Meatballs

  • Directors: Ivan Reitman
  • Producers: John Dunning
  • Writers: Len Blum, Daniel Goldberg, Janis Allen, Harold Ramis
  • Genres: Comedy
  • Actors: Bill Murray, Chris Makepeace, Kate Lynch

The film follows the antics and foibles of head counsellor Tripper Harrison (Bill Murray) and the counsellors-in-training (CITs) at Camp North Star, a cut-rate summer camp located in the “North Woods.” The characters range from reasonably sane to zany and screwball.

The main plot involves Rudy Gerner (Chris Makepeace), a lonely kid who is sent to summer camp by his father (assumedly a single father, as his mother is not seen or mentioned). Noticing Rudy is unable to fit in, Tripper takes him under his wing and each morning they go jogging and bond as friends. Tripper helps Rudy gain confidence while Rudy gives Tripper the courage to start a romance with Roxanne (Kate Lynch), the female head counsellor.

Love is also in the air for other CITs. Candace (Sarah Torgov) “kidnaps” Crockett (Russ Banham) in a speedboat and confesses her feelings for him. Wheels (Todd Hoffman), who had broken up with A.L. (Kristine DeBell) the year before, successfully rekindles their relationship during a dance. The nerdy Spaz (Jack Blum) develops a crush on Jackie (Margot Pinvidic), who appreciates his kindness and decency.

A parallel plot deals with Camp North Star’s rivalry with Camp Mohawk, a wealthier camp located across the lake whose members treat them with disdain. During a basketball game, North Star is being thoroughly trounced by Mohawk when they attempt their own perverse form of victory. This sets the stage for the yearly Olympiad held between the camps.

Later that evening, CITs sing around a campfire and say their final goodbyes as the camp prepares to close for the summer. Roxanne agrees to come live with Tripper and, on a motorcycle, the two of them lead the buses out of camp.

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