Searchlight Pictures’ latest film release is “Theater Camp”, which is a mockumentary comedy that tells the story of a rundown theater camp in upstate New York. When the camp’s owner has a seizure that puts her into a coma, her clueless tech-bro Troy has to take over the business and tries to keep the camp open after discovering the bank will foreclose on the property if he can’t make some money to stop a rival theater camp from taking over.
There are plenty of other smaller storylines going on throughout the film, mainly involving Amos and Rebecca-Diane – lifelong best friends and drama instructors, who are struggling with where their careers are and how things have changed over the years.
Throughout the film, we get to see how the kids love the freedom of the theater camp to be themselves and to express their creative side. But the major focus is more on the teachers than the kids, who are just mainly annoying characters. The major musical number at the end of the film was easily the best thing about the film, especially Noah Galvin’s performance.
Even though the film comes in at just over ninety minutes long, I was glad when it ended, because I just really struggled to connect to the characters and the weak story. Summer camps aren’t really a thing in the UK, so I’ve no idea of what it’s like, except for how we see them in films and shows. I also felt that this film seemed to have so many insider jokes about musicals that completely went over my head. I enjoy musicals, but I didn’t think the musical aspects were that good. Plus, for a “comedy”, I maybe only chuckled a couple of times, as I just didn’t think it was that funny. The characters seem so extreme and one-dimensional that it is hard to really care too much about their situation.
Overall: “Theater Camp” was personally a disappointment. I had been looking forward to watching the film as I had heard so many good things about it, but I just didn’t enjoy it. The last ten minutes were okay, but so much of the film just felt like unnecessary filler. The plot was just so thin, and there didn’t seem to be anything interesting going on, to make you connect with the characters. I just didn’t find it funny or entertaining, but maybe you’ll like it, especially if you enjoy musical theater.
Rating – 2.5 Out Of 5
Extras: The digital version of the film does come with some additional extras, including some deleted and extended scenes, plus a short interview with the cast. If you enjoyed the film, these nice little extras are nice bonuses, but nothing too amazing and could easily have just been released as a featurette on YouTube.
“Theater Camp” is out now to purchase on digital platforms, including Amazon, Apple and Vudu, plus available to stream on Hulu in the United States and on Disney+ in Canada.
Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom.