An extremely talented young cast shines in this "energetic musical romp" (Los Angeles Times)about a drama camp where the outcasts of today hone their skills to become the stars of tomorrow. Packed with romance, laughs and ... more »"genuine showstopping musical numbers" (The Washington Post), Camp is a "Blast of exuberant fun" (Rolling Stone)! Every summer, talented kids with big voices and even bigger dreams flock to Camp Ovation. But this year, a sexy new guy, Vlad (DanielLetterle), is not only stealing the show he's stealing the heart of every girl he encounters. And as the biggest day of camp approaches, the young performers must overcome backstabbing, unrequited love and Vlad's unpredictable libido to pull off the greatest show of their careers!« less
"I'm starting to believe that movies are made on a single scene that reaches into you and grabs you. If you find that scene, then the entire movie works for you. Such is true about the wonderfully charming movie, "Camp". The scene for this movie is early on, in the school bus that's transporting the various drama wannabees to Camp Ovation for the summer. The kdis are singing a dramatic, compelling showstopper song as we pan down the center aisle of the bus. The camera stops on a young blond boy singing his heart out, sitting next to a man, who turns to the boy and says, "Bud Miller: Sports Counselor". The boy looks at the man incredulously and says, "We have a SPORTS COUNSELOR?". Thus, this movie is made. Camp is a deliriously delightful romp with a bunch of multi-talents kids all spending their summer learning about the craft of acting, and the craft of life. Expected to perform a new show every two weeks, with a benefit at the end of the season seems ludicrous, but the kids pull it off, with great success.This film has many hearts to it, mainly in the characters of Ellen, Vlad, and Michael. As they interact with each other, each character avoids the strereotypical traps many teenager films fall into, and lets these characters live and breathe. There's not a candy coated kids in this film, and thanks to an excellent script, and equally excellent acting from the kids, it all becomes believable.The music is an intergral part to this movie, and somehow both propels the plot and supports it. I bought the CD the day after seeing the movie, and it still hasn't left my small collection of CDs I carry with me. I near tire of hearing some of the wonderful songs from the movie, including "Century Plant" and "How Shall I See You Through My Tears".My boyfriend regularly puts me in his book reviews, so now I'll do the same. We both saw this movie together, twice, in a small theater just off Dupont Circle in Washington DC. I now cannot watch this impressive film without thinking of him. Camp is a film that ultimately celebrates the diversity that life brings, and how our diversity is truly our strength."
The fabulous feel-great film of the year!!!!
Mark Twain | 08/14/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's movies like ?Camp? that remind me what I love most about movies. It doesn?t preach an agenda and doesn?t make me feel like a fool for feeling sentimental. It has a little bit of cynicism but a lot of great music. There are no drugs, no guns, no car chases and no fake breasts. What ?Camp? does, and does very well, is tell a story. Simply and completely. ?Camp? took me into a world I was both familiar and stranger to, and made me feel better for taking the journey. While there will be little chance the film will find the same kind of mainstream hit ?Chicago? or ?Moulin Rouge? became, ?Camp? should become a favorite with discerning movie musical fans and help re-usher in this dormant too long genre. While summer camp often means nature trips, cookouts and wacky hijinks to most young people, Camp Ovation in upstate New York caters to those who are more artistically inclined. Over the two months campers attend, they will put on a new show every other week, be it drama, musical or something more avant-garde, going through the process of auditioning, creating their own sets and costumes, rehearsing and presenting a new show for an audience, then beginning anew the next day. Many of the kids at Camp Ovation are outsiders within their own worlds. Ellen (Joanna Chilcoat) is reduced to begging her older brother in order to have a date to her junior prom, while Michael (Robin DeJesus) gets beaten up at his prom for daring to arrive in drag. Fritzi (Anna Kendrick) is so starved for any attention, she spends her entire year waiting for camp so she can be the ?assistant? to Ovation?s number one drama diva, Jill (Alana Allen). Our first clue things will be different this summer arrives in the form of Vlad (Daniel Letterle). He?s cute, talented and seemingly the only straight male in the entire teenage camp populace. Ellen, Michael and Jill will all fall for Vlad, even if he has no idea who Stephen Sondheim is. Each year, Camp Ovation has one artist in residence to help run the shows and inspire the nascent talent. This year?s guest director is Bert Hanley (Don Dixon), a once promising writer who had been the toast of Broadway with his first musical, but never delivered a follow-up show. The story follows these kids as they deal with each other over the course of the summer. Hearts are broken, lifelong friendships are created, and there?s that one ambitious actress who makes Eve Harrington look undemonstrative. From the opening credits, in which the company performs the rousing, gospel-esque ?How Shall I See You Through My Tears? to the end, when they dance through their own rendition of ?The Want of a Nail,? it is this group of talented youngsters who make the movie come alive. For while most of the cast are cinema neophytes, they have a warmth and energy which make them feel familiar and comfortable. The film feels almost like a documentary, for what little over-acting does appear is saved for the sequences of the stage performances. And it is these stage performances that are the best part of "Camp." These kids are simply amazing, their voices powerful and seductive!Residing somewhere between ?Meatballs? and ?Fame,? ?Camp? is the brainchild of actor turned writer Todd Graff, who based the story on his own experiences at the Stagedoor Manor camp (where the film was shot) as a youngster in the 1970s, where he was a camper and later a counselor during his teen years. Making his directorial debut here, Graff has assembled a first rate team around him, ensuring the film?s success as a work of art. Oscar winning composer Michael Gore, Tony winning choreographer Jerry Mitchell, ?Rent? musical director Tim Weil and ?Hedwig and the Angry Inch? composer and lyricist Stephen Trask have all infused their individual talents together to create an extraordinary cinematic experience. I cannot stress how incredible I think this film is. It's everything "Fame" SHOULD HAVE been. ?Camp? gets an A+ for effort and an A+ for execution. Bravo!"
Andrew | Boston MASS | 06/24/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I don't think Camp was half as bad as other reviewers have made it out to be. The cast is made of aspiring actors playing aspiring actors.....what could be more appropriate? Granted their acting skills aren't polished. But they are portraying actors in musical theater.....their voices are what matters. And I have to say everyone in the film had fantastic singing voices. I am glad Camp wasn't cast with young pop stars turned actors (Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, the Olsen Twins, Bow Wow). This cast, imperfections and all, was truer to the form. Even if you don't appreciate musical theater, the theme of kids growing up and trying to find their place in the world is a key part of this movie. What I appreciate most about Camp is how it portrays teens as having aspirations and goals in life. It's not one of those teen-exploitation films where teenagers are portrayed as being pot smoking, sex-obsessed, and souless (i.e. American Pie). We need more films that challenge teens, without being ridiculousely wholesome. Camp has achieved that."
It's about being accepted
Joey | Michigan | 07/24/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This film is about being accepted for who you are as an individual. It points out that even though we all have struggles there are people out there willing to care, to take the time to be around us, and to get to know us and become friends. These friends become our family even for a short time. This movie isn't about being gay or straight it's about being. The music is wonderful especially since it comes from young adults and children."
Gay Friendly, and Cute!
Young Old Head | Washington, D.C | 02/09/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Loved it! Cute, funny, young, and great talent. This movie is about outcasts who come to this singing camp every summer to discover who they really are or what they are running away from. I am not gay but I love my gay friends! lol, and this film makes me love them even more. But I dont want to confuse you. There are many othere subject matters that this film addresses such as love, lust, individuality, responsibilty, self esteem, etc. Go check it out!"