Chilcoat, Don Dixon
MGM Home Entertainment
Date: February 24, 2004
Review posted: March 3, 2004
Lonely isolated kids find solace in Camp Ovation, a song and dance
camp that does a show every two weeks.
Camp is a
movie that will probably touch those who are trying to get into
theater the most. This movie offers us a wide array of stage actors
and actresses that the theater demographic will probably be able to
identify with. People who enjoy theater may also find this movie to be
an interesting look. Otherwise it may be a mixed bag for anyone else.
It isn't really all that funny and it represents a lot of clichés, but
it is hard to condemn the film for that, especially since the deeper
message here is that of self pride.
What is admirable about Camp is that it represents characters
of different race, body type, and sexuality. Two characters that
resonate with the audience are the fat black girl named Jenna (Tiffany
Taylor) and the gay, drag queen character of Michael (Robin de Jesus).
Jenna’s parents want her to lose weight and she lacks self confidence
and Michael’s parents hate him because he's gay and he is beaten up at
school, but even though these two characters are overly familiar,
Taylor and de Jesus do an admirable job of playing the characters and
find a few powerful moments to really shine.
Vlad (Daniel Letterle) is another character that works well, primarily
because his quirk is the most original of all. He is the only straight
guy at this camp as well as the most charismatic, but his problem is
that he can't help but crave attention. He likes everybody at camp and
he wants everybody to like him, which becomes a problem for Ellen
(Joanna Chilcoat) who has never been in a relationship with anyone
other than Vlad. Letterle brings a lot of charm to the role and
Chilcoat finds vulnerability in Ellen, and together they share the
movie's most tender scenes.
The song and dance numbers don't work all too well. This may be the
biggest spot that separates what I think from what a theater crowd
might think about this film. While energetic and kind of catchy, the
song/dance numbers were instantly forgettable, and the comedy feels
more weird than funny. Those more intoned with theater may disagree,
but even if you’re not in love with the theater, these actors put on
an enjoyable show. You’ll love their quirks, charms, and hearts.
MGM brings Camp to screen in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen.
MGM gives Camp an
English 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround soundtrack. Optional English or
Spanish subtitles are available.
The Making of Camp
- Director Todd Graff talks about what inspired the film, as
well how "deliriously fun and soulful" he wanted the dance
numbers to be. We also see casting auditions, and it takes us
through the rehearsal process with choreographers Michelle Lynch
and Jerry Mitchell. The actors talk about their roles and how
thrilled they are to be a part of Camp. There is also a
short back story of why they used “Stagedoor Manor” as the
set for the camp. But the real gems here are being able to hear Sasha
Allan sing "How Should I See You Through My Tears" one more time
and to see them get a standing 'O" from the 2003 Sundance Film
Live Performance of "How Should I See You through My Tears"
- The cast got together and sang this song during the closing night of
the LA Film Festival.
- These are pretty worthless as they mean nothing to the overall
direction of the movie. They continue the joke that no song and dance
actor is interested in sports, and put in a few other stage scenes
that make very little sense and showcase lesser characters.
think this is a pretty good movie for those interested in theater.
They may identify with these characters the most. The special
features will also give them the chance to see stage actors living
their dream of performing in a musical with so much talent involved.
The average viewer, on the other hand, may feel a bit different,
but he/she won't be able to deny the charm of the cast and the
movie's well-meaning message.
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