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16 Movies To Help You Make Peace With The End Of Summer

All good things must come to an end — that’s why the sand-in-your-shoes, sun-on-your-brow, ice-cream-every-night moments of summer only last so long. At some point, we all must get back to school, to actually putting the hours in at work (sorry, they’re Summer Fridays, not all-year-long Fridays), to cooler days and even cooler nights. Whether you’ll miss summer when it officially ends on September 22 or you’re really looking forward to downing as many Cinnamon Spice Lattes as you possibly can, let’s pay homage to the turn of the season with these great end-of-summer movies.

Personally, I’m ready to wear big sweatshirts and boots and leggings (I’m just over being sweaty, okay?), but even those of us who’ve already started accessorising with pumpkins can appreciate a good summer coming of age film. Like the one where two twins meet at summer camp and try and change their lives just before school starts. Or the one with a group of counsellors living their best summer ever. There are also four best friends who grow both together and apart during their summer apart and teens who make the most of the night before classes start. They’re all here, saying goodbye to summer in their own ways, and mark my words — after you watch even one of these movies, you’ll be ready to join the leaf-peepers like me, too.

Wet Hot American Summer

Where To Stream: Amazon Prime Video

Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler, Janeane Garofalo, David Hyde Pierce, Michael Showalter, Bradley Cooper (in his film debut), Marguerite Moreau, Christopher Meloni, Elizabeth Banks, Ken Marino, Michael Ian Black — and that’s just the tip of the cast iceberg. This farcical comedy about the last day of a New England summer camp where the counsellors are hilarious and really DGAF about their charges is an end of summer classic.

I Know What You Did Last Summer

Where To Watch: Amazon Prime

Okay, so if your summer was a huge bust (which, considering most things were cancelled, it probably was), you can find solace in the fact that you and your friends didn’t accidentally murder someone and have a man with a hook follow you around telling you that he knows what you did. I bet these kids couldn’t wait for their summer to be over either.

The Parent Trap

Where To Stream: Disney+

Annie and Hallie (Lindsay Lohan and Lindsay Lohan) go to sleepaway camp and come back with with the knowledge that they’ve each had a secret sister all along. What a time! Yes, this movie takes place during the summer, but it’s the in-between season hijinks with Meredith Blake (Elaine Hendrix) — who is actually not the villain here FWIW — and camping and that lizard that really makes this movie shine.

Do The Right Thing

Where To Watch: Amazon Prime

It’s the hottest day of the summer in Brooklyn, and racial tensions are high in the borough’s Bed-Stuy neighbourhood. Spike Lee received both critical and commercial kudos for the film — it’s even the in Library Of Congress. Sit in your air conditioning or with the cool, autumn breezes blustering through your room and let its depiction of the quest for social and racial justice really sink in and stay with you.

American Pie 2

Where To Stream: Netflix

The first American Pie picks up post freshman year of university with this sequel. Finch, Jim, Oz, and Kevin rent a summer house to have the most “epic” summer of their lives, but by the time autumn rolls around, they all learn some valuable lessons about love and sex and friendship. You should have just skipped right to autumn, you guys.

Weekend At Bernie’s

Where To Watch: Amazon Prime Video

What if… your boss died and you used his corpse to get you and your buddy into all the best bank holiday parties in the Hamptons? Andrew McCarthy and Jonathan Silverman star in this raucous film. Would it have been made today? Probably not, so enjoy the sheer oddity of it all.

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before

Where To Stream: Netflix

Who needs summer loving when you could watch Lara Jean (Lana Condor) deal with four possible romances (from those four letters) over the course of her school year? I would personally take Peter Kavinsky (Noah Centineo) over any lifeguard fling any day. Best start of school ever.

American Graffiti

Where To Watch: Amazon Prime

George Lucas’ (yes, that George Lucas) 1973 flick follows a group of friends on the last day of summer vacation in 1962. Two of them are about to leave for university, and Curt (Richard Dreyfuss), Steve (Ronny Howard), Terry (Charles Martin Smith) and John (Paul Le Mat) need to have as much fun as they possibly can before they start their adult lives. Also of note: A young Harrison Ford appears in a pre-Star Wars role.

Dirty Dancing

Where To Stream: Amazon Prime

Nobody puts Baby in a corner, but Baby (Jennifer Gray) only has a whole summer to learn that dance with Johnny (Patrick Swayze), show up for the big finale, and land that lift. This coming from a woman who could only carry fruit to a picnic. Let’s all end our summer by envisioning Swayze twirling us around.

Remember The Titans

Where To Stream: Disney+

This based-on-a-true story tale of a divided town will make you excited about a few things: the beginning of fall, the triumph when we work together instead of chewing on our differences, and a young, skinny Ryan Gosling in a uniform. Something for everyone!


Where To Stream: Amazon Prime

Yeah, yeah, yeah, the film’s biggest song is about summer lovin’, but the story doesn’t get good until the teens come back to Rydell High School for the autumn. Sandy also gets the outfit makeover that I highly recommend for the moment colder weather strikes, so that’s a bonus.

Dead Poets Society

Where To Watch: Amazon Prime

I can’t think of a movie that’s more ready for autumn semester than this one — a new English teacher (Robin Williams) opens the minds of his pupils (including Ethan Hawke, Josh Charles, and Robert Sean Leonard) at a New England prep school. Oh captain, my captain, this one will make you want to crack open a book.

(500) Days Of Summer

Where To Watch: Amazon Prime

Summer is of course in the title, to paraphrase Lady Bird, because it’s the titular role, played by none other than Zooey Deschanel. But this movie is made for fall, because it’s about a not-so-great relationship and a man (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who just can’t take the hint to leave Summer alone. No light summer love here! Sorry, JGL.

Blue Crush

Where To Stream: Netflix

Swimming-in-the-ocean season is coming to a close, but you can live vicariously through these three amazing women who “surf pipe,” which means they tackle the most dangerous waves in the entire world. Better them than us — and if you choose the movie option, you don’t even have to put on a wetsuit.

Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants

Where To Stream: Amazon Prime Video

Spent the summer apart from your besties, just like Bridget, Carmen, Lena, and Tibby (Blake Lively, America Ferrera, Alexis Bledel, and Amber Tamblyn)? Grab your pals for an outdoor (socially distanced) movie night and think of all the ways you’ve grown up — and grown together. Just don’t forget the snacks.

The Breakfast Club

Where To Stream: Netflix

Nothing says “school is back in session” than five students stuck in detention with a power-hungry head teacher. And like most teens with nothing to do, they find ways to entertain themselves and outsmart the aforementioned head teacher, too. This movie is a good reminder that it’s good to cross clique lines to make friends! An evergreen lesson.


Where To Stream: Netflix

Watching Clueless is almost like doing the required reading for your English Literature class because it’s a retelling of Jane Austen’s Emma. So basically, this should count towards points on your fall midterms. Cher also lives a summer-style life all year round, so it’s inspirational, too.

Credit: Original article published here.

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