Theater Camp – The DVDfever Cinema Review – Ben Platt, Molly Gordon

Theater Camp Theater Camp… because Americans can’t spell “Theatre”

But anyway… this is a spin-off from an 18-minute short-film from 2020, made into a full-length theatrical movie.

Told in a mockumentary style, the place is run by former camp mates, and is one which has a preference for kids with rich parents, because in order to run during summer, they have to raise money during the Spring.

But just as they’re about to get going, owner Joan Rubinsky (Amy SedarisGhosted) falls ill, then into a coma, so son Troy (Jimmy TatroStrays) takes over, and to say he has zero experience in running a summer camp is an understatement.

Camp regulars Amos Klobuchar (Ben Platt) and Rebecca-Diane (Molly GordonYou People) write the play each year, and in support of their owner, they announce the title for this time round: Joan, Still, to much applause… although they’ve still to write it, so have no idea how it’ll go! Will the play end up a disaster? Well, even if you just check out the trailer, you’ll get an indication of just how little they all seem to have a clue about things.

Thankfully, both Platt and Gordon – together with director Nick Lieberman and fellow actor Noah Galvin – have a great clue about creating an engaging script, since Theater Camp has loads of comic asides and one-liners, none of which are belly laughs, but do give a decent chuckle on a regular basis.

One or two don’t quite hit the mark, such as an early line about Troy sacking most members of the staff, replacing them with just one woman – who is the only person who applied, but you barely see her after that, so it’s more of a throwaway line that could’ve been expanded upon.

Add in a subplot about a potential takeover from Caroline Krauss’ (Patti HarrisonHistory of Swear Words) Lakeside company, due to the camp’s fiduciary issues, and in a concise 93 minutes, we have a successful movie which is well worth anyone’s time, and it’s just a shame that with a large amount of films being released over the summer, this isn’t getting much of a look-in, as there were just two showings a day at Cineworld, both in the afternoon, and the one I was in wasn’t exactly packed. However, most people will catch a film like this on home formats or streaming.

A couple of asides: Theater Camp is set in the present day, but this film looks like it was shot on 16mm. I presume it’s been shot digitally, but treated in post-production to give it this effect.

Also, the opening credits feature Paul Simon’s great tune, The Obvious Child, in which Simon admitted the line “Cross is in the ballpark” didn’t have any meaning whatsoever, but fitted in nicely, time-wise.

There’s also a brief mid-credits scene, which is a spoiler if you haven’t seen the film yet, and doesn’t come too far into the credits, so stay seated, but in case you missed it, check out the video below.

Theater Camp is in cinemas now, but it not available to pre-order on home formats.

Theater Camp – Movie Mid-Credits Scene Breakdown #Shorts – DVDfeverGames

Theater Camp – Official Trailer – Searchlight Pictures

Detailed specs:

Running time: 93 minutes
Release date: August 25th 2023
Studio: Searchlight Pictures
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Cinema: Cineworld Didsbury
Rating: 7.5/10

Directors: Molly Gordon, Nick Lieberman
Producers: Jessica Elbaum, Samie Kim Falvey, Erik Feig, Will Ferrell, Noah Galvin, Molly Gordon, Julia Hammer, Ryan Heller, Nick Lieberman, Ben Platt, Maria Zuckerman
Screenplay: Noah Galvin, Molly Gordon, Nick Lieberman, Ben Platt
Music: James McAlister, Mark Sonnenblick

Amos Klobuchar: Ben Platt
Rebecca-Diane: Molly Gordon
Glenn Winthrop: Noah Galvin
Troy Rubinsky: Jimmy Tatro
Rita Cohen: Caroline Aaron
Janet Walch: Ayo Edebiri
Clive DeWitt: Nathan Lee Graham
Gigi Charbonier: Owen Thiele
Joan Rubinsky: Amy Sedaris
Caroline Krauss: Patti Harrison
Mackenzie Thomas: Bailee Bonick
Darla Sanchez: Kyndra Sanchez
Devon Miller: Donovan Colan
Lainy Fischer: Vivienne Sachs
Alan Park: Alan Kim
Sebastian Campbell: Alexander Bello
Christopher L: Luke Islam
Christopher s: Jack Sobolewski
Toby Garcia: Dean Scott Vazquez
Alice Taylor: Quinn Titcomb
Franny King: Madisen Marie Lora
Salem: Max Sheldon
Woman in hospital: Susie Essman
Dr. Bill Rauch: David Rasche