The best advice we’re taking from movies this summer

It is said that art imitates life. At Polygon, we know the opposite can also be true – and in fact, we regularly go the extra mile and use our favorite movies as guides for everyday life.

Summer is a season with a plot depression. Gone are the days when kicking a ball outside or hanging out on the playground was enough for a fun summer day. Now everyone on social media is at a cool rooftop bar, or sailing on a yacht, or at another Taylor Swift concert, or at a Taylor Swift concert on the cool rooftop bar of a yacht.

So, from some of our favorite movies, here are some bonafide tips for a wonderful summer!

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

The Sisterhood of Travel Pants

Unfortunately, not all of us can 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 swapping the same stuffed toy to travel 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 assorted female friends on subsequent poolside chairs.

Picture: Disney

Like Sharpay’s croons in High School Musical 2, you deserve fabulous! Treat yourself to a little something extra this summer, whether it’s turkey napkins or Maine turkey.

Keep an open mind to new adventures!

At the top

It’s never too late in life to go on an adventure! Look at Carl, who decided to take matters into his own hands and follow his dreams – and keep his life open to new possibilities after finally taking that big trip to Paradise Falls.

Use protection when having fun in the summer!

Mom Mia

Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgard and Pierce Brosnan.

Image: Universal Images

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 dipping in the pool is also a great way to keep your body moving during the summer.

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

The Mummy

This may sound like a good fun idea, but maybe not???

Invest in cool sunglasses.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Holly Golightly, played by Audrey Hepburn, in Breakfast at Tiffany's, wearing her iconic black dress, with chunky sunglasses and a pearl necklace.

Image: Primordial Images

Holly Golightly may be facing extreme existential boredom, but at least she’s gorgeous! Good sunglasses will protect your eyes from harmful UV rays, which can damage the eyelid, cornea, lens and retina. Plus, they still look good.

Be sure to check that the theme park you are visiting is up to code!

jurassic park

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

Bring sunscreen!

The Hangover

Doug, totally burnt out and sitting in a wheelchair, hungover while everyone else hurries

Image: Warner Bros. Pictures

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

Enjoy the great outdoors!

The parent trap

Chances are you don’t have to deal with your hot, rich fiancé’s pesky 11-year-old twins who send your airbed across the lake in the middle of the night. However, if you are engaged to a zaddy whose ex-wife has just reappeared and you were also planning to send his child to a 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. As our good friend Remy learns, anyone can cook! Your favorite dish is waiting for you.

Don’t fall asleep. To stay awake. He can find you in your dreams.


A woman sleeping soundly in her bed as a gruesome specter visibly pushes against the ceiling above her in A Nightmare on Elm Street.

Image: New Online Cinema

Freddy Krueger never rests. Why should you?

Don’t forget your mosquito repellent if you spend time outside!

Lilo & Stitch

Pleakley felt like mosquitoes were an endangered species in the galaxy and so was unprepared for the supreme itchiness of their bites. Don’t be like Pleakley!

Wear lighter colors to fight the scorching sun!

Lawrence of Arabia

Two men in dingy, dirty clothes stand with their backs to the camera in a barren desert the same color as their clothes, as a lone figure approaches in the distance.

Photo: Columbia Pictures

TE Lawrence and his buddies knew how to stay cool in the bitter heat.

Check the ingredients when giving them new foods to avoid allergies!

Glass onion: a mystery at loggerheads

Also keep an Epipen on you!

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

It follows

People have said it!

Enjoy seasonal fruits!

call me by your name

A peach in soft golden lighting, two pale fingers positioned on top.

Picture: Sony Pictures Classics

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

Stop fighting him. Let it consume you.

The Babadook

embrace the darkness

If you’re going swimming, be sure to keep an eye on your clothes!

The road to El Dorado

A monkey stealing pants in the jungle.

Picture: Dream Works

Miguel and Tulio made the cardinal mistake of leaving their clothes unattended when they soaked in hot springs. The 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 the fleas! Be sure to keep your clothes, towels, and other personal items within sight.

The cabin in the woods


Mad Max: Fury Road

A GIF of Tom Hardy as Max sucks water through his metal muzzle

Image: Warner Bros. Pictures

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