1. Little Darlings
This movie came out in 1980 and starred Tatum O'Neil, Kristy McNichol, and Matt Dillon. It's a fun summer camp movie about two girls from completely different backgrounds who become best friends. One of them is from a poor family and the other is rich and spoiled. They start off fighting and hating each other but after they make a bet about who could lose their virginity first, they end up bonding. The movie is full of fun summer camp pranks and events.
2. Summer School
A 1987 movie about a group of kids forced to retake 11th grade English in summer school. It stars Mark Harmon as the PE teacher forced into teaching summer remedial English. There is a great group of kids in the class ranging from a blonde surfer girl, to a pregnant tough girl, and a pair of nerds obsessed with slasher films. The teacher, Shoop, goes through crazy stunts in an attempt to get these kids to do the work. He ends up offering each kid a wish if they will work hard to pass and those wishes are quite unique.
3. National Lampoon's Vacation
This 1983 movie is Chevy Chase at his best! All his two teenage kids want to do is spend summer at the pool with their friends but he decides that the Griswalds are taking a road trip. Watching this family travel cross country is a hilarious trip of mishaps that will leave you unable to catch a breath. It's really a good old fashioned slapstick comedy.
4. Fast Times at Ridgemont High
This is the most perfect example of an 80s teen romp ever made. It was 1982 in California's San Fernando Valley and Ridgemont High School was the place to be. This movie stars Sean Penn, Phoebe Cates, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Judge Reinhold. It follows a year in the lives of a group of high schoolers from summer to summer. There are romantic entanglements, crushes, unwanted pregnancies, job stress, and lots of embarrassing moments. It's a fun movie that makes me wish I had a time machine.
5. The Karate Kid
I am a huge Will Smith fan but his son is not the Karate Kid. That honor goes to the one and only Ralph Macchio as he portrayed it in 1984. The movie also starred Pat Morita as Mr. Miyagi, Elisabeth Shue as Ali, and Billy Zabka as Johnny. This is the best of the best of 80s summer movies. The underdog gets beaten to a pulp and the Japanese handyman in his building helps him and they form one of the most beautiful friendships on screen. For those of you that aren't excited about that, there are also some great fight scenes and a love story.
I hope everyone takes some time this summer to look back at some of these great movies. They really don't make summer fun like this anymore and I for one am thrilled to be able to see them now.