A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
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.
- Parents say
- Kids say
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 ...
- In theaters: March 4, 1995
- On DVD or streaming: March 4, 2003
- Cast: Aaron Schwartz, Ben Stiller, Tom McGowan
- Director: Steven Brill
- Studio: Walt Disney Pictures
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: Friendship
- Run time: 97 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: For some rude language and pranks
- Last updated: March 14, 2020
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