Ni fu ni fa. Algo de música puede salvarse.
Just when you thought that the numbing virus of From Justin to Kelly had killed the good will toward musicals built up by Chicago, along comes Camp to get a new momentum rolling. I'd call Camp some kind of miracle. Shot by first-time director Todd Graff in twenty-three days on a shoestring with an unknown cast, the movie — a smash at Sundance — is the modestly perfect antidote to a synthetic, overblown movie summer: a blast of exuberant fun that stays rooted in humanity. For starters, the young actors have real faces, real bodies, real talents — they're true American idols, not the glossy pinups Hollywood shoves at us. Despite their inexperience, there's a bracing freshness to their performances. The teens at Camp Ovation are self-proclaimed show freaks who have no idea who Neil Young is but can group-sing "Losing My Mind," a torchy, complicated Stephen Sondheim ballad. Who are you people?" asks Bert Hanley (Don Dixon), the washed-up, sarcastic, mostly drunk Broadway tunesmith now working as a Camp instructor. Graff knows who these people are. He should. An actor in musicals (Baby) and film (The Abyss), Graff attended the Camp (Stagedoor Manor in Loch Sheldrake, New York) that the film is based on and where it was shot. So did Jennifer Jason Leigh, Natalie Portman and Robert Downey Jr., among others. Graff's heartfelt and hilarious script has the kick of direct experience. You can feel it in the characters and in their back stories:
When Stephen Sondheim waltzes on for a closing curtain cameo, the whole thing achieves a kind of self-congratulatory critical mass and implodes into awe-inspiring luvviness. 'Camp is a comedic call for acceptance in a world where normal is no longer the norm,' burbles the press notes.