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Ten summer movies worth watching

Now that we're in the heart of summer, you might be running out of ideas as to how to spend your free time. So, in the vein of our Beach Reads post, I'd like to share with you my list of 10 summer movies worth watching. This should take care of at least several hours of free-time planning for you! 1. Jaws: Nothing says summer like a good 'ol shark movie. Unlike its successors (Jaws 2, Jaws 3-D, and Jaws: The Revenge), Jaws has become the iconic shark film. Who doesn't recognize those first two notes of the Jaws theme? Furthermore, the elements of suspense - and surprise - remain consistent throughout. Fair warning: don't watch it before you go on an oceanside vacation.

2. The Notebook: This contemporary romantic classic is based on the novel by Nicholas Sparks. It's not only a nostalgic tale of first love, but also has an unconventional ending, which is a nice change from the typical romantic fare we're generally fed nowadays. Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling also have amazing chemistry as the main characters, Allie and Noah.

3. Grease: Wait a minute! This is a summer movie list! Grease is about friends in their senior year of high school! It doesn't matter - Grease is still a great summer movie. It begins with the summer romance between Danny and Sandy, and ends with the end of senior year (which is technically summer after all!) Aside from that, the rollicking musical numbers and episodic narrative make this a fun and relatable film. (Want something more lighthearted? Try Bride and Prejudice, a joyous Bollywood musical that puts a modern spin on Jane Austen's classic novel, Pride and Prejudice.)

4. Finding Nemo: This Pixar film won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature in 2003, and there's a reason why. Witty dialogue, gorgeous animation and great character development make this film fun to watch at any age. Try viewing it at a family barbecue or summer gathering - the kids will be entertained and the adults are also sure to love it.

5. Shadow of a Doubt: I like a good suspense movie, but I'm not a fan of outright horror. If you're like me, then you'll love Alfred Hitchcock's Shadow of a Doubt. The plot twists will keep you guessing, and the acting is top notch (Joseph Cotten is dangerously dashing as the film's possible villain, Uncle Charlie).

6. Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl: Adventure, fun, comedy, romance, peril - it's all here in this epic tale of a pirate, a blacksmith and a governor's daughter. It's historical fiction for those who hate historical fiction. This is also one of those "vicarious living" movies, and one which admittedly after my first viewing, made me wish I was a pirate. (Want adventure without the pirates? Try The Goonies, another Spielberg classic about a group of friends who find treasure and a run-in with a bumbling crime family.)

7. Sense and Sensibility: Any Jane Austen film is good for the summer. However, what I love about Sense and Sensibility is that it's not as popular as Pride and Prejudice, which makes it a less predictable film. Also, the brilliant Emma Thompson wrote the script and starred as Elinor Dashwood. The lines are sharp with British wit and the scenery is lovely. If you don't mind the cadences of Regency England, then this is a summer movie worth watching.

8. Aquamarine: This is a mermaid movie for the tween/teen crowd. Based on the novel by Alice Hoffman (which is mentioned in this post), the movie tells the story of two best friends who spend their last summer together before one of them has to move away. A huge storm sweeps in and a mermaid named Aquamarine is stranded in the pool at the local beach club. Humorous antics ensue, but in the end the movie has a deeper lesson than you'd expect.

9. William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet: I am, of course, referring to Baz Luhrmann's 1996 adaptation of Shakespeare's tragic play. If you plan on seeing Luhrmann's upcoming adaptation of The Great Gatsby, then you'll probably want to see this film as a primer. Luhrmann's style is definitely an acquired taste, with his love for colors, lights and music-driven sequences. However, one can't deny that this is the most creative adaptation of Shakespeare's work. This film is set in Verona Beach, California, and it's very interesting to watch contemporary actors in a modern setting recite Elizabethan lines - yet it's still comes off as completely convincing.

10. Say Anything: I just recently watched this film for the first time. It's one of those romantic comedies from the 80s, and it has the iconic shot of John Cusack holding a boombox above his head as he stands outside Ione Skye's window. The film takes place during the summer after high school graduation. Lloyd Dobler (Cusack) is completely smitten with valedictorian Diane Court (Skye). Diane has been given a scholarship from a prestigious university in England. Lloyd plans on becoming a kick boxer. Diane's dad is not impressed with Lloyd. What I liked best about this film is the acting style - teen movies were just more realistic in the 80s.

Those are my summer movies, but what do you like to watch in the summer?

[author]

Nicole is House Party's first-ever summer intern. She's going into her senior year at Manhattan College. Nicole enjoys writing, reading blogs and eating hummus. Party Tip: If you want your guests to be extra sociable, keep a phone collection bucket near the door at your party. This can even be turned into a party game, and whoever can go the longest without their phone wins. [/author]

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