• Warning: Spoilers
    A mishmash of ideas. 20-somethings (played by 30/40-somethings) take one last trip to Camp Tamakwa, their favorite summer camp of their childhood, 20 years later.

    Mostly a feel-good movie that doesn't delve too deeply into any problem, it also takes humor material from camp movies from the 80s (the childhood pranks, the early morning wake-up calls, almost getting laid).

    Added are a whole slew of sub-plots, introduced and never fully concluded, such as;

    • the couple whose marriage is on the verge of breaking down
    • the single friend who's ready to cheat with her friend's husband
    • the playboy millionaire who is in love (for the first time) with his trophy girlfriend
    • the rebel returned who has learnt his lesson
    • the mentor who is taught a lesson by his prodigy
    • the businessman who finds his true calling


    The other major (or minor) problem, is that there is no main plot. It's just a set of slightly connected vignettes that show everyone to be fairly shallow and stereotypical. Just when you think they might have some depth, it's time to cut to another set.

    Speaking of the set, it's very pretty. Camp Tamakwa is a real summer camp in Canada. This movie is prominently mentioned on their website. Current prices are about CA$1500/week ($10k for the whole summer).

    Amusingly, one of the sub-sub-plots is racism in the 60s and that a black guy isn't given a job because of his skin color. Looking at all the people who actually work there now in 2019, it's a complete whitewash. Even the group shot of some 60+ campers. As Public Enemy said, "there ain't no black in that flag".

    If you're after a light-hearted drama, sometimes juvenile comedy, sometimes almost PG-13 romcom, that requires no thought and no emotional connection with a single character, this is the movie for you.

    Starring:

    Tom Boyd - it's our old friend and everyone's favorite and quite possibly the only oboist in Hollywood

    James Thatcher - must have taken some pointers from Tom Boyd, 1200+ movies as French horn musician, only ~100 behind Boyd

    Ashley Williams - hard to recognize her at 15 (in a non-speaking flashback), she played Jim's wife in the short-lived "Jim Gaffigan Show" and Victoria (Ted's girlfriend) in HIMYM

    Kimberly Williams-Paisley - older sister to Ashley Williams, starred in the mini-series "The 10th Kingdom" and starred as Dana in Jim Belushi's sitcom "According to Jim"

    Vincent Spano - starred in that movie where the rugby team had to eat each other to survive (Alive), and that's all he'll ever be remembered for

    Sam Raimi - yes, that Sam Raimi. He went to the actual Tamakwa as a kid and was happy to have a small part (he's been doing cameos in his own movies since the 80s). Bizarrely, he plays a cringeworthy slapstick dimwit. My favorite part of the movie is the end credits where he sits watching a moose for 2.5 minutes, over the stylings of Allan Sherman's "Hello Muddah, Hello Fuddah".

    Kevin Pollack - he's been doing 80s stand-up for 30 years, the only respectful work he's done was in "The Usual Suspects".

    Elizabeth Perkins - best known as Celia Hodes from "Weeds". Was also in "Finding Nemo", you might not remember, she gets eaten by a barracuda right at the start.

    Bill Paxton - much like everyone else, I haven't bothered mentioning what they do in this movie, they're all very forgettable. He's in it.

    Diane Lane - she was in "Unfaithful", and I guess some other movies?

    Alan Arkin - best known for his roles in "Little Miss Sunshine" and "Argo". He plays Lou Handler, who runs the camp, named after the actual Lou Handler who started the camp in the 1930s.

    Mike Binder - writer/director, he went to Camp Tamakwa for 10 years. Either he really loved it or his parents really loved him not being at home during the holidays.

    Dr Dale Garner - moose guide, he was in the middle of his dissertation, population ecology of moose, in Algonquin Provincial Park, when filming was happening. And they needed some shots of moose, so... after completing his doctorate, he became forest wildlife biologist in 1995, program coordinator in 2001, chief of the wildlife bureau in Iowa in 2004, head of the conservation division in 2017, and in 2019, he was finally listed on IMDB, when I noticed he wasn't there.