For anyone who has ever done theater, did it in high school, tried community theater, went to drama camp, drama club, or is a drama queen in general, Theater Camp is the movie for you. Part Waiting for Guffman, part Wet Hot American Summer, this is the film comedy of the year, hitting all the high notes of ridiculous reality and farcical humor until the blend is perfect. The audience might be small, but the impact is huge, as theater kids everywhere rejoice that a story did them justice, showed who they truly are, brought the small stage to life in a huge way.
For the campers and counselors at AdirondACTS, a theater camp in upstate New York, the limelight is life and all the world’s a stage. These are the people who live the theater, whose hearts are made of musicals, and who only want to be themselves in a world where that’s not always appreciated. Unfortunately, the camp might be closing its doors, which makes this year’s signature show all the more important. Counselors and best friends Amos & Rebecca-Diane write a stirring program, only to watch the whole thing crumble under the weight of their own egos and the pressure of saving the day.
This really is a bright spot in the world of cynical comedies, of off-color humor, of dishonest jokes done only for laughs. Theater Camp is refreshingly optimistic and a great representation of a niche group, of drama kids growing up surrounded by people who don’t often get them. Camp is where they feel home, this group of colleagues is a safe place, and I completely understand that, having found it myself when I was young and having had it affect my life in an extremely healthy and wonderful way. It’s a movie to make you laugh and cry, and one of the funniest things you’ll see this year. It’s heartwarming, it’s honest, it’s silly, and it’s just so fun to watch, like a friend putting on a play just for you. Don’t let this one slip by because so many other films will be bigger; not many of them will be better.
My rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆