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George Roy Hill
Madolyn Smith Osborne,
Summer Camp highjinks centered around a camp counselor with a wacky sense of humor. He tries to help the campers have a good time. One camper named Rudy poses a particular challenge as he has a self-esteem problem Written by
Robert Svacha <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This is easily the best of the summer camp movies. In fact, few of the others are even fair, let alone anywhere near as entertaining as this one is.
The film is just simply out to have some good, clean, fun. Many people who went to summer camp as kids will see that it is presented here faithfully to the way it usually was, but with slapstick comedy mixed in. Bill Murray, as the chief counselor of the camp, Tripper, leads a fine ensemble cast, and is usually at the center of the riotous nonsense. Tripper has great one-liners throughout, usually broadcasting his jokes as pseudo-announcements over the camp's public-address system.
Several great supporting actors played the campers and counselors to build a myriad of fun and interesting subplots, all the while sprinkled amongst the many incidents of camp hi-jinx. Spaz (Jack Blum) and Fink (Keith Knight) were two characters particularly well done. The adventures (and misadventures) of these two are hilarious. Each has classic lines, and they are characters you like and root for. Look for Spaz in the scene of disco dance pandemonium.
The girls in the story are realistic characters, too. They're not dumb, naive, freakish, oversexed, nervy, or any of the other overused, abominable teen character stereotypes. Kristine DeBell, Kate Lynch, Cindy Girling, and others make these characters believable.
The requisite pranks abound, usually at the expense of camp director Morty (Harvey Atkin). The nature of these pranks start at outrageous and progress from there. However, with all the silliness going on, Tripper and the others have their serious sides. For example, Tripper befriends a shy, lonely kid, Rudy(Chris Makepeace), and takes him under his wing.
The story culminates with a sports competition against a rival camp. It's a great "root for the underdogs" finale. When the chips are down, Tripper's motivational "It just doesn't matter" spiel is inspired, and one of the best moments in the movie. And get ready to root: "Spaz. Spaz! Spaz!!!""
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