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ISSUE 116 VOL 19 PUBLISHED 5/9/2003

Summer Preview

By Diana Frantz
Variety Editor

Friday, May 9, 2003

Remember those days when summer offered three months of pure bliss? The local swimming pool was the place where “everybody knew your name,” including the pink-nosed, bronzed lifeguards twice your age. Your young heart skipped a beat when they blew their little whistles, looked at you and yelled, “No running!” Long days spent poolside were rounded out with watermelon seed spitting contests and chaotic rounds of cops and robbers. Each weekend could be wasted away at the park.

Snap out of it! That’s over. Everyone has jobs or internships now. This summer will not be fun. There will never be another lazy summer day ever again until retirement. Even then, the only thing anyone has to look forward to is a dinner consisting of pulverized Salisbury steak and tapioca pudding followed by a rousing game of shuffleboard on a seniors’ sea-cruise.

Okay, so perhaps I’m going just a bit too far. There are certainly plenty of opportunities for summer fun after the age of 13. As long as you’ve got a couple of hours and a couple bucks, you can still seize the summer with the same fervor you once possessed as a child. Whether it be in movies, books, or in the crowds at sold-out concerts, your inner-child may be waiting for you to re-capture it.

This summer’s crop of big box office movies will certainly provide fun, but don’t expect intellectual stimulation. Put such thought provoking films as “The Hours,” “The Pianist” and “Far from Heaven” behind you. This summer Hollywood is serving up lighter fare.

The summer of 2003 should be renamed “the summer of the sequel.” The much anticipated follow-up to “The Matrix,” entitled “The Matrix Reloaded,” is due out in theatres May 16. Expect it to end in a cliffhanger, as the finale, “The Matrix Revolutions,” will be released on Nov. 5. “Reloaded” will be followed on June 6th by “2 Fast 2 Furious,” sequel to “The Fast and Furious,” the 2001 surprise success that jumpstarted Vin Diesel’s career. Diesel’s co-star Paul Walker will return for “2 Fast,” but don’t try to look for Diesel. He refrained from particpating in the sequel because of disputes over his paycheck.

For fans of “Dumb and Dumber,” Jim Carrey is set to return after a substantial hiatus from facial gymnastics, appearing in “Dumb and Dumber: When Harry Met Lloyd,” which opens on June 13.

Does it make you feel old to find out that the Olsen twins have moved into the PG-13 category? Well, they have; Mary Kate and Ashley will make cameo appearances in “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle,” which opens on June 27.

And, while the plot of “Legally Blonde II: Red, White, and Blonde” will probably be as thick as a sandwich from the bag lunch line, the film’s charming star Reese Witherspoon will likely draw a sizeable crowd. The film will be released on July 2.

Film is not the only realm of entertainment that will be dominated by sequels. On June 21, adults and children alike will flock to bookstores for the long awaited “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.” J.K. Rowling’s fifth book in the popular Harry Potter series will prove a daunting task for young readers by virtue of its length (over 700 pages), but it will certainly provide entertaining, light reading for weary college students.

Then again, maybe Harry Potter isn’t for everyone. The English Department website,, offers wonderful recommendations from St. Olaf students, faculty and alumni.

If movies and books aren’t enough to keep you entertained, the summer concert circuit will not disappoint. You might have missed the Dave Matthews Band when they hit Minneapolis last fall – but have no fear – they will return this summer.

Proving their staying power, Santana and Neil Young will also embark on summer tours. Despite the recent controversy over lead singer Natalie Maines’ criticism of President Bush, the Dixie Chicks will venture south of the Mason-Dixon Line during their summer tour.

Grammy goddess Norah Jones will undeniably prove to be one of the hottest tickets of the summer, but those who prefer showy pop music and a bare midriff will be pleased to hear that Christina Aguilera also plans to tour the United States along with headliner Justin Timberlake.

Less can be more, as fans of John Mayer are well aware. The musician does not need to show any skin to attract screaming preteen girls. Mayer is currently on an American tour with the Couting Crows (more tour dates are underway for the upcoming summer months).

With such an extensive preview of summer entertainment, one should have no trouble filling the few hours he or she is not working. If all else fails, round-up the neighborhood kids for a game of cops and robbers, or go to the pool and run around until the lifeguard blows his whistle; he isn’t twice your age now.

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