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Slipshod but entertaining
budikavlan19 June 2005
This movie has an amateurish air to it, with more than its share of sloppy edits, plot dead-ends, and those little acting moments that take the viewer out of the story. The story and setting are so entertaining, however, that it manages to overcome its shortcomings and remain a memorable experience. The characters are realistic and fun, and the song choices are consistently good (especially "Turkey Lurkey Time" which is otherwise unavailable on film, far as I know). The original songs (from the people who brought you "Fame") are also good--occasionally terrific.

It's interesting to me that among a cast of newcomers and unknowns, the worst performances are from the adults--especially Don Dixon (Bert). The kids fare much better in general, and their musical performances are their real strengths (unsurprisingly). A surer hand on the direction and script could have tightened Camp up considerably, but even as messy as it is, it's still well worth seeing.
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It's not perfect but I found it highly enjoyable from start to finish and consider it one of the better musicals for quite a few years
bob the moo16 May 2004
After a string of musical flops, the career of Bert Hanley is at rock bottom, which leads him to take up a position with a musical summer camp. When he arrives to teach he finds a diverse group of boys and girls who have come together to put on one musical every two weeks, leading up to one final show at the end of the camp. He is angry at the children's naïve ease of acceptance of the musical lifestyle and their apparent comfort with who they are, feeling that they are not helping themselves for when they go out into the real world. However will their energy for the music win him over or just frustrate him?

I can understand why this film didn't make a massive splash when it hit UK cinemas – basically I saw a trailer for it then the next time I saw it, it was on DVD! It is very different from your average teen movie as well as being different from many musicals (not always a massive genre in themselves). I will be the first to admit that this film has weaknesses but I enjoyed it from the opening song, through to the final show – there was barely a moment where I was bored or uninterested. The basic plot is a mix of minor story lines around an array of characters – various romances happen, lessons are learned, eyes are opened and friendships made. It all sounds rather ordinary and, in a way, I suppose that it does do just what you expect it to. However, pretty much every other aspect of the film comes together to lift the film to be better than the script suggested it would be.

Primarily, if you hate musicals, then avoid this for it is a big part and, for me, it served as a superb foundation. The overall soundtrack is really good and is an enjoyable mix of music but it is the actual musical numbers that really lift the film. They are really enjoyable – both the well known ones and the new songs; they fit in well with the narrative and act as good bits of punctuation. The narrative could have been stronger but the musical numbers mean that even if the narrative causes a slight dip, then the songs are there to provide a lift.

The characters are very well drawn, even if they don't use them that well. The fact that we have so many diverse teenagers who seem at ease with who they are is perhaps rather difficult to swallow but it certainly helps make the film feel a bit different from the usual. At first I was a bit put off by how the gay characters all seemed to be of the 'flaming' variety, but as the film went on I got over this and got to know their characters and not just their characteristics. More impressively, the whole cast (mainly teenagers) are really good – they cope with the demands of the narrative (and the limitations as well) but they are very impressive when it comes to the musical numbers. One time tutor at one of these camps himself, writer/director Graff does a really good job with the direction here – it never feels as low budget as I imagine it must have been and he frames many shots in involving ways.

Overall this is a standard teenage movie with all the hurts, lessons, romances and friendships that you would expect from the genre but it manages to rise above many of the genre by having different (if unrealistic) characters, roundly good performances and frequent musical numbers that never let the fun level of the film dip for too long.
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Thanks Todd Graff
Allen-2729 July 2003
Does Stephen Trask (HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH) ever write a note of bad music?

This is a wonderful movie. Admittedly, the pace is not perfection. But the music is great, the jokes are funny and most importantly it portrays a specific milieu. And movies that bring the audience into a milieu they might not know exists are almost always interesting. I've seen this movie once and I'll see it again.

Ignore the critics who want to tell you what the movie isn't and what it should be. They'll only keep you from enjoying a good movie. Todd Graff has something to say. This is his movie and it works. One magazine reviewer noted that the kids in this movie emerge as full-blown professionals. Well -- they are! Most of these kids have never done anything before. That's part of what is being said here. There's all this talent that no one has ever seen. There are kids who are this good. Todd Graff found them.
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An inside view of a fun movie
Muso1426 August 2003
Camp is based on a real camp in the Catskills, NY. I have worked there for the past few years and had the slightly strange experience of attending the national premiere with the whole of the camp in addition to Todd Graf and the cast who then came back to the camp to sit in on rehearsals for the evening. For this among other reasons, I found it quite difficult to view the film objectively. The whole film was shot on location at the camp, apart from a couple of shots which were shot nearby, and so the majority of film was spent with the kids cheering whenever a new location was shown, or for a number of the cast who had really attended the camp in the past few years. For the sake of the film you have to accept that this is a camp with no counsellors, dorms that opposite sexes can go into at will among other things. However the depiction of the characters were strong. As a theatre kid said to me this summer, `I come here because everyone else is just as weird as I am!' And that is kind-a the motto of the movie. I do wish they'd showed more of the sports counsellor (who again does exist at a theatre camp in the same way that most sports camps put on a play). I know they shot more footage and had to edit it out. The songs are overdubbed as a previous reviewer wrote, but it is the kids singing them, they were just recorded in a studio. All in all I enjoyed the film, and am interested in hearing other peoples opinions who are not involved with the camp the film is based on. Yes kids like these do exist, and yes they are the guys you will see on Broadway and in the movies in a few years.
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Best Summer Camp Movie Ever!
tunmel4 December 2005
...although that may not be saying much, it truly loves these kids that it portrays and is clearly made for such kids. Other reviewers have faulted "Camp" for its shallow plot, the inconsistency of its characters, the stereotypes, and an overall amateurish quality. All I can say is "What'd you expect? It's a teen drama!" In fact, I'm pretty sure it wouldn't have worked if the film tried to be more grown-up. To properly enjoy "Camp", adult viewers need to recall their world view during their teen years. Only then can they realize how much they would have wanted to see a movie like this when they were teens. Of course, if you were a quarterback or prom queen in high school, then perhaps you wouldn't be able to relate to this movie at all.
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Outstanding Voices!
IntelligntBrotha8 January 2006
I throughly enjoyed the singing on this movie! Dee (Sasha Allen) did a fantastic job. She really put the SOUL into the lyrics of the songs. The lyrics were heart-felt and soulful on every level, especially the barnyard scene and the opening song to the movie. Every actor and actresses did an outstanding job portraying the mode for each song. I want to commend the directors and cast of this movie on a grand job. I also enjoyed seeing that all aspects of teenage life were portrayed in the film from homosexuality and love and hate relationships to betrayal and deceit. Brought a lot of my life back into play. I commend everyone on a super job. Could we possibly see a Part II to this movie??
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Camp Ovation
wes-connors28 June 2012
New York junior and high school students go to a summer camp for kids interested in musical theatre. Lead actor is attractive Daniel Letterle (as Vladimir "Vlad" Baumann). With highlights and good muscle tone, Mr. Letterle arouses interest in most of the other kids. Gay is the norm at "Camp Ovation", so Letterle stands out. The unpacking of his football lets everyone know he's straight. Honest. Letterle's roommate is cross-dressing Robin De Jesus (as Michael Flores), who was rejected and beat up at his prom for showing up in drag. Lead actress is chunky but pleasant Joanna Chilcoat (as Ellen Lucas), who hopes to land a boyfriend...

This stereotypical "comedy about drama" will mostly appeal to younger teenagers who enjoy high school musicals...

Letterle's character is written (by director Todd Graff) with some unexpected depth; the mystery of his medication is withheld, he plays the slowly sexual teasing of his roommate perfectly, and an honest portrait of a young attention-seeking actor emerges. Other interesting stories are the "All About Eve" part played by Anne Kendrick (as Fritzi Wagner) and the washed-up musical writer Don Dixon (as Bert Hanley) drowning his career in alcohol. The show songs hit a peak with Tiffany Taylor (as Jenna Malloran), so fat her father has had her mouth wired shut, startling everyone (well, not me) by revealing a great singing voice. Who knew?

****** Camp (1/21/03) Todd Graff ~ Daniel Letterle, Joanna Chilcoat, Robin de Jesus, Don Dixon
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A perfectly flawed film, about perfectly flawed people
todd2130 August 2003
I had heard the soundtrack to Camp before I actually go to see the film, and yet I still didn't really know what to expect. Camp was a simple film, tackling complex subjects in a perfectly flawed manner. Nothing that I can say here will do this film justice. It is, quite simply, the best film I've seen this year.
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We wanted more . . .
movement18 August 2003
Warning: Spoilers
So tonight we went and saw Todd Graff's Camp, a movie we eagerly awaited after seeing the previews for it while watching Spellbound. SPOILERS about CAMP are embedded, so if you are planning to see it, please do not read further.

So the film is sold and written about in the press as a depiction of this camp for misfits, gays and drag queens. So much of the hype revolves around the sheer queerness of the kids and their desire to dedicate their summer to a grueling schedule of musical theater. The cast, in proportion, is more diverse than most casts, and with a few exceptions, they seem to be playing close to their ages (unlike shows like 90210h, I'm really 36!, and Saved by the Bell).

If you are coming to see Camp for the music, you will not be disappointed. There are rousing renditions of songs from Fosse and Gospel at Colonnus and other shows. There is a buttkicking diva moment in "The Ladies Who Lunch." These folks can sing and totally have the musical theater thing down. Any stage would be lucky to have them.

No, the problem with this film is that it is so focused on the sexy-abbed straight guy amongst all the gay guys and drama girls that the movie really loses its way. Characters go undeveloped or underutilized, story lines are undernourished and many of them seem to just be serving to show that these kids were actually at the camp so you aren't surprised later when they show up in one of the numbers. The hetero boy thing is just irritating though. Finally, here comes a movie about the freaks, the queers, the effeminate, gay, Sondheim-worshipping fancy boys and the drama girls who love them and their own inner divas, and 75% of the movie follows the straight guy whose name is Vlad (even the name makes you think he is going to be throwing a spear).

I do not begrudge the actor, Daniel Letterle, or the character his storyline. His performance is solid and at times very strong (he has a wonderful voice) if not lacking due to the uber-predictable script. And yes, he is definitely pretty to look at. But his story could have been whittled down a bit so we can actually spend time with some of the other folks at the Camp who seem thrown in like pinches of this and that.

I just spent the whole time wondering if any of the gay guys were going to get a kiss or some screen time without the Vladinator near by. The talented drag queen Michael, played exceptionally well by Robin De Jesus with a light, loving touch, is constantly focused on the I-am-in-the-second-string-tour-of-Dawson's-Creek-the-Musical Vlad. A friendship is built, and Michael wants him, but we are left wondering why Michael didn't get at least a kiss or some attention from any of the 525,600 gay guys that were there.

A refreshingly out, campy, and just as attractive Spitzer (played by Vince Rimoldi) seems like an apt character to have a kiss or a little backstage action with Michael -- or any of the other dancer/actor/models who seem to populate the dance numbers. But there is nothing. Romance, even Precious Moments wide-eyed summer camp hand holding romance is reserved for the hetero, and therefore safe and sexy Vlad and his string of lady-friends.

I am not asking for Skinimax here people. But when you make a movie about musical theatre and summer camp, we expect that some of the gay guys are going to get some play. Instead, the Vladinator gets play all over the place and the gay men get Will Truman-ed out of the script.

The other great crime here is the total underutilization of Tiffany Taylor (Jenna) and Sasha Allen (Dee). These women can sing and Taylor's performance alone is worth seeing the film for. Yes, it is built on a "fat girl kicks her evil parents' ass for being such jerks" cliche, but who cares-- she is a star and delivers a number that will be hard to forget. Allen also has some throw away plot device scenes, but you get the feeling there is so much more there. I would have statyed another 15 minutes to see more of these two.

Queer bitterness and thin character lines aside, I liked this movie a lot. It has heart and I was never bored. The story is predictable and very after school special at times, but I wasn't going to see Schindler's List. The tone is consistent where the writing simply isn't.

Joanna Chilcoat, playing the supposedly homely Ellen (I thought she was beautiful), gives a sound and thorough performance throughout. She is an accessible performer and I appreciated her efforts. I think she has a huge career ahead of her as so many others in the cast.

So I do recommend that people see this film. The fun moments are fun and much of the humor is cute and the "oh no she didn't moments" are equally satisfying. Again, the musical theater numbers are first rate and well thought through.

Look out for Anna Kendrick (Fritzi) both on Broadway and on film. Her performance is intense and her number is perhaps the best musical theater moment in an otherwise unbalanced movie.
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A straight guy as the hero ?!? (May Contain Spoilers)
lutefisk_920 August 2003
Warning: Spoilers
I went to this movie thinking it'd be a good affirmation of gay youth, but boy was I unpleasantly surprised.

Who thought it was a good idea to make a straight guy the hero of this film? In a movie that's supposedly about affirming difference and the difficulties of being a gay teenager, I found it really shameful that a straight guy was the protagonist. I at first thought it might be interesting to see such a guy trying to see how difficult it is to fit in to a society different from his own -- but instead the director decided to make all the kids (gay guys and straight women) fall for him. What a sad, stupid choice ...

Also really deplorable that the primary gay character is not given someone gay to love himself -- talk about reinforcing hetero society!

This is one of those movies that's only masquerading as progressive. In truth, it's depressingly conservative.

Shame on Sondheim for doing the cameo.
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So bad it's not even campy
buster_foyt13 December 2004
My extended family watched this DVD this summer and the room had emptied out well before the movie was over. It is incredibly tedious, predictable and simple minded.

At first we got some laughs from how bad it was, but those laughs eventually turned to winces of pain from watching it. It plays into just about every possible stereotype there is and plays into each of them incredibly badly.

The actors were also blatantly type cast and lacked the ability to project anything but gross over-characterizations of their individual types. The gay guys were overly flamboyant, the straight guy sulked constantly, the obnoxious girl was always obnoxious and the fat people stayed fat.

There are not enough words to describe how bad this movie is. It is also not worth spending the time to do that.

Our family group that was watching presented a reasonably good demographic cross section as well: a couple of young teens, some older teens, parents, grandparents, single aunts and uncles, religious, agnostic, zen, etc.

Don't waste your time or money with this movie.
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Very entertaining film!
guil fisher15 July 2004
I join those that gave this charming film a high rating. I don't know where the UNEMPLOYED CRITIC is coming from and I guess from his/her review, we know why they're unemployed. He/she totally missed the boat with this one. Place that review amongst the garbage bin of stupidity.

I thought the concept, story and direction by Todd Graff was a labor of love to the young talented stars of the film. They all gave their all. You could feel the support they brought to Graff and his ideas. Michelle Lynch and Jerry Mitchell brought simple yet effective dancing to the film. Re-creating the TURKY LURKY number from "Promises, Promises" originated by Michael Bennett.

I'm not quite sure who gets the credit for Musical Direction, but it was wonderful to see these young people of today bringing their talents to the Broadway oldies of yesterday. How wonderful for them to know the music of the time.

I give special praise to Daniel Letterle, who seems to be getting most of the bad raps here. I thought he played his role with simplicity and great depth. For such a young actor, he managed to touch your heart with his work. Thank you, Daniel. And Robin de Jesus, too, gave a simple approach to his role. It could have been over the wall acting, but he kept the lid on and made the part his own. Everyone else did very well. They brought good acting, and of course those gorgeous voices.

Congratulations, Mr. Graff, and please give Mr. Sondheim my best.
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"Fame" meets "Meatballs"
bananarama-127 January 2003
"Camp" is a fun movie going experience. Combining elements of teenage summer camp coming of age stories, interwoven with musical theater performances, "Camp" doesn't cease to entertain. The cast of unknowns may not have the acting chops of more seasoned veterans, but their sheer musical talent compensates for this.
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Not camp!
VLeung30 September 2004
Very entertaining, often funny, and incredibly

well acted. But entirely uncamp. There's

no knowing irony, no Clueless confidence

  • when the kids insult each other,

their lines are as rubbish as

normal kids' witticisms. I thought

it was pretty great and reveled in

its lack of sophistication or typical 00s

bored-detachment. These kids are also

amazingly talented, and look refreshingly,

charmingly real.
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brings back golden memories
hyperexcel7 September 2003
Camp was definitely the movie of the year that I would go see again and again and buy the soundtrack the minute I saw it on the shelf. A delightful memoir and tribute to what it's like to be young and hopeful about a career in the arts.

This movie is beyond words when it comes to being a unique feel-good movie. At some points, however, I felt like the kids were almost unbelieveable as angsty teenagers. The plot seemed a little disjointed too; Vlad's character continually reveals more complexity and conflict up until the very end, and I felt like I was just getting to know him when the movie finishes. However, they pale in comparison to the excellent musical numbers and sheer emotion that reaches beyond the kids' ages.

Graff made a gem of a movie. For anyone who's into musical theatre, or was when they were younger, can relate to this movie. If you haven't, you see a pretty picture of a movie, with spectacular musical numbers ("Ladies who Lunch," "Turkey Lurkey Time," "Want of a Nail"). My only qualms with it are the gay stereotypes seemingly sticking here, and a couple other inconsistencies of character. But nothing much. See this film; it's a great release and will keep you inspired for a while.
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You can't make a good film from a bad script.
UnderPressure17 June 2007
Being familiar with Stagedoor Manor, the camp which "CAMP" was based on, and having attended a similar institution as a child, I turned on this movie fully expecting a nice homage to a place where young people can be themselves and explore their personalities and interests. But instead I was completely blindsided by the horrendous script and exceedingly poor execution of this terrible excuse for an indie flick.

This film contains the most stilted and awkward dialog I've ever heard in a feature film. And I don't mean awkward in a fun, teenager way, I mean awkward in the way that some conversations just didn't make sense.

In other cases, character traits or flaws were mentioned in one scene never to be seen or heard about again; these traits and flaws had zero impact on the behavior of the characters and came completely out of left field.

Many key "plot points," in the film are not actually depicted, they are mentioned as necessary throughout to fill in the audience in a kind of "oh by the way" or "did you hear?" fashion. Instead, the script focuses on amateur and frankly boring musical covers by the less than impressive "campers." Also hindered by these overly-long and terribly-choreographed "show" scenes was the character development for the majority of the main characters. With the possible exception of Michael (Robin de Jesus), the campers and their theater teachers begin and end the film having experienced no personal changes, having undergone no transforming journey. Oh wait; one character does changes, however it wasn't over time brought on by understanding and acceptance, or simple cause and effect: it occurred in a matter of seconds, to suit the purpose of this hackneyed screenplay.

Probably the most horrible thing about the film was that there was no supervision of the handful of campers. In fact the only adults at the camp seemed to be two staff members, three instructors, and five musicians, none of whom ever appear as the campers run around all night, take off their clothes, make out, and have sex. And while I know, having attended and been a counselor at a camp like this, there are many real campers who have gotten away with such things and more, these particular campers seem carefree and careless about what they do; they don't have to sneak around or take any caution in their activities. In fact there are no consequences for anybody, whether they be drunkard counselors or campers trying, literally, to murder one another. Besides the obvious reasons this might be a problem, the no-holds-barred attitude of the campers kills any tension or intrigue in the campers revels.

To be perfectly honest, I don't know how this film got made at all. I know the place and I know it could make a great story if someone were to try it from a different angle, but this script didn't seem like it even made it to a second draft.
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hackneyed and feeble-minded
pogostiks25 August 2007
Warning: Spoilers
SPOILERS EVERYWHERE!!! The most amazing thing about this film is that Steven Sondheim actually agreed to play himself in it. You'd think he had better taste.

Camp is really one of the most unprofessional films I have seen in a long time (except perhaps for the musicians).

First of all, the sets look like they were made on the lowest of budgets.

Second, it was totally clichéd and you could figure out where it was going looooong before it got there. There was almost nothing in it that was original...we have seen it all before and much better done.

Third... it is an insult to our intelligence. Three gay guys and a straight share the same bunkhouse and the straight doesn't feel even a little uncomfortable? At almost the end of the film the straight guy takes off his shirt and the gay guy gets all hot and bothered...ummmm...if they share the same bunkhouse, wouldn't he have already seen it weeks ago? The rich beautiful girl just drops her bags and the other girl picks them up and becomes her slave? Pul-leeze! Also, how does she end up getting a bunkhouse with a bed that looks like it should have been Mae West's? How come she isn't sharing a bunkhouse like all the other girls? The acting was pretty low par...I barely believed any of them except maybe the black kid who complained about playing white parts in the plays...But then again, I guess it is hard to make cardboard characters come to life, so I guess it isn't the kids' fault if the acting comes across as less than acceptable.

Need I go on? This whole thing comes across as a TV sitcom that would have been acceptable in the 1950's but would have been considered as not sophisticated enough for a ten year old by today's standards.

Oh, and, for a film that is supposed to be gay positive, how come the main character is the only straight boy in the entire movie? We see three girls and one gay boy all having crushes on Mr Hetero... but none of the gay boys gets a chance to have a boyfriend. Why not? It would have livened things up a bit to have at least an attempt at equality. Or aren't gay romances (that aren't doomed) acceptable for the straight market?
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Good (if it was made by High School Students)
demented-smilee10 September 2006
Camp would be a very very good movie, if of course, it were made by high school students. Camp is a good idea and it should have just remained a good idea. The film is about many different people from many different backgrounds (they're mostly misfits) that go to an acting camp and find answers to life, love, and that good old stuff with song! Yes, it's a semi-musical. Now this is the reason it looked and sounded like a high school film with an $100 or so budget: the actors. I'm sorry, was the casting director stoned? The blonde stuck up girl looks mentally retarded, Vlad (the hunky straight guy which the story revolves around) has a high voice and acts very, very gay, and Ellen (the other character that the story revolves around) is just a little too frumpy and unattractive to get Vlad...wait...any guy. If I'm sounding mean here, it's because this movie stretches the points of believibility. The script reads like Fame with pine trees. Still, there are some good parts, notably the Rent-esquire opening credits, but it's an acting camp that the film takes place at, and half of the kids in this need acting lessons.
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an interesting movie with fantastic music
NathanIL28 August 2004
The talent of this group of young people is amazing. As a theater major and a singer, these kids displayed the talent that you always hoped would show up at an audition. How Graff brought together such a wonderfully diverse and talented group puzzles me. I mean these kids weren't typical Hollywood flash and from their profiles this movie was the only thing that most of them have ever been in, however, that never shows on the screen. Although the storyline is not extremely complex, it is interesting and the music makes the movie worth seeing. The production numbers in the show are staged well and the choreography is fantastic. Although I didn't buy for one minute that this was a theater camp (because everyone was ULTRA talented), I appreciated the fact that the musical performances weren't overstaged with props, costumes, and sets that would never be available to ANY high school student.
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A summer camp movie with heart, soul, and smarts. One of 2003's best. (****)
Ronin4719 October 2003
Every once in a great while, a movie comes along that gives you such a great feeling that it's hard to believe. There's no denying that Todd Graff's "Camp" is a little rough-around-the-edges due to its low budget, and the script (particularly in the scenes near the end) could have maybe used a tiny bit of work, but that doesn't erase the fact that this is an amazingly exhilarating movie, one whose big heart and friendly nature reeled me in completely from the very first scene.

It's about summer camp, but not the normal kind of summer camp. These kids go to Camp Ovation, a performing arts camp for kids who like to act, sing, and dance (based on the real Stagedoor Manor, where writer/director Graff attended with people like Robert Downey Jr. and Jennifer Jason Leigh).

The kids at this camp are mostly outcasts; many are gay, or overweight, or unpopular. But at Camp Ovation, they're free to be themselves and are liked and respected.

The movie starts, of course, on the first day of camp, and many of the kids already know each other from past summers. Lonely Ellen (Joanna Chilcoat) is best friends with Michael (Robin De Jesus), a gay teen who was severely beaten for arriving at his Junior prom in a dress. There's also the snobby camp diva, Jill (Alana Allen) and her underling, slightly psychotic Fritzi (Anna Kendrick). Into this mix comes good-looking, talented Vlad (Daniel Letterle), an "honest-to-God straight boy", as one of the counselors says, which is a rare thing here. Vlad enters into a sweet summer romance with Ellen, and becomes good friends with Michael.

Over the course of the summer, friends are made, hearts are broken, songs are sung, and I loved every single second of it. Most of the characters are so fun and likeable that it feels like you're hanging out with them, all the actors playing them are excellent, it's funny and touching, the music is great, and this is just an all-around terrific movie.

What makes it even better is that it's an important one. Watching a movie like this and seeing kids like this, you can almost feel the prejudicial boundaries in society, between gay and straight, black and white, popular and unpopular, melting away.

I know, if you had a dollar for every movie whose messages are "Be yourself" and "Believe in yourself", you'd be rich. But how about the movies that really make you believe that? "Camp" is one of those.
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what a horrible, horrible film
themodnymph29 June 2006
take your typical teen movie. add showtunes. take away any hint of talent outside of some pretty good belting voices. throw in stephen sondheim just so any theatre kid will feel compelled to see it and you have camp.

this movie's plot is so feeble that it would be better off if it just showed the performance segments. the acting is painful to watch. really, as a theatre lover, i'm ashamed that so many of my peers relate to this. i wish people would realize that they're a lot better than this movie.

it never really goes anyway. you never really bond with any of the characters and you're left at many moments thinking,"what was that all about??"

just awful
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Worst hour and 51 minutes ever to be seen
the_tzarr26 August 2005
Even for an independent film (with what I'm assuming was a low budget), Camp ranks among the worst movies I've ever seen. The plot is unclear and filled with holes. Certain details about characters seem to appear conveniently out of thin air when needed and vanish just as quickly, rendering any character development awkward and ineffectual. The flow of the movie feels like the script was passed through the hands of 20 or 30 different directors - each scene has a slightly different atmosphere, and seems to pull the plot in some new, nonsensical direction. The acting could not have been worse, save for a few isolated incidents.

The only way I managed to sit through this film was to joke around about it with my friends while watching. It's worthy of Mystery Science Theatre 3000.
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"Fame" Without the Brain
evanston_dad29 April 2005
If watching a bunch of high-strung theatre star wannabes prancing around and hissing at one another is what you're in the mood for, "Camp" is made to order. I happened to be in the mood for it, but even so found that it tested my patience. For one thing, it's way too long for its subject matter. For another thing, it's all over the place as far as plot goes, with no dramatic center to anchor the story. O.k., I wasn't expecting "Citizen Kane," (hell, I wasn't even expecting "Legally Blonde"), but I do like my movies to be written with a modicum of competency. "Camp" flounders from one scene to the next, sort of focusing on three principal characters but not really even doing that, climaxing in a flashy dance number that looks like the final scene from "All That Jazz" mixed with an episode of "Star Search." What this movie is good for, however, are the musical numbers. Seeing teenagers belt out songs from "Follies" and "Company" is admittedly fun. And there are some life-affirming lessons about being true to yourself, etc., but these are even more diluted than your average after-school special.

There are worse ways to spend a couple of hours, but you might want to consider re-watching "Fame" instead.

Grade: C
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Has replaced "North" as worst movie I've ever seen
kme-33 May 2004
Please understand, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE musical theater -- particularly the work of Stephen Sondheim. Trust me, this is NOT the venue to hear/see any of his work, or any of the other composers,lyricists and playwrights represented in this movie. The kids in this movie are obviously too young to realize how bad it is, but the adults should be ashamed of themselves. Some of the kids seem to have some talent, some of the singing in particular is very strong. But unless you are related to the teenager in question, no one should have to witness world weary songs like "I'm Still Here" and "The Ladies Who Lunch" sung by perky 17 year olds. Sadly, though, the "on stage" portion of Camp is a dream come true compared to the behind the scenes plot lines. I haven't seen so much bad acting since my niece made me watch "Saved by the Bell." And the writing is worse!!! Do yourselves a favor -- don't watch this.
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Worst movie I have ever seen.
dermaxxe27 February 2004
Worse than Spawn. Yes its true. Atrocious acting, bizaare plots points, and you can tell it is from a first time director. The theatre was laughing for the wrong reasons. Some scenes in this movie were so contrived and comical. The characters were not fully explored and reasons were not given for most of their strange actions they perform during the narrative. There is too much of the main character Vlad, the pretty boy, and it hurts at some points to see his wooden performance over and over. I think the director may have been going for a 'Finding your true self' piece but it seems to push anti-gay sentiment slightly and the ending does not work at all. This is a shameful waste of celluloid.

Shabby 1/10
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