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The best advice we’re taking from movies this summer

This season, we look to the films we love for inspiration

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again - Rosie, Sam, Sophie and Tanya pointing Jonathan Prime/Universal Pictures
Petrana Radulovic is an entertainment reporter specializing in animation, fandom culture, theme parks, Disney, and young adult fantasy franchises.

They say art imitates life. At Polygon, we know the opposite can also be true — and in fact, we regularly take it a step further and use our favorite movies as guides for everyday living.

Summer is a season with a lot of pressure. Gone are the days where kicking a ball outside or hanging out on the playground were enough for a fun summer’s day. Now everyone on social media is at some cool rooftop bar, or sailing on a yacht, or at another Taylor Swift concert, or at a Taylor Swift concert on a yacht’s cool rooftop bar.

So, from some of our favorite movies, here’s some bona fide advice for a wonderful summer!

Find a special system to help you keep in touch with old friends

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

Unfortunately we can’t all find a pair of jeans that magically fits four different friends with four different body types. But maybe try sending postcards or making friendship bracelets or trading the same stuffed toy to travel around with!

Treat yourself

High School Musical 2

Ashely Tisdale as Sharpay Evans, on a lounge chair with her brother Ryan on an adjacent chair, and matching girl friends on subsequent chairs by the pool. Image: Disney

Like Sharpay croons in High School Musical 2, you deserve fabulous! Indulge in a little something extra this summer, be it towels from Turkey or turkey from Maine.

Keep your mind open to new adventures!


It’s never too late in life for an adventure! Just look at Carl, who decided to take matters into his own hands and fulfill his dreams — and keep his life open to new possibilities after finally taking that grand trip to Paradise Falls.

Use protection when having summer fun!

Mamma Mia

Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgård, and Pierce Brosnan. Image: Universal Pictures

You don’t want three different men showing up at your future daughter’s wedding, after all!

Stay active!

Forrest Gump

You can try running, like Forrest, but taking a dip in the pool is also a good way to keep your body moving during the summer.

Do not recite any curses from mysterious ancient texts you may have unearthed

The Mummy

It might seem like a cool fun idea, but, like, maybe not???

Invest in some cool sunglasses.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Holly Golightly, as played by Audrey Hepburn, in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, wearing her iconic black dress, with big sunglasses, and a pearl necklace. Image: Paramount Pictures

Holly Golightly may be facing extreme existential ennui — but at least she looks gorgeous! Good sunglasses will protect your eyes from harmful UV rays, which may cause damage to the eyelid, cornea, lens, and retina. Plus, they always look good.

Make sure to check that the theme park you’re visiting is up to code!

Jurassic Park

Sometimes, the thrill isn’t worth it. If you get an offer that seems too good to be true for an experience that definitely sounds dangerous, you might wanna sit it out.

Pack sunscreen!

The Hangover

Doug, totally burnt and sitting in a wheelchair, in the Hangover while everyone crowds around Image: Warner Bros. Pictures

You never know when your friends will leave you stranded on the top of a hotel roof for hours. Sunscreen helps protect your skin from harmful UV rays, which not only prematurely age the skin, but also can contribute to skin cancer.

Enjoy the great outdoors!

The Parent Trap

Chances are you won’t have to deal with the pesky 11-year-old twins of your hot, rich fiance sending your air mattress off onto the lake in the middle of the night. If you are, however, engaged to a zaddy whose estranged ex-wife just reappeared, and you also had intentions of sending his kid off to Swiss boarding school, maybe stay home for the weekend.

Take a chance and try a new food!


Even something with humble origins might surprise you. Try a new restaurant, or even a new recipe. Like our good pal Remy learns, anyone can cook! Your favorite dish is out there waiting for you.

Don’t fall asleep. Stay awake. It can find you in your dreams.

A Nightmare on Elm Street

A woman sleeping soundly in her bed as a ghoulish specter visibly pushes against the ceiling above her in A Nightmare on Elm Street. Image: New Line Cinema

Freddy Krueger never rests. Why should you?

Remember your mosquito repellant if you’re spending time outside!

Lilo & Stitch

Pleakley was under the impression that mosquitoes were a galactically endangered species and thus was unprepared for the supreme itchiness from their bites. Don’t be like Pleakley!

Wear lighter colors to combat the hot sun!

Lawrence of Arabia

Two men in drab, dirty clothing stand with their backs to the camera in a barren desert that’s the same color as their clothes, as a lone figure approaches in the far distance.
Photo: Columbia Pictures

T.E. Lawrence and his pals knew how to stay cool in the bitter heat.

Double-check the ingredients when handed new food to avoid allergies!

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Keep an Epipen on you, too!

Don’t stop walking. Keep moving. Don’t let it catch you.

It Follows

The people have been saying this!

Take advantage of in-season fruits!

Call Me by Your Name

A peach in soft golden lighting, two pale fingers positioned on the top. Image: Sony Pictures Classics

Berries, watermelon, and cantaloupes are all in season — and more delicious than normal. Search your local farmers market to get the goods. There’s no better snack on a hot summer’s day than some fresh fruit. Peaches are especially juicy this time of year.

Stop fighting it. Let it consume you.

The Babadook

E̵̪̊̒̐m̸̢̺͛̍̆̄͌b̶͙̣̆͛̽̚r̸̨̨͍̰̜̃̍ą̷̙̩̪̔̈́̕c̶͕̖͐́é̴̛͉̺̺ ̸̳̀̽͗ṭ̶̐̉h̴̠̭̀̈́e̷̡̠͉̐̂̇̽͐ ̸̡̺͠͠d̶̢̬̭͖̉̄͝a̶̳͉͌r̷͉͍͗͛̓̕k̵̨̏͐̚ṋ̸̤̯̏̌̾̊e̸̮̱̭͛̕͜ş̸̼͕͉̒̂͛ș̶͚̲̝̔̉̚

If you’re going skinny-dipping, make sure to keep an eye on your clothes!

The Road to El Dorado

A monkey stealing a pair of pants in a jungle. Image: DreamWorks

Miguel and Tulio made the cardinal mistake of leaving their clothes unwatched when they soaked in some hot springs. Monkeys stole them and they had to chase the monkeys through the jungle — and when they got their clothes back, they had to deal with fleas! Make sure to keep your clothes, towels, and other belongings within eyeshot.

Let the old gods rise. The world is in ruins. You will be its rebirth.

The Cabin in the Woods

Ḅ̶͛̐͛̓̾ę̶̳͙͋̏̈͠c̶̡͈̙̏ö̶͔́̊̐̾̃m̵̠̐͆ë̵͚̱̮̕͝ ̴̯͖͑ͅä̴̺̬̲̟̫́̈́̑̅ ̶̪̀͛g̶̺̈́͊͑̀̕o̶͔͍͝͝ͅd̸͕̗̫͂ ψ


Mad Max: Fury Road

A GIF of Tom Hardy as Max slurping up water through his metal muzzle Image: Warner Bros. Pictures

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