By A.B. Chesler, author and blogger
Summer: the season for barbecues, sunsets that take their sweet time, and vacation envy. Yep, we know that while you're stuck at work or under a napping child, you're really just skimming through photos of all of your friends' tropical getaways, living vicariously through them. But there's a solution with DVD Netflix: instead of torturing yourself, rent one of A.B. Chesler's top thirteen films that fulfill your sense of summertime adventure and leave you feeling worldly. To top it off, your newly filled queue will save you sick time and thousands in travel costs!
Into the Wild is a poignant tale based on the true story of a world-weary young man with serious wanderlust. In it, he documents his search for self in nature. Without giving away too much, you'll be thankful (and happy to be home) when this "wild" ride is over.
As if a romantic quest across the entirety of Italy wasn’t enough, Only You also features Hollywood favorites such as Marisa Tomei, Robert Downey, Jr., Billy Zane, Helen Hunt, and Fisher Stevens. This heartwarming, whimsical film reminds us that the best adventures often start right at home.
Set in the rushing rapids of water is The River Wild. Kevin Bacon plays an outlaw that kidnaps the fabulous Meryl Streep and her family so that she can help him navigate the treacherous water. Best of all, you’ll be experiencing all of their narrow misses from the comfort of dry land… er, your couch.
The Big Year is a charming account of the bird-watching world and all of the colorful (non-bird) characters in it. Join Steve Martin, Jack Black, Rashida Jones, Owen Wilson, and many more stars all over the world, while they search for birds. Although its comedy and warmth is lovely, you’ll be especially thankful for The Big Year's refreshing scenery in Atu, during this especially hot summer.
Let’s not forget to include one of the most adventurous movies of all time: Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom! Join Dr. Jones (Harrison Ford) on a wild ride across India where nothing is sacred except the relics he’s searching for. A jungle packed to the brim with wildlife, car chases, and voodoo magic are all just a little taste of the fun Indiana Jones offers, so hop into his Wrangler and hang on (but remember, keep your arms and legs inside your La-Z-Boy).
If you’re looking for a zany, whimsical mystery, The Grand Budapest Hotel is the perfect film for you. Allow yourself to be whisked away to the Republic of Zubrowka for a stay at the charming behemoth that's rich with a dangerous past. Just be careful, because excitement is hiding around every corner!
If there’s any hero of living life vicariously through others, it’s Walter Mitty. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, starring Ben Stiller, is a romantic comedy with a heart of gold and the sky miles to match. Tag along with Walter as he hunts down LIFE Magazine’s photo of the year from Greenland to the Himalayas. The stunning views are sure to not disappoint!
For those with a truly adventurous spirit, no list would be complete without the Back to the Future trilogy. Thanks to Robert Zemeckis, Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, and a whole lotta other people, we are no longer limited by time constraints. When we’re feeling extra itchy to wander, we have the option to travel through time. See you all in 1955!
For every adventure-craving movie buff out there, Romancing the Stone has it all. In it, Kathleen Turner plays Joan Wilder, a popular romance author lacking all things love. Joan ends up being thrust into a wild expedition deep in the Colombian forests to save her endangered sister. Car crashes, romance, gun battles, and humor are just a little taste of what this movie has to take your mind off of things.
The Goonies fulfills every child’s fantasy of finding adventure right inside (and under) his own home. Mikey and his gang of misfits take us on a wild adventure with the help of clever "booby traps" and a fabulous cast. Generation after generation is swept away by this captivating tale of hometown magic. After all, “Goonies never say die.”
Larry and Richard’s bumbling efforts to steal their crooked dead boss’s millions are always a good time. But in Weekend at Bernie’s 2, they up the ante and take us from a New York bathroom stall to beautiful St. Thomas. It’s my favorite film to watch when I want a taste of island life. However, I’m perfectly comfortable with watching the voodoo magic from a safe distance. 😬
Amy Chesler is an author, content creator, blogger, and family woman from Los Angeles, California. Her most recent publications include four different contributions in six different Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies, as well as her first solo children’s book, A Man and His Books. Follow her on Facebook (www.facebook.com/abchesler), Twitter (@abcauthor), or Instagram (@abc_author) for updates, giveaways, and much more!