A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Violence & Scariness
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Frank sexual references and situations including teen sex, gay characters.
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Strong language for a PG-13.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult character abuses alcohol.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this movie has very strong language and sexual references and situations for a PG-13. An adult character is an alcoholic. One of the movie's strengths is the way that the love for theater gives these kids so much in common that other differences, including race and sexual orientation, are warmly embraced. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
If this sounds like Fame with pine trees, you've got the right idea. Writer/director Todd Graff filmed CAMP at the real-life theater camp he attended and then worked at as a counselor. His affection for the camp and the kids and his eye (and ear) for detail are very engaging. But, as it should be, what is best about the movie is the kids. At the center of the story are Vlad (Daniel Letterle) and Ellen (Joanna Chilcoat). The kids are a little suspicious of Vlad because he seems too normal -- an all-American straight boy who likes to skateboard and throw a football. Ellen is a more typical Ovation camper, a sensitive and insecure girl. Her close friend Michael (Robin de Jesus), is a gay boy who was thrown out of his school prom and beaten up because he arrived in drag. Then there is Jill (Alana Allen), already a diva, and Fritzi (Anna Kendrick), her devoted sidekick.
The performances by the kids are terrific, with Broadway show tunes from "Promises, Promises," "Follies," "Gospel at Colonus," and "Dreamgirls." Kendrick and Sasha Allen (Dee) are standouts, with true show-stopping Broadway voices. There is some sharp dialogue, well delivered. The plot is too cluttered, however, including not just the expected romantic complications, adolescent angst, and even the future of Broadway musicals, but also a one-hit composer with a drinking problem that is resolved too neatly, and an All About Eve subplot about a sabotaged performer that is resolved too messily. The Vlad character is particularly overdone, burdened with at least two too many plot twist/quirk-style complications. Letterle does his best, but no one could pull all of that off.
Did we miss something on diversity?
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Our Editors Recommend
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