A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Boys vs. Girls is a Canadian comedy about a beloved summer camp that experiments with going co-ed for the first time. Lead counselors Dale (Eric Osborne) and Amber (Rachel Dagenais) are involved in a budding romance that sets the tone for the camp's battle of the sexes. The film's humor is what you'd likely expect from a summer camp comedy, with a fair bit of sexual and drug-related humor. There are allusions to porn, rude hand gestures, and underage smoking. There's also strong language ("f--k," "bitch," and more) and a scene that includes Native American stereotypes. But fans of Whose Line Is It Anyway? and The Kids in the Hall will enjoy seeing co-stars Colin Mochrie (as a harried camp director) and Kevin McDonald (as a quirky groundskeeper), and the storyline ultimately promotes teamwork.
What's the story?
In BOYS VS. GIRLS, Dale (Eric Osborne) and Amber (Rachel Dagenais) are the two head counselors at Camp Kindlewood, a camp that's traditionally separated boy and girl campers. But park director Roger (Colin Mochrie) has a new idea for camp this year: bringing the two groups together to make Camp Kindlewood co-ed. Dale, Amber, and their fellow counselors proceed to use the camp's various competitions to turn Kindlewood into either a boys-only camp or a girls-only camp, with the losing gender being unable to apply for camp counselor positions the next year. But once they learn that corporate bureaucrats are threatening to close the camp forever, they come together to keep their beloved summer gathering spot open for everyone to enjoy. Along the way, Dale and Amber work through their mistake-laden courtship, finally realizing that fighting doesn't lead to a happy relationship.
Is it any good?
Writer/director Michael Stasko brings some of the familiar levity from other summer camp comedies to this film but dials the raunchiness down for younger viewers. Boys vs. Girls is a quick film if you're looking for a short diversion. But the pacing is a little slow in the beginning, with the film eventually finding its footing toward the middle of the storyline. It gets compelling once the gender wars ramp up, leading to a lot of funny moments. Overall, though, the actors who carry the film aren't the leads. Instead, the comedic muscles of Boys vs. Girls are Mochrie as camp director Roger; Kevin McDonald as park groundskeeper Coffee; Jesse Camacho as Ben; a camp counselor with Chris Farley-esque energy; and Michala Brasseur as Dany, a goth camp counselor who's always focused on the occult. Other cast members buoying the film's comedy include Samantha Helt as mallrat Tiffany, Tim Dowler-Coltman as silent heartthrob Bo, Romeo Carere as rap wannabe Hip-Hop, and Nia Roam as type-A camp counselor Donna.
That's not to say that Osborne and Dagenais bring the film down in any way. Instead, they fill a "straight man" comedic role, allowing everyone else to bring more extremes to their characters. As a whole, the cast brings a new flavor to the tried-and-true conceit of "girls against boys." If you're a fan of summer camp movies, you'll have fun watching this with teens, as the humor is adult enough for parents but not too explicit for teenagers. Aside from the edgier humor, watch for a scene that illustrates an end-of-summer "ritual" of sorts in which kids are stereotypically dressed like Native Americans and act in a stereotypical manner. But apart from that and some pacing issues, Boys vs. Girls is sure to provide laughs to its audience.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about teamwork. What does teamwork mean to you? What are positive outcomes that can come from teamwork? How can you encourage teamwork among your friends and family?
How does a lack of teamwork harm others? When have you engaged in teamwork to solve a problem?
Why do you think movies about summer camp are popular? Have you seen others? How does this one compare?
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