Monday, June 28, 2004

CAMP MOVIES WE LOVE

At least for me, there are certain movies whose themes, characters and situations evoke the themes, characters and situations that I experienced (or wish I had experienced) at Camp. Here are my favorites: make sure to weigh in with your opinions and additions to the list.

Indian Summer (1993)
My favorite, most closely resembles the activities and personalities of Camp Ramah in the Berkshires, where I spent summers. The story of a camp director (Alan Arkin) who invites some of his favorite campers back for a week of Camp-style relaxation. Elizabeth McGovern's sarcastic and spunky, Bill Paxton's irreverent and incorrigible, Diane Lane is luminous, as usual, and Kevin Pollak's hilarious. (I wish I had gone to camp with Kevin Pollak. And that we were married. But that's another post.)

Camp (2003)
A touching and hilarious summer at a performing arts camp. This is what Camp would look like if every day were Yom Machazeh (the day when you rehearse the play ALL DAY until that evening's performance) and every peulah (activity) was drama. Starring a cast of extremely talented unknowns. My favorite scene (don't worry, I won't spoil it): the debate over ethnic casting.

Wet Hot American Summer (2001)
Counselors try not to work too hard as they provide minimal care for their charges and frolic in the heat of summer. Celebrity counselors include Janeane Garofalo, David Hyde Pierce and Paul Rudd.

Little Darlings (1980)
Tatum O'Neal. Kristy MacNichol. Matt Dillon. Add the plot of "Losin' It" and you've got Little Darlings. Look for a blonde, extremely young Cynthia Nixon in a supporting role. And maybe someone can explain to me why all the campers in the same bunk seem to be different ages.

Meatballs (1979)
Bill Murray. That's all the information I have. Which is good, because that's all the information you need.

What are your favorites and why?

15 Comments:

At 5:42 PM, June 28, 2004, Blogger annabel lee said...

I've always loved The Parent Trap, although it bears zero relation to my own camp experiences.

 
At 6:38 PM, June 28, 2004, Blogger Gooch said...

Wow! Small blog-world. I spent 4 miserable Summers @ Camp Ramah in Ojai, CA. I hated kitot (sp?)

 
At 8:10 PM, June 28, 2004, Blogger Caryn said...

Hahaha! My brother and I used to have an Indian Summer thing. Anytime we were watching another movie and a member of the Indian Summer cast would appear, we'd scream, "Indian Summer!" They're in a lot of movies, when you add 'em all up, so we were screaming it a lot. I guess that's not a very interesting game, but it was funny to us.

 
At 8:14 PM, June 28, 2004, Blogger Caryn said...

Oh, and one of my favorite camp movies would have to be Sleepaway Camp (or was it Sleepaway Camp II?). We were in the 4th grade and rented movies for a slumber party. We wanted scary movies. This movie completely disturbed us little 10-year-olds. Especially the scene with the kid who was shoved into a latrine & covered with ... muck.

Which movie was the one with an alien who landed and some boy campers have him in a raincoat a lot of the time? Was that Meatballs?

 
At 9:29 PM, June 28, 2004, Blogger Ari said...

Hmm... I was always partial to the Michael J Fox/Nancy McKeon movie; Poison Ivy.

Wet Hot American Summer was fantastic but I loved the horror ones {Jason!!} - I'm so disturbed, I know.

 
At 8:41 AM, June 29, 2004, Blogger Julie said...

Yes, I loved (love) The Parent Trap, too. I mean, how cool would it be to go away to summer camp and meet your long-lost twin? And then "submarine" her and fill her cabin with string and honey? My favorite camp scene in that movie, though, is at the dance--because, you know, if someone cut a big hole out of the back of my dress and my ass was hanging out, I definitely wouldn't notice!

My parents never sent me away to summer camp--and, as Hailey Mills is proof of, I really missed out on so much.

 
At 9:06 AM, June 29, 2004, Blogger Dahl said...

I'll always put Dirty Dancing in there since I saw it at camp for the first tiem (at the age of 8 or 9 - my parents were none too pleased). And Camp Ramah was right down the road from my camp in West Stockbridge, MA - we had a "swim meet" against them!

Little Darlings cracks me up by the way.

 
At 10:58 AM, June 29, 2004, Blogger Ari said...

Dahl... West Stockbridge?! Did we talk about this before?? I was at Crane Lake right there too!!!

 
At 1:43 PM, June 30, 2004, Blogger petitchou said...

Esther, I'll box you for Kevin Pollack! ("It just looks so much smaller than I remember it...")

C, your Indian Summer game sounds great! I'm now imagining you two screaming it out in the middle of movie theatres nationwide. As a stranger I'd be thoroughly annoyed, as an insider, so totally amused.

 
At 11:09 AM, July 01, 2004, Blogger The Town Crier said...

I was always partial to the Charlie Brown movie when he goes to summer camp.

Ernest goes to camp was reminicsent of some J-camp experiences.

Then there's also things that would never ewally happene like The Praent Trap or the Olsen Twins / Kirsty Alley "It Takes Two."

 
At 11:38 PM, January 11, 2005, Blogger Craig said...

Summer Camp was one of the best times of my life and I wish they would make more (good) films set at camp. My favorite camp movies would have to be "Meatballs" and "Indian Summer". I liked "Ernest Goes to Camp" as a kid but I just re-watched it and realized how bad it is. I have not seen "Little Darlings" or "Poison Ivy" but will now because of your recommendations.

 
At 4:46 PM, September 29, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

there was a movie about camp that I always watched when i was kid but can't rememebr, can some one help me out htere. All i know it's about a brother that works at a camp as a counslour and his little brother is at camp and they have a friend name Rat or something like that. does anyone know what i am talking about.

 
At 1:07 AM, November 05, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You no my favourites are in this order, 1. A PIG'S TALE, 2.CAMP, 3. CAMP CUCAMONGA, 4. HEAVYWEIGHTS, 5. INDIAN SUMMER, 6. MEATBALLS, 7. BUG JUICE THE SERIES (BUT THAT WAS REAL)
ahh summer days at camp, lots of memories of those 8 week summers that seem to fly by..
Leigh...

 
At 10:47 PM, November 10, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the person who was wondering about the movie where "a brother that works at a camp as a counseler and his little brother is at the camp".

The movie you are thinking of is "Looking For Miracles". I know you can get it on Amazon if you are wanting to find it.

 
At 10:34 PM, December 16, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My mom is always talking about a movie which came out in the 1950s (she thinks) about a poor girl who gets to go to camp. The camp she goes to is full of rich kids who are nasty to her. She wins them over in the end. Any ideas anyone?

 

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My Urban Kvetch: CAMP MOVIES WE LOVE

Monday, June 28, 2004

CAMP MOVIES WE LOVE

At least for me, there are certain movies whose themes, characters and situations evoke the themes, characters and situations that I experienced (or wish I had experienced) at Camp. Here are my favorites: make sure to weigh in with your opinions and additions to the list.

Indian Summer (1993)
My favorite, most closely resembles the activities and personalities of Camp Ramah in the Berkshires, where I spent summers. The story of a camp director (Alan Arkin) who invites some of his favorite campers back for a week of Camp-style relaxation. Elizabeth McGovern's sarcastic and spunky, Bill Paxton's irreverent and incorrigible, Diane Lane is luminous, as usual, and Kevin Pollak's hilarious. (I wish I had gone to camp with Kevin Pollak. And that we were married. But that's another post.)

Camp (2003)
A touching and hilarious summer at a performing arts camp. This is what Camp would look like if every day were Yom Machazeh (the day when you rehearse the play ALL DAY until that evening's performance) and every peulah (activity) was drama. Starring a cast of extremely talented unknowns. My favorite scene (don't worry, I won't spoil it): the debate over ethnic casting.

Wet Hot American Summer (2001)
Counselors try not to work too hard as they provide minimal care for their charges and frolic in the heat of summer. Celebrity counselors include Janeane Garofalo, David Hyde Pierce and Paul Rudd.

Little Darlings (1980)
Tatum O'Neal. Kristy MacNichol. Matt Dillon. Add the plot of "Losin' It" and you've got Little Darlings. Look for a blonde, extremely young Cynthia Nixon in a supporting role. And maybe someone can explain to me why all the campers in the same bunk seem to be different ages.

Meatballs (1979)
Bill Murray. That's all the information I have. Which is good, because that's all the information you need.

What are your favorites and why?

15 Comments:

At 5:42 PM, June 28, 2004, Blogger annabel lee said...

I've always loved The Parent Trap, although it bears zero relation to my own camp experiences.

 
At 6:38 PM, June 28, 2004, Blogger Gooch said...

Wow! Small blog-world. I spent 4 miserable Summers @ Camp Ramah in Ojai, CA. I hated kitot (sp?)

 
At 8:10 PM, June 28, 2004, Blogger Caryn said...

Hahaha! My brother and I used to have an Indian Summer thing. Anytime we were watching another movie and a member of the Indian Summer cast would appear, we'd scream, "Indian Summer!" They're in a lot of movies, when you add 'em all up, so we were screaming it a lot. I guess that's not a very interesting game, but it was funny to us.

 
At 8:14 PM, June 28, 2004, Blogger Caryn said...

Oh, and one of my favorite camp movies would have to be Sleepaway Camp (or was it Sleepaway Camp II?). We were in the 4th grade and rented movies for a slumber party. We wanted scary movies. This movie completely disturbed us little 10-year-olds. Especially the scene with the kid who was shoved into a latrine & covered with ... muck.

Which movie was the one with an alien who landed and some boy campers have him in a raincoat a lot of the time? Was that Meatballs?

 
At 9:29 PM, June 28, 2004, Blogger Ari said...

Hmm... I was always partial to the Michael J Fox/Nancy McKeon movie; Poison Ivy.

Wet Hot American Summer was fantastic but I loved the horror ones {Jason!!} - I'm so disturbed, I know.

 
At 8:41 AM, June 29, 2004, Blogger Julie said...

Yes, I loved (love) The Parent Trap, too. I mean, how cool would it be to go away to summer camp and meet your long-lost twin? And then "submarine" her and fill her cabin with string and honey? My favorite camp scene in that movie, though, is at the dance--because, you know, if someone cut a big hole out of the back of my dress and my ass was hanging out, I definitely wouldn't notice!

My parents never sent me away to summer camp--and, as Hailey Mills is proof of, I really missed out on so much.

 
At 9:06 AM, June 29, 2004, Blogger Dahl said...

I'll always put Dirty Dancing in there since I saw it at camp for the first tiem (at the age of 8 or 9 - my parents were none too pleased). And Camp Ramah was right down the road from my camp in West Stockbridge, MA - we had a "swim meet" against them!

Little Darlings cracks me up by the way.

 
At 10:58 AM, June 29, 2004, Blogger Ari said...

Dahl... West Stockbridge?! Did we talk about this before?? I was at Crane Lake right there too!!!

 
At 1:43 PM, June 30, 2004, Blogger petitchou said...

Esther, I'll box you for Kevin Pollack! ("It just looks so much smaller than I remember it...")

C, your Indian Summer game sounds great! I'm now imagining you two screaming it out in the middle of movie theatres nationwide. As a stranger I'd be thoroughly annoyed, as an insider, so totally amused.

 
At 11:09 AM, July 01, 2004, Blogger The Town Crier said...

I was always partial to the Charlie Brown movie when he goes to summer camp.

Ernest goes to camp was reminicsent of some J-camp experiences.

Then there's also things that would never ewally happene like The Praent Trap or the Olsen Twins / Kirsty Alley "It Takes Two."

 
At 11:38 PM, January 11, 2005, Blogger Craig said...

Summer Camp was one of the best times of my life and I wish they would make more (good) films set at camp. My favorite camp movies would have to be "Meatballs" and "Indian Summer". I liked "Ernest Goes to Camp" as a kid but I just re-watched it and realized how bad it is. I have not seen "Little Darlings" or "Poison Ivy" but will now because of your recommendations.

 
At 4:46 PM, September 29, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

there was a movie about camp that I always watched when i was kid but can't rememebr, can some one help me out htere. All i know it's about a brother that works at a camp as a counslour and his little brother is at camp and they have a friend name Rat or something like that. does anyone know what i am talking about.

 
At 1:07 AM, November 05, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You no my favourites are in this order, 1. A PIG'S TALE, 2.CAMP, 3. CAMP CUCAMONGA, 4. HEAVYWEIGHTS, 5. INDIAN SUMMER, 6. MEATBALLS, 7. BUG JUICE THE SERIES (BUT THAT WAS REAL)
ahh summer days at camp, lots of memories of those 8 week summers that seem to fly by..
Leigh...

 
At 10:47 PM, November 10, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the person who was wondering about the movie where "a brother that works at a camp as a counseler and his little brother is at the camp".

The movie you are thinking of is "Looking For Miracles". I know you can get it on Amazon if you are wanting to find it.

 
At 10:34 PM, December 16, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My mom is always talking about a movie which came out in the 1950s (she thinks) about a poor girl who gets to go to camp. The camp she goes to is full of rich kids who are nasty to her. She wins them over in the end. Any ideas anyone?

 

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