August 6, 2003

Musical Theater Freaks

Cinecultist doesn't tell a whole lot of people this, but since we're so close, we think we're ready to share. In high school, CC was a Thespian. We even had a card from the Thespian Society to carry around in our wallet proving to the world that we were a theater geek. With this background, we expected to enjoy Camp, a movie about a performing arts summer camp.

camp.jpgBut J and CC agreed that Camp is perhaps one of the worst movies we've seen in a long time. Like an episode of 7th Heaven or other After School Special ilk but with bad singing, two hours long and no commercials was the consensus. For such a supposedly queer-positive teen movie (one character's introduced in high drag at his junior prom), there's nary a real homosexual encounter. Not even some pretty boys kissing, just lots of awkward hetero lip lock and terrible, terrible musical numbers. The Stephen Sondheim cameo comes too late to salvage any of the hackney emoting and the ten odd minutes of charming bits throughout seem only to be insulting the audience's intelligence.

Even more shocking than Sondheim's participation, we noted such current musical luminaries as Stephen Trask, John Cameron Mitchell, Christine Vachon and Paul Thomas Anderson credited or thanked in the credits. Someone needs to remind the writer/director of this horror show, Todd Graff, that to fulfill Susan Sontag's prescription for camp of "failed seriousness," the production need to be as self-aware as it is embarrasingly earnest.

Posted by karen at August 6, 2003 11:12 AM