Sunday, August 24, 2014

Camp Takota: Movie Review

Going back to camp with three funny and entertaining women.

Camp Takota starts in the city where Elise (Grace Helbig) has a handsome fiancĂ©e and is dutifully working in the publishing industry before she finds success as a writer. Then that all comes crashing down and through a series of drunken phone calls, finds herself returning to work at the all-girls camp she used to attend as a kid. The opening is surprisingly very funny and Elise’s flaws are front-and-center, making her likable and entertaining. 2014

Directed by: Chris Riedell, Nick Riedell

Screenplay by: Lydia Genner, Mamrie Hart and Michael Goldfine

Starring: Grace Helbig, Hannah Hart and Mamrie Hart

Once the film hooks you with the character of Elise, you have no problem following her to camp and watching some of the extremely childish and amateur camp activities. That is the point of such a camp, but as an outsider it won’t be the most interesting thing to watch. We then meet Elise’s former best friends, but they never left camp so the estrangement between the friends is understandable. Allison (Hannah Hart) is a lesbian working as a cook in the camp kitchen and Maxine (Mamrie Hart) is an obsessive lead counselor. Hannah Hart gave Allison a very relaxed and relatable persona which made her instantly likable and funny – a perfect best friend for our heroine Elise. Maxine was very over-the-top and her obnoxious tendencies made her less funny and likable as the other girls. Her character was like that on purpose and after awhile you do get used to her, but she can be a lot to handle.

The film is a quarter-life crisis comedy. Elise’s life has fallen apart and she’s taking a step back to figure out what she wants. And Allison and Max were never able to leave their childhood home because they’re not sure the real world offers anything better. The personal struggles and acceptances of the girls were handled well because they were sympathetic, relatable, likable and funny throughout the film. The actual plot is a more predictable animal: Elise struggles adapting to camp life but then falls in love and just as everything is about to work out, we find that an evil developer is taking over the camp and the girls have to work together to save the community center!

It really is as immature as it sounds. It’s like a teenage girl movie meant for adult women; however, seeing as our leads are adult women who are returning to their teenage girl lives to get themselves back on track and be happy again, it is very fitting. There are some great moments of humour throughout the film that keep the pace up as well as a great score. It’s an independent film with great production value, and for any adult women who want a teenage girl movie with characters to like and care for, Camp Takota is ultimately a cute film.
Best Lesser-known of 2014

Similar Titles:

Audrey (2014) - Comedic character study that's interesting, cute and enjoyable.

Happy Christmas (2014) - A look at the line between immaturity and maturity with charming characters.