy Francis (Sandra Dee) spends the summer on the beach, she meets Moondoggy (James Darren) and begins to hang out with his surfer posse. They teach her to surf, give her the nickname “Gigdet,” and she and Moondoggy learn to see each other as more than just friends.

7. RV (2006)

Robin Williams, Cheryl Hines, Josh Hutcherson and Joanna 'JoJo' Levesque in RV.
Robin Williams, Cheryl Hines, Josh Hutcherson and Joanna ‘JoJo’ Levesque in RV.

Relaxing in Hawaii and listening to waves crash into the sand sounds like the perfect way to spend the summer, right? Well, that’s what the Munro family thought, until their father Bob (Robin Williams) decides it would be best to rent an RV and take his family cross-country to Colorado instead- all while on a secret mission to save his job. His wife (Cheryl Hines), daughter (Joanna ‘JoJo’ Levesque) and son (Josh Hutcherson) are less than thrilled, but are forced in to going on a road trip where they meet families even stranger than their own. Packed with a cast of famous comedians, RV tells the hilarious story of how family vacations never seem to go as planned.

6. Moonrise Kingdom (2012)

Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Edward Norton and Bruce Willis in Moonrise Kingdom. Photo Credit: Focus Features.
Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Edward Norton and Bruce Willis in Moonrise Kingdom. Photo Credit: Focus Features.

This Wes Anderson film explores young love, growing up, and boys with long socks and short shorts. When twelve year-old boy scout Sam (Jared Gilman) runs away from camp to find the love of his life Suzy (Kara Hayward) their whole town is set out to find them. However, the young misfit couple refuses to go down without a fight. Their witty, short-lived journey as runaways leads to a summer that will change the lives of everyone involved.

5. Weekend at Bernie’s (1989)

Andrew McCarthy, Jonathan Silverman and Terry Kiser in Weekend at Bernie's. Photo Credit: MGM Studies.
Andrew McCarthy, Jonathan Silverman and Terry Kiser in Weekend at Bernie’s. Photo Credit: MGM Studies.

Dealing with death is never easy, especially when your’e a foolish aspiring businessman whose boss has just been killed. Larry (Andrew McCarthy) and Richard (Jonathan Silverman) are faced with this very situation, and go about it by pretending that their boss is still alive when they spend the weekend at his lake house. This ridiculous comedy is a perfect example of a weekend away gone completely wrong.

4. The Way Way Back (2013)

Liam James and AnnaSophia Robb in" The Way, Way Back." Photo Credit: © 2013 - Fox Searchlight.
Liam James and AnnaSophia Robb in The Way Way Back. Photo Credit: Fox Searchlight.

Lighthearted, funny, and incredibly charming, The Way Way Back is a quintessential summer film. Duncan (Liam James) spends the summer in a Cape Cod beach house with his mother (Toni Collette) and her intrusive boyfriend (Steve Carell). After meeting the kooky neighbors and realizing he doesn’t quite fit in with the other teens in the neighborhood, he heads to a local water park where he finally feels free from the pressures of his family. This coming-of-age story is a feel-good film, and one of the few to accurately depict what being young and growing up is really like.

3. Up (2009)

Still from Up. Photo Credit: Disney/Pixar.
Still from Up. Photo Credit: Disney/Pixar.

This Disney-Pixar classic has one of the most heartbreaking opening sequences, but the rest of the film is uplifting and endearing. After the death of his wife, Carl (voiced by Edward Asner) is forced to move into a retirement home, but not before he fulfills his dreams and takes one last adventure. He ties enough balloons to his home so that he can fly to Paradise Falls, and takes off without realizing he has Russell the boy scout (Jordan Nagai) on his porch with him. Up is filled with unexpected friendship and lovable characters, and will make you cry like a baby.

2. The Sandlot (1993)

The cast of The Sandlot. Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox.
The cast of The Sandlot. Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox.

The Sandlot contains all the freedom and youthful joy of being a kid on summer vacation. Scotty Smalls (Tom Guiry) moves to a new town and wants to join the neighborhood kids in their daily baseball games. The group finds themselves on numerous summer adventures, and are faced with the question almost every kid asks at one point or another: What lies on the other side of that mysterious fence? This movie captured everyone as kids, and the 90’s nostalgia allows it to only get better with time.

1. National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983)

 Beverly D'Angelo, Anthony Michael Hall, Chevy Chase and Dana Barron in National Lampoon's Vacation.
Beverly D’Angelo, Anthony Michael Hall, Chevy Chase and Dana Barron in National Lampoon’s Vacation.

This classic comedy made every family re-think their cross-country trip plans, and is well deserving of the number one spot on this list. When the Griswold family decides to pack up the car and drive from Chicago to the west coast to visit the LA theme park Walley World, anything and everything that can go wrong on a vacation does. Led by the legendary Chevy Chase, Vacation is timeless- and it will make you think twice about saying that your family trip was a disaster.

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