11-year-old Gerald "Gerry" Garner lives in Long Island, New York, and he's overweight. Gerry's parents Maury and Mrs. Garner decide to send Gerry to Camp Hope, a camp for overweight boys. The camp is owned by kindly Harvey Bushkin and his equally kind wife Alice Bushkin. When the Bushkins file for bankruptcy the camp has to be sold, it is bought by a wacko named Tony Perkis. Tony plans to force the campers to lose as much weight as they can, and he also intends to document the marathon shedding of weight and use it for an infomercial for his slenderizing program. In the eyes of the campers, Tony has made Camp Hope a living hell. As Gerry and counselor Pat Finley lead the efforts to overthrow Tony, the campers prepare for the Apache Relay against arch rival Camp MVP. The Apache Relay is a kind of race in which Camp Hope has never defeated Camp MVP before.Written by
In the main dorm, there is a bathroom door that says "girls". Which is fine, but the camp is an all boys campus. However, this may not be a goof - it could be rented as a girl's camp at other points in the summer. See more »
Josh, How ya doing man? I just saw the new nurse and she is... very attractive.
This pleases me.
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At the end of the end credits, there's a quick scene with Uncle Tony sharing what he's doing for a living, which is collecting a collection of crystals and placed them in a briefcase. The door then slams on him. See more »
Despite being a child of the '90s, somehow I missed "Heavyweights" entirely. Considering the similarities it shares with "The Mighty Ducks" movies such as actors Kenan Thompson and Shaun Weiss, I'm almost embarrassed. Regardless, there's still plenty to appreciate about "Heavyweights" 15 years later in spite of its silliness -- and it's more than just a joke about the ineptitude of the Buffalo Bills.
For one, it was written and directed by Judd Apatow, who has a majority hold on the comedies of the last decade and for two, it marks one of Ben Stiller's first prominent roles as fitness wack-job Tony Perkis, who takes over a once-adored fat camp and harasses the kids.
Good thing "Heavyweights" was made then or it may never have surfaced, seeing as the age of political correctness and weight sensitivity has befallen us. The film is not cruel at all in its depiction of overweight campers, so parents surfing around for slightly older kid films and coming across this one shouldn't be concerned about that factor, but there's no doubt that such a concept would be hard to get off the ground, especially at Disney, in the 21st Century.
Co-written by Apatow and Steven Brill, writer of "The Mighty Ducks" films, it was as if the two conspired to plant a seed for a type of humor that kids my age at the time would come to identify as their own as they entered the PG-13 and R-rated age. Tony Perkis, for example, is the spitting character image of Stiller's White Goodman from "Dodgeball" and yet to me he is just as amusing doing his patented whispery intimidating voice now despite my countless repeated viewings of "Dodgeball."
There's also a classic overnight camp comedy sense of humor in "Heavyweights" like the kids getting beat in sports by their rival camp, an awkward dance mixer with a normal girls camp and when the kids unload the candy stashes they've snuck in camp into secret compartments -- as well as the run-of-the-mill fart jokes. Characters such as Tony's hysterical right-hand European man Lars, however, were way ahead of their time.
"Heavyweights" is pretty immature and excludes girls (because fat girls would be too taboo for the '90s). Its typical camp movie plot as well as its "overthrow-the-bad-guy" story arch - - which ruled the '90s -- come off as stale. But ignore those distractions and "Heavyweights" is a funny, quotable movie with some classic scenes, which is all a kid (or someone trying to go back and grab some nostalgia) really wants.
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