Summertime (1955): Summer is classically the time when teens learn big life lessons. But are you ever too old for summery revelations? Take Katharine Hepburn in David Lean’s sumptuous travelogue. A spinster at 48 (apparently), she solo vacations to Venice, collecting knickknacks and eventually Italian stud Rossano Brazzi for a bit of heartbreaking summer hubba-hubba.
The Seven Year Itch (1956): Suffering from the titular marital ailment, Tom Ewell stays home while the wife and kids vacation—only to find his upstairs neighbor is Marilyn Monroe at her standing-on-subway-grate prime.
Claire’s Knee (1970): Jean-Claude Brialy plays a diplomat vacationing sans his bride-to-be in scenic Eastern France. He lusts for a teenage hottie (Laurence De Monaghan) but decides he’ll only let himself touch her knee. It’s the jumping-off point for Rohmer’s astute observations.
A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy (1982): It’s right there in the title, folks.
When the Cat’s Away (1996): Upon returning from vacation, a shy, overworked Parisian (Garance Clavel) finds her cat has gone missing, thus forcing her to, you know, actually talk to people. Cédric Klapisch’s comedy captures not only a turtle emerging from shell, but also the energy and sweat of a sweltering summer in the city.
Summer 04 (2006): Martina Gedeck (The Lives of Others) plays a 40-year-old mother who spends her summer vacation cheating on her partner, as well as feeling jealous of a flirtatious 12-year-old girl. Life lessons ensue, but after a certain age, they aren’t so warm and nice.
Neil Barsky’s "Koch" Keeps It Light