Movie review by
Joly Herman, Common Sense Media
Heavyweights Movie Poster Image
Early Judd Apatow film makes fat camp mischievous and fun.
  • PG
  • 1995
  • 97 minutes

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 5 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Confusing messages about being overweight. Some of the tactics that Tony uses are cruel, and the revenge pranks that the campers enact are pushing it. The only females in the film are love-interests or mothers.


Tony is tied up and put inside of a cage with an electric fence. A father punches him in the stomach at the end of the movie.


Teens shown making out as the opening credits roll. One of the Camp Hope boys makes out with a girl at the dance. Pat the counselor kisses the camp nurse.


"Damn," "big ass," "see you in hell," "kick his ass."


Food, glorious food! All kinds of candies and pizzas and junk food abound. Taco Bell, Burger King, McDonald's signs are displayed.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Food is treated like a drug -- the jonesing, the stashes, the withdrawals. Adults like the cameraman and the cook smoke cigarettes.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this comedy sends confusing signals about being overweight. It's not clear if the movie is about self-acceptance or self-loathing. There's some mild potty language and some pranks that get a little out of hand, as well.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 9 and 12-year-old Written byRadfamily January 12, 2021

Too much fun

While it doesn’t have a plethora of positive messages or great role models, was the PERFECT choice for a family movie night with our 9 and 11 year old. We laugh... Continue reading
Parent Written byjessicav3 December 30, 2016

Loved it as a kid and my kids did to

I loved this movie as a kid and showed it to my 8 and 9 year olds. They enjoyed it. I chose 9 because my 8 year old is able to understand and enjoy movies direc... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old January 10, 2021

Great for a family movie night

I really like this movie and I have seen it about 3 times. Minimal swearing and drinking, not a lot of kissing. It has great role models and positive messages.... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byTiger725 July 28, 2017

a fair comedy

ok for for young kids

What's the story?

On the last day of school, Gerry Gardner (Aaron Schwartz) gets some unwanted news from his parents: this summer, he's being sent off to "fat camp." Once he's there, though, he meets some great guys who are happy to be away from the rest of the cruel, skinny world, and who share Gerry's obsession with candy and junk food. Their fabulous summer is threatened when Tony Perkis (Ben Stiller) buys the camp from its beloved owners, ruling with an iron fist. Not only are the kids depressed, but the counselors are shamed into submission. Camp movies never have a sad ending, though. Guess what happens in the end?

Is it any good?

Ben Stiller's performance as a health maniac who operates the camp as a means to making a weight-loss infomercial is pretty dark. Yes it's funny when he shimmies about in his spandex shorts, doing sham tai chi, but there is something not right about his villainous camp counselor act. Is he having fun playing the role? He's not Bill Murray, that's for sure.

This said, older viewers might appreciate the satire more than younger kids. Judd Apatow is a co-writer on this film, which should ring some bells about over-the-top behavior. In all, HEAVYWEIGHTS does deliver some classic laugh-out-loud moments for the less faint of heart.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about food and its role in our lives. We need to eat to survive, right?

  • But what influences our decisions to eat certain foods?

  • Are you hungrier when you watch TV?

  • When does it feel good to eat? When do you not feel good about eating?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love comedies

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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