10 Movies That Are A Perfect Background For A Family Party

Thor: Love and Thunder and Top Gun: Maverick did not only find financial success earlier this year, but also intense fan adoration. When a film is beloved by a group of fans, it’s not uncommon for the movie to be celebrated in the way of impressive cosplays, in-depth analysis, and themed parties.

With summer in full swing, there is a strong possibility that a multitude of parties are being thrown at this very moment. Whether splashing around in a pool and cooking burgers on the barbecue, a summer party is a great excuse to be with friends and delight in the great weather. Since a party is only as good as its theme, using popular movies as inspiration seems like a great choice to bring joy to all guests.

Mamma Mia! (2008)

Set to the music of ABBA, Mamma Mia! is a jukebox musical that follows a young woman named Sophie as she tries to deduce which of her mother’s former lovers is her biological father, hoping that he will walk her down the aisle. Starring a stellar ensemble cast led by the impeccable Meryl Streep, the film was a commercial success, making over 10 times its budget at the box office.

The gorgeous Greek setting and charming production design are enough to make any viewer want to jump in the screen and live in that bright, bubbly world. Mimicking the blue and white aesthetic of Donna’s hotel would make a wonderful tablescape for a party, while the film’s soundtrack would instantly inspire all guests to get up and sing along. The iconic costumes in Mamma Mia! would also be a great idea for a dress code.

Luca (2021)

Luca is the story about two adorable sea monsters that decide to go ashore and explore the neighboring town. Disguised as humans, the pair quickly realizes that the world above the surface has so much to offer. A perfect blend of humor and heart, many put Luca on their best comedy movies of 2021 list.

Not only does the film feature many hallmarks of Italian culture, but its satisfying depiction of food is also enough to cause any fan’s mouth to instantly salivate. The triathlon featured in the third act would be great to emulate for a group of friends, having people compete in exhilarating tasks for a trophy. A summer party filled with pasta, wine, and games? What could be better?

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Barb & Star Go To Vista Del Mar (2021)

The delightfully absurd and campy comedy Barb & Star Go To Vista Del Mar focuses on a pair of best friends who tire of their humdrum lives in the Midwest and decide to travel to the tropical city of Vista Del Mar for some excitement. The film charmed critics, praising its over-the-top plot and hilarious performances.

The fictional city of Vista Del Mar is portrayed as a vibrant and exciting tropical paradise, filled with kitschy décor and exotic food. Not only is the tacky setting of the movie ideal inspiration for party decorations, but the wardrobe of Barb and Star would also be a hilarious dress code for everyone, requiring guests to don wigs, chunky jewelry, and, of course, a fabulous pair of culottes.

The Goonies (1985)

Widely regarded as one of the most rewatchable ’80s movies of all time, The Goonies is about a group of kids who go on a treasure hunt, hoping to find a fortune big enough to stop the demolition of their small town. The thrilling action and riotous comedy perfectly blend into a film that has remained just as beloved as when it was first released.

Pirate-themed parties are a staple in many households, but taking a Goonies approach to the theme would be a fantastic way to set it apart from others. Just add some eye patches, Baby Ruth’s, and a broken statue of the David and you got a perfect homage to the movie. It would also be a missed opportunity not to include the Cyndi Lauper hit, “The Goonies ‘R’ Good Enough” on the party playlist.

National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983)

Clark Griswold surprises his family with a cross-country trip to a popular theme park, Wally World. Wanting to spend more time as a family, they traverse the US in a cramped station wagon going from one ridiculous incident to the next. Vacation was not just a critical success, but a commercial success as well, proving that everyone enjoyed the ride.

This movie might be a bit of an unexpected choice for a party theme, but many Reddit users believe Vacation feels like summer. Using the many destinations from their trip as a blueprint for decorations would be an entertaining setup. Karaoke would also be a great activity that would undoubtedly please Clark and Ellen if they were attending.

The Sandlot (1993)

Scotty Smalls’ ideal summer plans are halted when he loses his stepfather’s priceless baseball over the fence of a neighboring yard during a game. He quickly learns from his friends that retrieval of the baseball won’t be easy as it is now in the paws of the “Beast.”

Above all things, The Sandlot is a movie about two things: friendship and baseball. The movie perfectly exemplifies the importance of enjoying your friendships and appreciating the time spent together, and parties are just one of the many ways to do that. Relaxing by the pool, eating hot dogs, and playing a friendly game of baseball not only sounds like the ideal summer day but a wonderful experience for party guests. It would probably be a good idea to skip the chewing tobacco.


Aquamarine (2006)

Best friends Claire and Hailey discover that a teenage mermaid named Aquamarine has washed ashore after a heavy storm. The three girls become fast friends and together they teach each other the value of honesty and courage. Emma Roberts and Jojo co-star in this cult teen film.

The sun-soaked production design of Aquamarine is chock-full of amazing elements that would be wonderful to emulate for a summer event. The film’s mid-2000s aesthetic is not only a current trend, but nostalgic for older guests, bringing multiple generations a sense of whimsy and joy. Food for the party could be fairly simple, just make sure to stock plenty of gummy worms for the hungry mermaids in attendance.

Dirty Dancing (1987)

Dirty Dancing is one of the most iconic movies of the ’80s. Starring Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey, this provocative dance film follows the love story between a determined, young woman and a suave, dance instructor against a 1960s backdrop. Known for its incredible dance sequences and palpable chemistry of its lead actors, this movie has stood the test of time.

The music featured in Dirty Dancing is one of the most iconic soundtracks in film history, making a party playlist easy to assemble. Combine that with finger foods and sultry lighting, and guests would feel instantly transported to Kellerman’s. To make things more fun, throw in a “Dirty Dancing” contest and watch partygoers compete by performing their own take on the iconic lift or see how fast they can carry a watermelon from one end of the room to the other.

Lilo & Stitch (2002)

Lilo and her older sister, Nani, adopt a puppy that she names Stitch, that actually ends up being a wanted alien in hiding. Things get off to a rocky start, as Stitch seems to cause chaos wherever he goes. Eventually the two for an unbreakable bond that many fans refer to as the best Disney friendship ever.

One thing that must be included in a Lilo & Stitch party is Elvis, lots and lots of Elvis. Presley’s music is not only featured in the film but plays a big part in Lilo’s character development. Tropical-themed decor, ice cream, and surfboards are just a number of elements from the movie that would be perfect for the summer.

Jaws (1975)

]When a Great White shark is responsible for many vicious attacks, a small-town sheriff believes that he can put an end to the killings and sets off to destroy it with the help of a sea captain and an eager oceanographer. Not only is Jaws considered the best shark movie, but it’s also widely considered to be one of the best movies of all time.

Imagine a nighttime pool party with Jaws playing on a projector while the iconic music billows through the crowd. Not only would that be an exhilarating experience, but it’s also a great way to cool down during the hot summer months. Watch guests cower in fear or splash in delight as the iconic moments from the movie come across the screen. Using floatable shark fins would also add a perfect touch to the ambiance of the party.

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Michael P
Los Angeles based finance writer covering everything from crypto to the markets.

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