Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5. USA, 2001. Eureka Pictures, North Coast Group. Screenplay by Michael Showalter, David Wain. Cinematography by Ben Weinstein. Produced by Howard Bernstein. Music by Theodore Shapiro, Craig Wedren. Production Design by Mark White. Costume Design by Jill Kliber. Film Editing by Meg Reticker. Gotham Awards 2001.
Frequently humorous spoof of eighties comedies that takes place on the last day of summer camp, with the kids being put through hell by their older counselors for the last time before they are sent home to the safety of their parents. Among the grown-ups are Janeane Garofalo as director of the camp, who sparks up a romance with a geeky scientist (David Hyde Pierce), Ken Marino as a big-talking goofball who has actually never had sex, Paul Rudd as the handsome alpha male who is sought by all the girls despite the fact that he is actually an obnoxious asshole, and, most hilariously, Christopher Meloni as the Vietnam Vet in the kitchen who believes that cans of food speak to him. It’s a light, fun romp with little plotting and even less depth, but it entertains on just the right level; its uneven tone attempts to indulge in all the worst stereotypes of eighties teen comedies (the unapologetic excuses for sexual exploitation using unapologetically awful young people) while rehabilitating others (the gay camp counselors, one of them played by a not-yet-famous Bradley Cooper, are not the object of derision but are actually given a wedding present). It feels patched together, with uneven performances ranging from hilariously sincere to outright campy, but it entertains and never pretends to be more than it is.