It's difficult to come up with a more cliche situation for a summer pic than a summer camp, where all the characters and plot turns are readily imaginable. That makes director Ivan Reitman's accomplishment all the more noteworthy.

It’s difficult to come up with a more cliche situation for a summer pic than a summer camp, where all the characters and plot turns are readily imaginable. That makes director Ivan Reitman’s accomplishment all the more noteworthy.

Bill Murray limns a head counselor in charge of a group of misfit counselors-in-training. The usual types predominate: the myopic klutz, the obese kid who wins the pig-out contest, the smooth-talking lothario, and a bevy of comely lasses.

Scripters have managed to gloss over the stereotypes and come up with a smooth-running narrative that makes the camp hijinks part of an overall human mosaic. No one is unduly belittled or mocked, and Meatballs is without the usual grossness and cynicism of many contempo comedy pix.

Meatballs

Canada

Production

Paramount. Director Ivan Reitman; Producer Dan Goldberg; Screenplay Len Blum, Dan Goldberg, Janis Allen, Harold Ramis; Camera Don Wilder; Editor Debra Karen; Music Elmer Bernstein; Art Director David Charles

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1979. Running time: 92 MIN.

With

Bill Murray Harvey Atkin Kate Lynch Russ Banham Kristine DeBell
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