A Comedy About Drama
Running Time: 114 minutes
UK Certificate: 12A
Country: United States
Camp is about those kids we all knew an example of at school, and more than likely had a little bit of extra special hatred kept aside for. You know the type I mean the ones that wanted to perform. Not that theres anything wrong with performing its the ramming of it down everyone elses throats that I could never stand. So, on the face of it, a special camp that takes all of these little snotbags out of everyone elses way for the summer sounds a good idea. In fact, why not make it a year-round thing?
The camp in this case is named Camp Ovation, which is where we come across among others skateboarding Busted-wannabe Vlad (Daniel Letterle), inoffensively dull Ellen (Joanna Chilcoat), and curly-topped tranny Michael (Robin de Jesus). Under the less-than-watchful eye of micro-bearded gin-guzzler Bert (Don Dixon), this self-obsessed bevy of stage-huggers have to put on a series of musical plays, interspersed with requisite Dawsons Creek-style teen dilemmas.
I found myself almost feeling sorry for the cast of this mess, each of them untrained actors and most of them clearly well over their heads. While each of the OTT musical set-pieces work fairly well (if you like that sort of thing), theres an uncomfortable awkwardness about the casts attempts to act well normally. Theres some impressive singing coming out of those highly punchable faces, but its all for nothing if they cant bring themselves to look like real people as and when theyre supposed to.
It also possesses a plot lost in the realms of pointlessness, with few moral lessons, much less hugging than youd expect, and not even any sort of decent comeuppance for the character I wont name here but would consider the (slightly) bad guy. Are these good things? Are these bad things? Who knows? There are times during Camp when you dont know whether to laugh, cry or vomit. Even writer and director Todd Graff doesnt seem overly sure which of those reactions would be most appropriate. How are his audience supposed to?
It's Got: An appropriate title in more ways than one.
It Needs: For the plot, script and acting to match-up to the standard of the musical numbers.
Dont expect to be giving this ill-conceived musical a standing ovation any time soon.