Outside magazine, June 1994
Cut the self-delusional "I'm active. I won't rent movies this summer." Yes, you will. And when the urge strikes you'll be splayed on an AC-caressed quadrangle of shag in an unkempt beach house--sunburned, beer-addled, irritable from the anthracite payback of charred-hamburger burps. At this point, you'd be wise to forget so-called fine-art films, which will only put you to sleep. Instead, knuckle-crawl toward the rental store's shelves of rollicking schmeck--movies that deliver senseless fun without asking much in return. Here's a season's worth of can't-miss bills.
Summer lovin' I: shoulders to cry on
Hey, we can beat these guys!
Just suffered another 15-0 beach-volleyball skunking? Bactine your soul with the eternal Hollywood triumph of regular-schmo Good over fratboy Evil--played out in a range of athletic arenas: Summer Rental (John Candy sails to victory), Breaking Loose (surfing), Up the Creek (whitewater rafting), and Rad (BMX racing, featuring, Lord knows why, former Olympic gymnast Bart Conner).
Summer lovin' II: the crème de la cringe
Labor Day's approach requires a film with the sad resonance of leaves on a wind-raked sidewalk--and a Brat Pack cast. Be the pain with Haunted Summer, which details the 1816 Italian getaway of Lord Byron 'n' friends and features Eric Stoltz as Percy Bysshe Shelley. "The psychedelic sixties," one critic has aptly said, "had nothing on this 'summer of love.'"
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