Average Rating: 6.2/10
Reviews Counted: 32
Fresh: 24 | Rotten: 8
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Critic Reviews: 4
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 1
Average Rating: 3/5
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Set at a low-end summer camp and aimed squarely at a teen audience, Meatballs is a light screwball comedy that turned its low-budget Canadian roots into a very profitable box-office run. The biggest reason for the film's success is Bill Murray who stars as Tripper, the head counselor who runs things at Camp Northstar with the help of his love interest Roxanne (Kate Lynch) and the camp's director Morty (Harvey Atkins), who is affectionately known as Mickey. Camp opens with Tripper and Morty
Jan 1, 1979 Wide
Nov 23, 1999
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Kristine de Bell
James E. McLarty
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Through it all, Murray smiles and forges ahead, but his big riffs have been edited down to frantic bursts of mugging.
It's difficult to come up with a more cliche situation for a summer pic than a summer camp, where all the characters and plot turns are readily imaginable. That makes director Ivan Reitman's accomplishment all the more noteworthy.
Camp counsellor Tripper (Murray) is a John Belushi clone whose 'charisma' dominates the film's standard wackiness and sentimental story (of a kid who doesn't fit).
For those of you that are big fans of the cult comedy hit Wet Hot American Summer, Meatballs is the summer camp movie it parodied the most, even though Meatballs had a bigger heart and was strictly PG.
It's Murray's spontaneity that gives the movie its lifeblood. But Murray also shows an early, rare example of onscreen tenderness.
The scenes between Murray and Makepeace are nicely handled, and the lack of mean-spiritedness is refreshing.
A bit slow and meandering, and unfunny when Bill Murray is not on screen, but Meatballs is worth it for the camp atmosphere and Murray's comic genius.
It doesn't get any funnier than Meatballs!
...ultimately just not able to live up to its inexplicable reputation as a minor cult classic.
Murray has been funnier and far more authoritative during his career, but he was never this joyfully floppy again. Meatballs is the crowning of his doofus glory and a great testament to his once improvisational appeal.
It's a classic, but not as good as you might remember.
Early Murray/Reitman collaboration. "Rudy the Rabbit."
Has its moments. Murray is funny, as always.
Meatballs works because Bill Murray's talents as an actor and comedian.
Turning in a fine, controlled performance, Murray firmly establishes his 'goofy man who cares' typecasting, subsequently developed in numerous 80s movies.
... because all the GOOD looking girls are on THEIR side of the camp!
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