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Movie Review: Camp

Story: Summer camp holds memories (usually revisionist) for everyone who was able to get out of The City and breathe the cool summer air. I am still friendly with a Camp Deerhead (Hancock, NY) gal I met when I was 9 (yikes)! Anyway - Stagedoor Manor (renamed Camp Ovation in the film) is a real summer camp in upstate NY (where this was filmed) for youngsters who are would-be stars. Instead of swimming, hiking and tennis there's mostly rehearsals for the multiple showpieces that are presented every two weeks. Writer director Todd Graff went to this camp and decided to 'make a movie.' OY! That's where the trouble begins.

Disappointment abounds. The script is mediocre at best, the dialogue is eye-rolling dreadful and the acting is uneven and ofttimes embarrassing.

What was good? Imagine a place filled with teenagers where Stephen Sondheim is considered a god! The production numbers are fun and toe-tapping. It seems as if there are two films at play. There is the bad stuff that happens in-between the production numbers (typical teen angst) and then there's the 'let's put on a show' stuff that is enjoyable.

Acting: Mike Flores (as the teen drag queen) was the best. David Letterle (as the token heterosexual teen) reminded me of a long lost brother of Ricky and David Nelson. I think I have seen him on some Law & Orders in the 'rich kid gone bad' role. Ellen Lucas (as the plain-Jane teen) holds some promise. Some of the 'kids' seemed to us as if they were in their 40's.

Predilection: None.

Critters: None.

Food: No time to eat. Too much singing and dancing.

Visual Art: Posters of movies such as Boogie Nights.

Blatant Product Placement: None.

Soundtrack: Toe-tappingly good.

Opening Titles: Kitschy

Theater Audience: Some summer theater camp survivors for sure.

Sappy Factor: 5

Squirm Scale: I only squirmed because it was so amateurish.

Predictability Level: Off the charts.

Oscar Worthy: No.

Nit Picking: Too may to count.

Big Screen or Rental: Neither. Rent one of those old Judy Garland/Mickey Rooney films where they put on a show in a barn.

Length: Too long at a bit under two hours.