Smoke, Flicks and Chill: Not-So-Typical Summer Vacations


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Written by Sean Abrams
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Everyone yearns for a quality vacation. While mostly taken during summer months, when you’re free of most responsibility and nothing seems more satisfying than the beach and a good blunt, time off never does seem to turn out how we hope for. As adults, our desired week-long break may only be summarized in a day or two, and that pursuit of love may morph into some quality time swiping away on Tinder. But don’t fret. While you may think your days off aren’t being being properly utilized, there are some others that, while fictional, will make your realize your vacation isn’t nearly as bad as you think, and will give you that idea of warm and sandy solitude. Here are summer vacation focused flicks (in no particular order) that’ll send you off somewhere nice without actually leaving the comfort of your couch. Now, just relax….

500 Days of Summer (2009)

Summer is the perfect time to fall in love, but as days pass and weather shifts, so may your feelings. Way before Zooey Deschanel began charming the world as quirky loft roommate Jess on New Girl, she stole Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s heart in this nonlinear, tender loving rom-com. While the film isn’t focused exclusively on the warm summer months, it does have an overview of the two’s relationship over the course of 500 days, from the emotionally charged to the bitter and depressing. There’s truly nothing better than a good life lesson, or a free therapy session, from Hollywood cinema.

Munchie: This is a popcorn flick, all the way.

Weekend at Bernie’s (1989)

What’re you to do when you arrive at your shady boss’ Hamptons house only to find that he’s headed off to the afterlife? Well, isn’t it obvious? This ’80s cult classic sees two insurance buds in a serious bind after attempting to keep up with the luxurious weekend whilst disguising slumped-off Bernie with some sunglasses and a big ol’ smile. Some critics have labeled the film tasteless, but it’s difficult not to describe the Hamptons lifestyle as anything but flavorable. We’re all about the party life (the afterlife, less so).

Munchie: A nice poolside cocktail will do.

Cruel Intentions (1999)

Prep school life for some of New York City’s wealthiest teenagers can be a bit mundane, so it only makes sense that summer vacation is a time for sex, drugs, and month-long conquests. This adaptation of Les Liaisons Dangereuses acts as an early on-set Gossip Girl precursor, confronting sexual manipulation behind closed doors with an overtly attractive cast of teens that will do just about anything to satisfy their boredom. Plus, it features an infamous kiss between Sarah Michelle Gellar and Selma Blair that is one for the ages.

Munchie: What’s New York without a good hot dog?

Vegas Vacation (1997)

The Griswold’s make a triumphant return for their fourth family outing to Las Vegas. Things are not as disastrous as Wally World, but misadventures ensue nonetheless as the four split up and take on the sins of Nevada’s most populous city. Probably the most legitimate vacation on this list, Vegas Vacation ultimately proves time and time again that time is best spent together—and to never, ever pay a visit to Wayne Newton’s house.

Munchie: Whatever you do, don’t trust the salad bar.

Almost Famous (2000)

Director Cameron Crowe utilized his own rock-infused memories as a Rolling Stone intern to fuel the semi-autobiographical feature of William Miller and on-the-rise band Stillwater. The deep nostalgia hit makes you envious of this high schooler’s epic summer vacation as he tells of a typical rock-and-roll lifestyle from a viewpoint you may not typically bear witness to. Almost Famous comes off feeling more authentic than other stories of similar value because of the background behind it, leaving you inspired by the likes of the Eagles and Led Zeppelin during your journey to find yourself in life.

Munchie: Bacon. Just all the bacon.

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