A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Daddy Day Camp is a 2007 comedy in which Cuba Gooding Jr. plays a dad trying to save his childhood summer camp from bankruptcy, his own ineptitude, and a rival summer camp. The movie relies heavily on potty and gross-out humor. Flatulence, belching, and vomiting are frequent punch lines. While the movie does pay lip service to positive values like cooperation and team work, these values are achieved through questionable means, such as a kid urinating into a water balloon in order to hit a rival camper, and another camper punching an adult in the crotch. A camper breaks into a snack bar to steal all the candy. An outhouse burns and falls around a counselor who's on the toilet. Infrequent mild profanity includes "crap" and "hell." One of the campers complains that he would rather be watching "nudie flicks on cable." Basically, every possible cliché from summer camp movies is employed in this unfunny movie.
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What's the story?
In this sequel to Daddy Day Care, Cuba Gooding Jr. plays Charlie Hinton -- who, with Phil Ryerson (Paul Rae, cast in the Jeff Garlin role), runs the successful daycare biz established in the original. But the action quickly shifts to an even less original plot about the dads trying to reconnect with their sons by buying the rundown summer camp they attended as kids. Amid the movie's many fart and vomit jokes arises a primal need for the Bad News campers and their clueless counselors -- who just barely made the camp usable -- to compete with the neighboring camp, which is run by Lance Warner (Lochlyn Munro), a Hummer-driving jerk of a jock. Desperate, Charlie turns to his father, a Marine Corps. colonel (Richard Gant) to swoop in and rally the wary troops.
Is it any good?
Kids who still giggle at poop gags or the sight of adults acting silly will delight in the outdoor mayhem, but parents will find the over-the-top performances and too-familiar story disappointing. As for Gooding, one can only hope that the actor who wowed audiences and critics with his performances in Boyz N the Hood and Jerry Maguire can find his way again. This is an awful movie that's not worth watching.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about good sportsmanship. The neighboring campers were really competitive, but they also cheated. Is winning the same if you cheat?
Why do you think Hollywood often makes sequels of successful movies, and why are sequels usually much worse than the original?
What were some of the ways in which the campers set bad examples? How did their behavior clash with the positive messages of the movie?
- In theaters: August 8, 2007
- On DVD or streaming: January 29, 2008
- Cast: Cuba Gooding Jr., Lochlyn Munro, Richard Gant
- Director: Fred Savage
- Studio: Sony Pictures
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Misfits and Underdogs
- Run time: 89 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: mild bodily humor and language.
- Last updated: September 20, 2019
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