Director: Todd Graff
Cast: Anna Kendrick and a bunch of other people you've never heard of
Released: July 25, 2003
I saw this movie many years ago when it had just been released on DVD and when I saw it was on Netflix Instant, decided to watch it again. It's a cute little film with musical numbers that aren't contrived and fit in with the context of the movie.
Camp Ovation is a musical/drama summer camp for kids aging from elementary to high school. (They can also play sports, but nobody cares about that!) They are involved in different productions and at the end there is a huge show for parents and family members to watch their children sing or perform in plays. A lot of the kids are somewhat fairly talented and the camp is for young people who are serious about wanting to perform as a career.
Most of the main characters are high-school age and they have been to the camp before, so they are good friends and know each other. Vlad is the new kid at camp. He's also the only straight guy. (Or maybe not because he does flirt with one of his roommates...) Dude, I know you're straight, but that still doesn't excuse you for going to a musical camp and not knowing who freaking Stephen Sondheim is! That's like going to film camp and not knowing who Steven Speilberg is!
Is Vlad good-looking with killer abs? Yes, yes he is. (And yes he does!) Does Vlad have a good voice? Yes, he does! And he sings Wild Horses! He sings WILD HORSES! That is Buffy and Angel's song! (Season 3, Epsisode 20: The Prom) So by all accounts, I should like him, right? Wrong! Unfortunately, Vlad is a huge douche. He is such a player. Like I said, he "flirts" with Michael, one of his (obviously gay) roommates. He always takes his shirt off when Michael's around him and asks him how he knows he's gay if he's never been with a girl. Vlad, you are lucky you are good-looking, because you are so stupid! Because Michael is blinded by Vlad's killer abs, he sleeps with Dee (one of the best female singers at the camp, but apparently has no gaydar). Vlad makes out with her to prove to her that he's not gay, but Ellen, the girl who likes him and he has been having a "summer romance" with sees them and runs out crying. Oh, and besides Ellen and Dee, he also had a thing with the mean slutty girl, Jill. Oh, and it turns out that he has had a girlfriend the entire time he's been whoring around the whole camp...she comes up to the camp just to break up with him.
Ellen (the main female lead) is soooo stupid. After Vlad's girlfriend breaks up with him, he asks Ellen if they can start over and is interested in dating her when they return home and she's all smiles and says yes and the movie ends with her, Vlad, and Michael swimming in the lake. Um, okay, he's just going to cheat on you when you get back just like he cheated on his girlfriend and just like he cheated on you when you thought you were a couple at camp. Once a player, always a player!
So it may seem that I hate the entire young cast so far, but I don't. I just hate the male and female leads. Anna Kendrick plays Fritzi and there's probably a reason why she's the only one who went on to a better career (Twilight movies notwithstanding but at least she doesn't play Bella or a glittering vampire) while the other people in this movie are not famous. She is the best thing about this movie. Fritzi is Jill's little slave, always getting and doing what Jill wants. Fritzi gets advice from the new camp counselor who tells her that if she wants a good part in one of the musicals, she should just go for it, so she gives Jill food poisoning and ends up taking her place in The Ladies Who Lunch.
Bert, the camp counselor, is a has-been playwright who hasn't had a hit in ages and tells the kids that they are all wasting their time, that they will never become anybody. Harsh, but true. I mean, it happened in real life! None of these kids went on to anything else besides Anna Kendrick. That's probably what the statistic of school for the arts / camps like these are like. Of course, Bert has a change of heart and isn't so cynical anymore when the kids find one of his songs that he's never used before and starts singing along with them when he discovers they're playing it. Actually, it was one of my favorite moments of the movie.