As things slowly start to open up again and we prepare for a return to our new normal (I realize that’s an oxymoron), there will still be times when we just want to kick back and binge some good movies. Watching bingeworthy comedies, dramas, romances or feel-good movies, has been a bright spot of the past year. Discovering the perfect movie or TV show that ticks all the boxes for the moment can transport you into another world and then drop you off feeing just a little bit better. It’s something we were doing pre-pandemic and we will be doing long after it’s done. So, as the weather heats up, we give you 50 of the best summer comedy movies to binge for those days you just want to put your feet up and escape or laugh with your vaccinated family and friends or take a vacation vicariously.
List in alphabetical order. Summaries courtesy of IMDB.
1. (500) Days of Summer. An offbeat romantic comedy about a woman who doesn’t believe true love exists, and the young man who falls for her.
2. Adventureland. In the summer of 1987, a college graduate takes a ‘nowhere’ job at his local amusement park, only to find it’s the perfect course to get him prepared for the real world.
3. Always Be My Maybe. Everyone assumed Sasha and Marcus would wind up together except for Sasha and Marcus. Reconnecting after 15 years, the two start to wonder – maybe?
4. Austenland. Obsessed with Pride and Prejudice (1995), a woman travels to a Jane Austen theme park in search for her perfect gentleman.
5. Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar. Lifelong friends Barb and Star embark on the adventure of a lifetime when they decide to leave their small Midwestern town for the first time – ever.
6. Before Sunrise. A young man and woman meet on a train in Europe, and wind up spending one evening together in Vienna. Unfortunately, both know that this will probably be their only night together.
7. Bend it Like Beckham. Two ambitious girls, despite their parents’ wishes, have their hearts set on careers in professional soccer.
8. Blockers. Three parents try to stop their daughters from losing their virginity on prom night.
9. Booksmart. On the eve of their high school graduation, two academic superstars and best friends realize they should have worked less and played more. Determined not to fall short of their peers, the girls try to cram four years of fun into one night.
10. CaddyShack. An exclusive golf course has to deal with a brash new member and a destructive dancing gopher.
11. Call Me By Your Name. In 1980s Italy, romance blossoms between a seventeen-year-old student and the older man hired as his father’s research assistant.
12. Clueless. Shallow, rich and socially successful Cher is at the top of her Beverly Hills high school’s pecking scale. Seeing herself as a matchmaker, Cher first coaxes two teachers into dating each other.
13. Crazy Rich Asians. This contemporary romantic comedy, based on a global bestseller, follows native New Yorker Rachel Chu to Singapore to meet her boyfriend’s family.
14. Dazed and Confused. The adventures of high school and junior high students on the last day of school in May 1976
15. Dirty Dancing. Spending the summer at a Catskills resort with her family, Frances “Baby” Houseman falls in love with the camp’s dance instructor, Johnny Castle.
16. Dumplin’. Willowdean (‘Dumplin’), the plus-size teenage daughter of a former beauty queen, signs up for her mom’s Miss Teen Bluebonnet pageant as a protest that escalates when other contestants follow her footsteps, revolutionizing the pageant and their small Texas town.
17. Easy A. A clean-cut high school student relies on the school’s rumour mill to advance her social and financial standing.
18. Fast Times at Ridgemont High. A group of Southern California high school students are enjoying their most important subjects: sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll.
19. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. A high school wise guy is determined to have a day off from school, despite what the Principal thinks of that.
20. Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Devastated Peter takes a Hawaiian vacation in order to deal with the recent break-up with his TV star girlfriend, Sarah. Little does he know, Sarah’s travelling to the same resort as her ex – and she’s bringing along her new boyfriend.
21. Girl’s Trip. When four lifelong friends travel to New Orleans for the annual Essence Festival, sisterhoods are rekindled, wild sides are rediscovered, and there’s enough dancing, drinking, brawling and romancing to make the Big Easy blush.
22. Grease. Good girl Sandy Olsson and greaser Danny Zuko fell in love over the summer. When they unexpectedly discover they’re now in the same high school, will they be able to rekindle their romance?
23. How Stella Got Her Groove Back. Stella is a highly successful, forty-something San Francisco stock broker who is persuaded by her colourful New York girlfriend Delilah to take a well deserved, first-class vacation to Jamaica.
24. Ibiza: Love Drunk. A young American woman and her two best friends seek out a hot DJ in Spain.
25. Just Go With It. A plastic surgeon convinces his assistant to join him along with his young girlfriend on a trip to Hawaii and pose as his ex-wife to cover up a lie, but he ends up complicating the situation further.
26. Lady Bird. In 2002, an artistically inclined seventeen-year-old girl comes of age in Sacramento, California.
27. Little Miss Sunshine. A family determined to get their young daughter into the finals of a beauty pageant take a cross-country trip in their VW bus.
28. Mamma Mia! The story of a bride-to-be trying to find her real father told using hit songs by the popular 1970s group ABBA. Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again. Five years after the events of Mamma Mia! (2008), Sophie prepares for the grand reopening of the Hotel Bella Donna as she learns more about her mother’s past.
29. Moonrise Kingdom. A pair of young lovers flee their New England town, which causes a local search party to fan out to find them.
30. Now and Then. Four 12-year-old girls grow up together during an eventful small-town summer in 1970.
31. Pretty in Pink. A poor girl must choose between the affections of dating her childhood sweetheart or a rich but sensitive playboy.
32. RV. Bob Munro and his dysfunctional family rent an RV for a road trip to the Colorado Rockies, where they ultimately have to contend with a bizarre community of campers.
33. Say Anything…A noble underachiever and a beautiful valedictorian fall in love the summer before she goes off to college.
34. Sixteen Candles. A girl’s “sweet” sixteenth birthday becomes anything but special, as she suffers from every embarrassment possible.
35. Something About Mary. A man gets a chance to meet up with his dream girl from high school, even though his date with her back then was a complete disaster.
36. Something Borrowed. Friendships are tested and secrets come to the surface when terminally single Rachel falls for Dex, her best friend Darcy’s fiancé.
37. Something’s Gotta Give. A swinger on the cusp of being a senior citizen with a taste for young women falls in love with an accomplished woman closer to his age.
38. Step Brothers. Two aimless middle-aged losers still living at home are forced against their will to become roommates when their parents marry.
39. Superbad. Two co-dependent high school seniors are forced to deal with separation anxiety after their plan to stage a booze-soaked party goes awry.
40. The Breakfast Club. Five high school students meet in Saturday detention and discover how they have a lot more in common than they thought.
41. The Great Outdoors. A Chicago man and his family go camping with his obnoxious brother-in-law.
42. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants. Four best girlfriends hatch a plan to stay connected with one another as their lives start off in different directions: they pass around a pair of secondhand jeans that fits each of their bodies perfectly.
43. Thelma and Louise. Two best friends set out on an adventure, but it soon turns around to a terrifying escape from being hunted by the police, as these two girls escape for the crimes they committed.
44. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. A teenage girl’s secret love letters are exposed and wreak havoc on her love life. To All the Boys: Always and Forever. Senior year of high school takes center stage as Lara Jean returns from a family trip to Korea and considers her college plans – with and without Peter. To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You. Lara Jean and Peter have just taken their relationship from pretend to officially official when another recipient of one of her old love letters enters the picture.
45. Tommy Boy. After his auto-parts tycoon father dies, the overweight, underachieving son teams up with a snide accountant to try and save the family business.
46. Under the Tuscan Sun. A writer impulsively buys a villa in Tuscany in order to change her life.
47. Wet, Hot American Summer. Set on the last day of camp, in the hot summer of 1981, a group of counselors try to complete their unfinished business before the day ends.
48. What About Bob? A successful psychotherapist loses his mind after one of his most dependent patients, an obsessive-compulsive neurotic, tracks him down during his family vacation.
49. What If? Wallace, who is burned out from a string of failed relationships, forms an instant bond with Chantry, who lives with her longtime boyfriend. Together, they puzzle out what it means if your best friend is also the love of your life.
50. Wine Country. During a vacation to Napa Valley, a group of long time friends reunite and revisit past choices in this hilarious and heartfelt comedy from director Amy Poehler.
I know some of these movies might be a bit older but they totally hold up. You just have to train your brain to ignore the massive technology gaps with things like the corded landline. Nothing said this conversation is over better than slamming the receiver down on a corded landline phone. We should have the option of disconnecting from a mobile call and hanging up with the deafening crack of a corded phone receiver hitting its base. I’m sure Apple is working on it.
How many of these movies have you seen? Which ones were glaring omissions? Let us know in the comments.
Oh, I know this is a movie list but, if you are looking for a new comedy TV show to binge, I super-highly recommend We Are Lady Parts. It’s everything you didn’t know you needed but thankful you found.
Here’s to happier, vaccinated days ahead for everyone everywhere. We are all still in this together.