In the mood for summer romance? Re-live the giddy feelings of first love and enjoy getting swept away by some of these fictional couples as they fall in love, heat up the screen and triumph (for the most part) over great odds, all in the name of summer romance!
1. Dirty Dancing
When Baby (Jennifer Grey) meets Johnny (Patrick Swayze), sparks fly, lots of blush-worthy hip thrusting dance moves ensue, and they fall in love despite their social differences. Yep, this film is basically the blueprint for every summer romance movie that followed it. Dirty Dancing pictured top of post; image via IMDB.com.
2. Mamma Mia
Bride-to-be Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) goes in search of her real father prior to her wedding; perhaps because this movie is set in the magical Greek islands, both chaos and disco music erupt. Summer love and over-the-top song and dance numbers reign supreme in this romance-musical based on the much-awarded Broadway stage version.
Although we don’t see much of Sandy (Olivia Newton-John) and Danny’s (John Travolta) summer beach romance, we are led to believe it was pretty amazing — enough to inspire a dreamy flashback, a school-year romance and a whole song and dance sequence about those hot “summer nights.”
4. Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants
Shy and unassuming Lena (Alexis Bledel) travels to Greece to visit her extended family and runs into — no, not chaos and disco music, that’s Mamma Mia — Kostas (Michael Rady), an outgoing local. Ignoring the fact that their families are feuding, the two of them quickly fall in love and begin a swoon-worthy summer romance full of midnight rendezvous in their pyjamas, secret dates and stolen kisses.
5: The Notebook
When country boy Noah (Ryan Gosling) meets Allie (Rachel McAdams) a privileged Southern belle, they fall in love and spend an idyllic summer together full of beach dates, moonlit walks and secret romance. Underscoring this epic love story is the fact that Gosling and McAdams became a couple in real life, several months after filming the movie.
6. American Pie
Sex-obsessed and romantically challenged, Jim (Jason Biggs) makes a pact with his buddies to lose his virginity before prom. Unsurprisingly, hilarity ensues; surprisingly (pleasantly so), he ends up falling for Michelle (Alyson Hannigan), a chatty band geek with an interesting story about a flute. When Jim finally realizes his feelings, he crashes a band concert and plays a horn, badly, to get her attention, proving that sometimes the awkward guy does get the girl.
7. Mystic Pizza
This 1980s rom-com centres around three young women working at the same pizza parlour during the summer following high school graduation: free-spirited Daisy (Julia Roberts), her booksmart sister Kat (Annabeth Gish) and their best-friend JoJo (Lili Taylor). Like any good ’80s coming-of-age story, Mystic Pizza offers big life lessons and even bigger hair.
8. My Summer of Love
Unconventional and bittersweet, this love story follows Mona (Natalie Press) and Tamsin (Emily Blunt), two girls from startlingly different backgrounds, who meet and fall passionately in love over the course of a summer. Their relationship gets complicated when they realize that it’s difficult to keep their summer romance under wraps in their small town.
9. Say Anything
Opposites attract in this 1980s classic about a noble underachiever Lloyd (John Cusack) and a beautiful valedictorian Diane (Ione Skye), who fall in love the summer before she leaves for college. When Lloyd held a ghetto blaster above his head and serenaded Diane outside of her bedroom window? Women the world over collectively swooned.
10. 500 Days of Summer
In this indie hit, an aspiring architect who earns his living as a greeting card writer, Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) falls in love with the perfectly named Summer (Zooey Deschanel), a beautiful, free-spirited girl who doesn’t believe in true love. Although it’s not a “summer romance movie” in the purest sense, watching Tom and Summer make-up, break-up and bond over their mutual love of The Smiths is irresistibly charming.
Simone Paget is a freelance writer and the author of Skinny Dip, a cheeky blog about love, sex, relationships and everything in between. When she’s not writing her heart out, she loves wandering around her city, large cup of coffee in hand, in search of the next great story.