Published Nov 04, 2010The whole summer camp thing is a city kid phenomenon. I grew up on a hundred-acre farm on a dirt road, as did most of my peers, so escaping to the wilderness wasn't something that my classmates and I did. This is why the inherent saccharine goodness and blanket nostalgia of Summerhood was lost upon me. Well, it was that or the fact that the direction was amateur and the writing felt like sub-par Littlest Hobo, at best.
Narrated distractingly by John Cusack, this scatological childhood schmaltz observes a summer of camp hi-jinks in Cabin B, with the precocious Fetus (Lucian Maisel) leading his group of "douche friends" through a series of pranks, life lessons and gags about stuff like hand jobs and toothpaste impropriety. The Assistant Director (Christopher MacDonald) has had it with the boys' shenanigans, while camp counsellor Careless (Jacob Medjuck) acts as an empathetic shoulder to lean on.
Essentially, you could boil this film down to an exaggerated shrug, a roll of the eyes, a shake of the head and an exasperated, "oh, those crazy kids" uttered to the tune of "Spirit in the Sky."
Since the toilet humour is so stilted and clumsy, the jokes won't work for anyone without a nightlight, which is fine, but even then the actual emotional conflict in the film has no grace or plausible grounding in reality. It's as though writer/director Medjuck perceives children as a caricature of gross, heart-warming stereotypes and unlikely wisdom, much like the Welch's grape juice girl.
Maybe the Nova Scotia locale or generalized vibe of good times past will appeal to a certain subset of eager, patriotic individuals. But, for the most part, this is barely Sunday afternoon television fare. (Summerhood Productions)