Camp - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Camp Reviews

Page 1 of 47
September 5, 2016
Theater kids rejoice. So this is about a musical theater camp and the process behind it all. You get to see kids putting in work at rehearsals, shining during the show, and all the drama that happens backstage as there are teenage hormones firing back and forth like a ping pong match. Now this was a movie that I was familiar with in name only, and the real reason that it was even on my radar was because I got married to a musical theater major. I watch any and everything, so you know that I dove headfirst into this teenage musical extravaganza, even though I very likely would have never watched this otherwise. The most notable thing that jumps out at you immediately is the quality. I'm not even commentating on if this is a bad movie or anything, but the sounds and video quality make it feel like you are watching this on early 90's VHS, even though it is a 2003 release streaming on Hulu. We had to eventually break down and turn on subtitles because characters were inaudible, even with the volume turned up to eleven. While these kids may not be the best of actors for the up close and personal silver screen, they aren't untalented, and they do show the promise of being able to do something big and loud like an off-Broadway musical. Camp's biggest claim to fame that is that this boasts the film debut of Anna Kendrick, and she is a frizzy haired teenager who wants to make it big, appropriately enough. It would be way too easy of a joke to call this movie campy, although that's exactly what it is. It's overdramatic, but at the same time, this is all too common a side effect whenever there is a theatrical show being put together. I did not have a bad time watching this, and I definitely have to say that this movie's heart is in the right place. The only real qualm I have this is that there is just no reason for this movie to be two hours long. Its earnestness can only take it so far, and I would have come out feeling more positively about it if it were cut to be in the 90 - 95 minute range. As it stands, it's a movie that will go largely unappreciated outside of the musical theater community.
August 11, 2016
Anna Kendrick was a kid! I still think Vlad is gay too and doesn't know it yet.
September 21, 2014
Avec un casting qui n'a jamais percé (hormis Anna Kendrick qui y livre une performance remarquable en nerd machiavélique bouffeuse de scène), le premier film de Todd Graff, Camp, est une oeuvre remarquable sur un camp musical en été aux USA. Le film est tour à tour drôle, émouvant, touchant, passionnant, grâce à son écriture fine et à sa mise en scène habile, qui fait la part belle aux numéros musicaux, écrits par Burt Bacharach ou Stephen Sondheim (qui y apparaît). Camp est une jolie surprise malheureusement passée inaperçue à sa sortie il y a 11 ans.
½ May 26, 2014
Its a respectable attempt at the somewhat early introduction of acceptance of others in cinema...but only for the teenage demographic it so thoroughly pandered its script to. I found it too childish for my interest.
½ April 25, 2014
The film really lives up to its title. For lack of a better word, "Camp" is, well, campy.
April 21, 2014
Most amusing film about a theatre camp for teenagers. Populated by a canny cast of newcomers with some excellent musical numbers and LOL moments. This is a big bag of fun.
½ April 13, 2014
It was okay. I liked the characters more than I liked the actual story. Unfortunately, the musical numbers that were nor from other musicals, were forgettable.
½ February 28, 2014
Good enough for it's target audience but it's all seen it before done it before
½ December 20, 2013
Cute little independent theatre camp film.
November 29, 2013
Shows great heart when it doesn't get in its own way; some superb turns by a talented cast, some of whom continue to make a big splash in adulthood
½ July 13, 2013
Before Glee, there was Camp Ovation.

A cute indie film that includes comedy, music and yes, even some camp. Very light but touching stories about individuals coming to terms and being comfortable in their own skin.
June 8, 2013
i wish i could give this movie FORTY stars! favorite movie!
June 5, 2013
Pleasant piece of fluff with great singing and dancing and a really good performance by Anna Kendrick. Enjoyable flick.
May 21, 2013
Well Anna Kendrick's in it, and the soundtrack sells.
May 1, 2013
Really awkward but the talent is clear and it's a true coming of age movie
½ March 30, 2013
While Camp might not necessarily be a good movie, I can somewhat understand its appeal. Here is a film about a musical theater summer camp, one where relationships and performances go hand-in-hand. Most of the kids at the camp are outcasts, and they all have to go through their own minor coming-of-age storyline before the end. They'll grow, either learning to accept their "uniqueness," or to become more normal. How many movies about self-expression wind up favoring the latter?

The main character is Vlad (Daniel Letterle), who is, as far as we can tell, the only straight guy at this camp, which is populated almost entirely by gay males and females. Of course, he's more sexually ambiguous than most people initially assume -- the film toys with whether he's really as sure of his sexuality as he thinks -- for reasons that would be spoilers. He's the lead because we spend the most time with him, although there are a series of other interesting, if shallow, characters we'll get to know along the way. It's more of an ensemble film about the camp experience than a character drama about Vlad.

I suppose claiming that we'll "get to know" these other characters is a bit of an exaggeration. I'm not sure if I could name anyone else but Vlad without looking at a cast list online. It's not so much that these characters aren't memorable or unique; it's that there are too many and there isn't enough time to imprint them into your mind. Maybe you'll personally relate to one over the other, and you'll remember that character because he or she resonates with you, but I found it hard to remember them.

What you get with Camp is a series of "deep" conversations about how one character relates to another, interwoven with musical numbers that these children are practicing for. At this camp, a new performance is staged every two weeks, and that's where most of their free time is spent: practicing. When not in rehearsal, they talk about their problems, what they want out of life, how they're not appreciated in the "real world," and so on and so forth.

Camp is going to work best for those of you who have felt this way before, or still do. I can understand why people would like to see a movie like this one. It's broad enough to appeal to a large range of people, but it's personal enough to find its chord with the people to whom it resonates. It walks a fine line, and does it moderately well if you find a character you really start to like, appreciate, or connect with. That wasn't me, but I can understand how it could have worked.

The problem I have with it is that, because all of these different plots need to conclude by the time the film ends, and Camp isn't even two hours long, most of these separate stories are rushed into completion. Or, sometimes, they conclude and then that character isn't even seen from again. One such story is done by the one hour mark, and we see that character once more for the next fifty minutes. The growth occurs, but we don't see any other situation to see if it sticks or works in other aspects of life.

The same is true of all but the main story. That one stays with us to the end, which has some revelations that will you re-think some of the actions of characters earlier in the film. I'm not sure if Camp is going to warrant a second watch, but some of the things you learn later on -- even if characters lie, they are still interesting -- do make you look back and ponder situations and interactions from earlier in the film. I'll take that as a bonus with a film like this one. It could have played things more safely, but it gives you a little bit to think about.

Camp feels like a very amateur production. That works in its favor, and is part of the charm. The -- pardon the pun -- campy performances, a deliberately oversaturated and bright color palette, a failure to tie everything together, and a lot of energy -- all of this makes the film a great big mess, but also more compelling than it could have been if it was simply competent. It's kind of like a high school play: occasionally flashy and charming, even despite all of its faults.

If you're not watching for a specific character, you come to look forward to whenever Camp cuts to a musical number. These are fun. If you like musical theater, you will probably enjoy these parts of the movie. The songs often have a point in relation to whichever character sings them, and while it's very obvious, at least it's there. And, hey, there's even a cameo turned in by Stephen Sondheim. Chances are that if you just got excited about that, you should really seek out Camp right this instant.

Is Camp a good movie? I'm not even sure anymore. It has a target audience that will love it, and for anyone else, it's watchable but nothing much more. There's a certain charm to it that will keep most people interested, even if its ensemble cast and multiple storylines aren't handled particularly well. These characters are interesting, and if you find yourself getting attached to one, there's a good chance that none of the film's flaws will matter. For me, Camp isn't great, but I can certainly appreciate what it wanted to do.
March 7, 2013
I luved this movie from beginning to end this movie really touched my heart
December 26, 2012
I really loved this movie. Anyone that was a drama geek or band nerd would appreciate the story behind "Camp." I very much enjoyed Daniel Letterle as the lead character and thought that the character was very adorable. I say it's worth a rent. I might even go out and buy this movie.
December 23, 2012
These kids can definitely sing, but the story and acting fall flat.
December 12, 2012
A good indie film targeted at gay/musical audiences. Sub par acting, but excellent musical sequences.
Page 1 of 47