Directed by Ivan Reitman
I hope your mom has labelled all your gitch ’cause it’s summer camp season, and just in time comes the special edition release of Meatballs. Camp councillor Tripper Harrison (Bill Murray in his first staring role) is locked and loaded to make sure the kids and councillors-in-training at Camp North Star all have a blast, especially Rudy Gerner (Chris Makepeace), the shy introvert Tripper takes under his wing. Councillors fall in love, Bill Murry mugs and the kids from Camp North Star take on the cheating, stuck-up rich kids from Camp Mohawk in a colour war. Beyond that, there’s not much plot. When Meatballs first came out in 1979 it was already pretty disjointed and corny, time has only softened its comedic teeth and made it cornier. It may have been considered risqué in its day but after years of high-school boys peeping in women’s shower-rooms, nerds getting revenge and the man-o-lantern, Meatballs now plays like a light, sweet comedy. It’s got nostalgic value for those of us who grew up with the film, or those pining for their days as a camper or councillor, but nostalgia can only go so far. Canadian raised/first time director Ivan Reitman (Stripes, Ghostbusters, Cannibal Girls) took advantage of Canadian tax credits and the cache of producing Animal House to hastily slap together this little Canadian comedy (shot in Haliburton, Ontario). The bonus features and commentary drift into hyperbole, as members of the creative team reflect on some of the all-time "great moments in film making” during the shooting. Their memories have been pretty kind. Many of us just remember the best parts of camp, just like many of us just remember the best parts of Meatballs; you might want to stick with the memories.
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