Young love. Secrets buried beneath wild hopes. Passionate days on the beach. Escaping to vineyards. Watching the sunrise with a newfound lover. Touring Grecian ruins with your head in the clouds.
This is what summer romances are made of.
Check out these heartwarming, and heartbreaking, films on those rainy summer evenings. Whether for a date night, evening home alone with that glass of wine, or coupled with a few of your best friends, you’ll find these summer flings to be the perfect dose of sentiment, adventure, and (sometimes) sex.
The Last Summer (2019)
The Last Summer follows eight recent high school graduates, all of whose lives are interconnected, as they live a final wild and free summer before heading off to college. Griffin Hourigan (KJ Apa) dreams of a career in music while his crush, Phoebe Fisher (Maia Mitchell), is an up-and-coming filmmaker working on her documentary. Alec (Jacob Latimore) and Erin Sinclaire (Halston Sage) are high school sweethearts who make the tough decision to break up before college – a decision that comes with complications. Audrey Jarvis (Sosie Bacon) is an academic who finds herself reluctantly babysitting, Foster (Wolfgang Novogratz) is determined to get laid by every girl on his wishlist, and Chad (Jacob McCarthy) and Reece (Mario Revolori) accidentally hustle two girls older than them.
Emile Ardolino directs the 1987 classic romantic drama Dirty Dancing. The film’s hit song, “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life,” won three major awards, skyrocketing the movie to even greater success. Frances “Baby” Houseman (Jennifer Gray) is a young woman vacationing with her family at a resort in the Catskill Mountains in the Summer of 1963. By chance and connections, she meets Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze), one of the dance instructors at the resort. Defying her parents’ over-protectiveness, she begins meeting with Johnny, taking dance lessons while falling head-over-heels in love.
Falling Inn Love (2020)
Falling Inn Love follows Gabriela Diaz (Christina Millian) who unexpectedly wins an inn in New Zealand upon entering her name in a contest. When she arrives at the island, she’s shocked to discover that the inn is crumbling to pieces. With the help of a local, handsome man, Jake Taylor (Adam Demos), Gabriela tackles fixing up the dilapidated building. As she does, her life in San Francisco wars with her growing feelings for the inn, New Zealand, and Jake.
My Life in Ruins (2009)
My Life in Ruins is directed by Donald Petrie and follows Georgia Ianakopolis (Nia Vardalos) who moved to Greece with plans to teach Greek culture at a college only to lose her job, forcing her to resort to becoming a tour guide. She isn’t very good at this new gig, earning herself complaints from those who find her failing to engage with tourists. Nothing can prepare her for the journey of important lessons from her next group of tourists, which includes the ornery, clever, and kind old man, Irv Gideon (Richard Dreyfuss). Neither does she expect sparks to fly between herself and her scruffy new tour bus driver, Poupi Kakas (Alexis Georgoulis).
Acclaimed Italian director Luca Guadagnino directs the 2017 coming-of-age romantic drama Call Me by Your Name. The film is based on the 2007 novel Call Me by Your Namewhich was written by Italian American author André Aciman.
Elio Perlman (Timothée Chalamet) is a 17-year-old Jewish boy living in Northern Italy in the Summer of 1983. When his professor of a father invites Oliver (Armie Hammer), a 24-year-old Jewish-American graduate student, to their home for the summer, Elio isn’t altogether thrilled or impressed. Yet as the summer progresses, both men are drawn to each other. Then the two begin a sudden, passionate, and secret affair, all-too-aware of the limited time they have as summer nears its end.
Wes Anderson wrote and directed the 2012 coming-of-age tale of young love titled Moonrise Kingdom. It’s summertime in 1960s New England, and Sam Shakusky (Jared Gilman) is an orphan attending summer camp on the island called New Penzance. On this island, he meets Suzy Bishop (Kara Hayward), and the two become pen pals, which blossoms into a romance. Together, they run away from Suzy’s family and Camp Ivanhoe. The freshly teenage lovebirds escape to the wilderness, determined to establish a home for themselves, while the community they left behind forms a search party and scrambles to find them.
Ol Parker wrote and directed the 2018 musical comedy, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again. The film is a prequel to the 2008 Mamma Mia! The movie follows Donna Sheridan (Lily James), who graduates from Oxford in 1979 and decides to travel to her dream island: Kalokairi, in Greece. On her journey, she meets and falls in love with the three men who all later become the potential father of her daughter, Sophie (Amanda Seyfried). The roster of her love interests includes British man Harry Bright (Hugh Skinner), Swedish sailor Bill Anderson (Josh Dylan), and Sam Carmichael (Jeremy Irvine).
Under the Tuscan Sun (2003)
Diane Lanewho won a Golden Globe for her part in Under the Tuscan Sun as Frances Mayes. Frances is a writer whose life falls apart when her husband leaves her for his younger mistress. Depressed and aimless, she travels to Tuscany, Italy, only for her vacation to turn into a long-time stay when she buys a villa and sets her sights on renovating it. What follows is one woman’s remaking of herself, finding love again, and discovering the family in friendships.
Roman Holiday (1953)
William Wylerwho is famous for having won three Best Director Academy Awards, directed the classic 1953 rom-com Roman Holiday. Audrey Hepburn won an Academy Award for portraying Princess Ann, a young woman who feels suffocated by her royal life. While vacationing in Rome, she runs away to taste some freedom of her own. She finds aide, friendship, and even love in Joe Bradley (Gregory Peck), an American reporter who faces conflict with his career once he realizes she is the crown princess.
All Summers End (2017)
All Summers End follows Conrad Stevens (Tye Sheridan) an average teenage boy who enjoys causing trouble with his tight-knit group of friends. One summer, the entire dynamic of his life shifts as a tragic accident occurs and sparks fly between him and Grace Turner (Kaitlyn Dever), who has a crush on him. The ties of friendship and the bonds of young, tentative love are strained as Conrad navigates the complicated, messy reality of growing up.
Adventureland is set in the Summer of 1987, where James Brennan’s (Jesse Eisenberg) plans of touring Europe post-college are dashed when the money does not come through. With no other options, he is forced to get a summer job. He begins working at Adventureland, a less-than-stellar amusement park in Pittsburgh. There, he strikes up friendships with the staff’s quirky employees. One relationship, with Em Lewin (Kristen Stewart), holds potential for something more – if other people do not get in the way.
Before Sunrise is the first film in acclaimed auteur Richard Linklater‘s Before Trilogy. In Summer 1994, an American named Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Frenchwoman Céline (Julie Delpy) meet on a train from Budapest, their travels crossing paths. When they reach Vienna, Jesse’s destination, he persuades her to spend the night with him. The pair wander the city all through the night, sharing dreams, philosophies, and a unique, inexplicable connection.