From the moment summer arrives, people start looking for movies to get them in the mood for the season. The best summer movies remind fans of the good times they had in past summers. There is something about the season that makes people want to reach for a romance movie. These flicks will have fans smiling, laughing, and reaching for a hanky a few times.
“Dirty Dancing” is the quintessential summer romance movie. Baby (Jennifer Grey, “Red Dawn,” “Bounce”) is an immature teen, visiting a remote resort for the summer with her parents and younger sister. While everyone notices her younger sister because she’s upbeat and chipper, few people notice the quiet and plain Baby. All that changes when she meets popular dance instructor Johnny (Patrick Swayze, “Point Break,” “Ghost”). Although the two do not get along, they form a bond when she helps his close friend. As he teaches her how to dance, their passion grows, but they must face obstacles when her father decides that he isn’t the right man for her.
Summer romances often deal with couples meeting on vacation, which is the premise of “When in Rome.” Beth (Kristen Bell, “Pulse,” “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”) is a busy woman who focuses solely on her career. After learning that her ex-boyfriend is getting married, she decides that she needs to get away from the city, which is full of memories of the time they spent together. Because her sister is getting married in Rome, Beth hops on a plane and takes off for a few days. She meets a handsome stranger named Nicholas (Josh Duhamel, “New Year’s Eve,” “Life as We Know It”), and the two share some good times overseas. On one unfortunate occasion, however, Beth happens to see him with another woman, and thinking he has a girlfriend, she decides to steal coins from a magical fountain about which legend says that if you take a coin from it, the person who threw the coin in will fall in love with you. When she heads home, she finds that a group of men follow her, thinking that they love her. Beth realizes that Nicholas threw a coin into the fountain, and it’s one of the coins she now possesses. She must discover if he loves her, or if he only fell for her because of the coin.
Those who love a good tearjerker will enjoy the story of Noah and Allie told in “The Notebook.” The film opens with an older man (James Garner, “Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood,” “Space Cowboys”) talking to an older woman (Gena Rowlands, “Playing by Heart,” “The Skeleton Key”) in a nursing home. Over the course of the film, he retells the story of Noah (Ryan Gosling, “Drive,” “The Ides of March), a young man who meets a beautiful woman on a warm summer day. Allie (Rachel McAdams, “The Vow,” “The Time Traveler’s Wife”) is the perfect woman for him, and the couple share a few memorable moments together. When Allie’s family decides to move home to keep her away from Noah, she wants nothing more than to see him one last time. Although fate and circumstances keep them apart, they manage to hold onto the love they once shared.
Although it doesn’t have many beach or summer scenes, “Grease” is a love story that started on a beach when Danny (John Travolta, “Face/Off,” “From Paris with Love”) met Sandy (“Xanadu,” “A Mom for Christmas”). Sandy is the girl next door, the good girl who never dreamed about being with a bad boy, and Danny is the stereotypical bad boy with a heart of gold. After spending a long summer together, they go their separate ways, only to meet up again in high school. With his bad boy reputation on the line, Danny must choose between being with the woman he loves or being the top dog at school. This delightful musical comedy will have fans dancing and singing until the credits roll.
Another summer romance that gets fans up and moving is the film adaptation of the hit Broadway show “Mamma Mia!” When Sophie (Amanda Seyfried, “Gone,” “Letters to Juliet”) discovers that three men could be her father, she invites all three to her summer wedding. Her fiancé Sky (Dominic Cooper, “The Devil’s Double,” “Captain America: The First Avenger”) supports her, but her mother is clueless about her daughter’s intentions. When Sam (Pierce Brosnan, “The Thomas Crown Affair,” “The World is Not Enough”), Harry (Colin Firth, “Bridget Jones’s Diary,” “The King’s Speech”), and Bill (Stellan Skarsgård, “Good Will Hunting,” “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”) arrive in town, Donna (Meryl Streep, “The Devil Wears Prada,” “The Iron Lady”) doesn’t know what she should do. As Sophie continues her search for her father, Donna discovers that she might find her way back to her one true love. Featuring the songs of ABBA and a beautiful tropical landscape, this is a fun movie for the whole family.