Camp (2003 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Camp (2003 film) Theatrical Release Poster.jpeg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byTodd Graff
Written byTodd Graff
Produced byDanny DeVito
Michael Shamberg
Stacey Sher
Christine Vachon
CinematographyKip Bogdahn
Edited byMyron I. Kerstein
Music byStephen Trask
Distributed byIFC Films
Release date
  • July 25, 2003 (2003-07-25)
Running time
111 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Box office$2,650,356[2][3]

Camp is a 2003 American musical comedy-drama film, written and directed by Todd Graff, about an upstate New York performing arts summer camp. The film is based on Graff's own experiences at a similar camp called Stagedoor Manor, where many scenes of the movie were filmed.


The film centers on the experiences of several teenagers at Camp Ovation, a summer theatre camp. Shy Ellen Lucas greets her friend Michael Flores, a gay teenager who was violently beaten by his classmates after showing up to his junior prom in drag. Nerdy Fritzi Wagner attempts to befriend icy Jill Simmons, but ends up toting her luggage instead. Returning camper Jenna Malloran laments that her parents forced her to have her jaw wired shut in order to lose weight. The campers are surprised by the arrival of Vlad Baumann, a handsome new camper who is, as a staff member marvels, "an honest-to-god straight boy." The camp enlists a guest counselor for the summer: composer Bert Hanley, whose play "The Children's Crusade" was a one-hit wonder many years earlier. Frustrated with his lack of recent success, he is now a grumpy alcoholic.

Vlad and Ellen flirt a bit after rehearsal one day. Soon afterward, Vlad is seduced by Jill, who later makes cruel cracks at Ellen for her weight and her inexperience with boys. Feeling guilty, Vlad comforts Ellen and the two begin to inch toward a relationship.

After Fritzi is caught washing Jill's underwear, Jill expresses her disgust with Fritzi and kicks her out of the cabin. Enraged, Fritzi sabotages Jill's next performance and takes her place mid-song, revealing her previously hidden talent.

Vlad convinces Michael to invite his parents to his next play. When they fail to show, Michael flees the stage mid-performance. Vlad reveals to Michael that he has his own hidden problem: Vlad has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and must take medication to make life bearable.

Hanley gets into a drunken rage and tells the campers that theater will only make them bitter and lonely like himself. Vlad finds a trove of music that Hanley has written over the years but not released. During a rehearsal for the camp's benefit performance, Vlad and the campers sing one of Hanley's songs. Hanley's heart is lifted and his disposition changes.

Shortly before the benefit, Michael sleeps with Dee, Ellen's roommate, out of frustration about his unrequited crush on Vlad. Vlad and Dee end up making out on Dee's bed, and Ellen walks in on them. She runs off, hurt, and refuses to talk to Vlad.

The night of the benefit concert arrives, and the campers are starstruck as famed composer Stephen Sondheim is in attendance. The dressing room atmosphere is tense, and gets even more awkward when Vlad's girlfriend Julie shows up to see him. Fritzi sabotages Jill's makeup, causing her to break out in boils. Jill attacks her, injuring her, and both are unfit to go onstage. To replace her, Bert cuts the wires on Jenna's mouth, allowing her to sing a powerful song directed to her parents in the audience, telling them to accept her as she is.

The benefit is a hit, but Vlad, Michael, and Ellen are still arguing. Vlad admits that he is an "attention junkie" and attempts to please everyone in order to gain their good favor. Vlad explains that he still cares about Ellen and that his girlfriend Julie had just broken up with him. After another apology, Ellen forgives him, and the three go swimming.


The movie is notable as the film debut of future Academy Award nominee Anna Kendrick, future three-time Tony nominee Robin de Jesús, future The Voice contestant Sasha Allen, and future Broadway performers DeQuina Moore and Steven Cutts.


The film was produced by Jersey Films, IFC Films, John Wells Productions, Killer Films, and Laughlin Park Pictures. All production took place in New York.[4]


Track # Title Written By
1 "How Shall I See You Through My Tears" Robert Telson and Lee Breuer
2 "The Beat Escape" Jimme O'Neill
3 "Losing My Mind" Stephen Sondheim
4 "The Size of a Cow" Malcom Treece, Martin Gilks, Miles Hunt, Robert Jones, Martin Bell and Paul Clifford
5 "Wild Horses" Mick Jagger and Keith Richards
6 "Skyway" Paul Westerberg
7 "I'm Still Here" Stephen Sondheim
8 "Last Song on Blue Tape" Gary Lightbody
9 "Turkey Lurkey Time" Burt Bacharach and Hal David
10 "Praying Mantis" Don Dixon and Phyllis Glasgow
11 "Imagining You" David Evens and Winnie Holzman
12 "With You I Do" Chris Perry and Adam Alexander
13 "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" Tom Eyen and Henry Krieger
14 "I Believe in Us" Phil Galdston, Jon Lind, and Wendy Waldman
15 "The Ladies Who Lunch" Stephen Sondheim
16 "Greensleeves" Stephen Trask
17 "Moving on Up" Paul Heard and Mike Pickering
18 "I Sing for You" Michael Gore and Lynn Ahrens
19 "Generation Landslide" Michael Bruce, Glen Buxton, Alice Cooper, Dennis Dunaway, and Neal Smith
20 "Century Plant" Victoria Williams
21 "On/Off" Gary Lightbody, Mark McClelland, and John Quinn
22 "Right On Be Free" Chuck Griffin
23 "The Kitchen Sink (Petie's Top)" Tim Weil
24 "Here's Where I Stand" Michael Gore and Lynn Ahrens
25 "Desire" Tristan Avakian, Sam Slavick, Sterling Campbell, and John Naslas
26 "Round Are Way" Noel Gallagher
27 "The Want of a Nail" Todd Rundgren


Box office[edit]

In the opening weekend, the film made $54,294. It came in ranking at #45, showing at only 3 theaters in the United States and averaging $18,098.[2] The film's widest release took place in the UK where it showed in 116 theaters. It ran for 12 weeks and closed on October 16, 2003. It has grossed $1,629,862 since 2003. The film also hit several top 100 charts for films in numerous categories. It is number 96 in the genre of gay/lesbian independent films,[5] 78 for yearly PG-13 movies for 2003,[6] and ranked 198 for the year 2003.[7]

Critical response[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a 64% approval rating, based on 107 reviews with an average rating of 5.93/10. The website's critical consensus states: "Campy comedy that squeaks by on its charms."[8] On Metacritic, which uses a weighted average of critics' reviews, the film has a score of 55 out of 100 based on 32 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[9]

Margaret A. McGurk of The Cincinnati Enquirer says "Like the prodigies on screen, Camp powers through its imperfections, with irresistible results."[10] James Sullivan of the San Francisco Chronicle said in his review titled "Camp," "There is lots of music and a genuine showstopper when Jenna sings "Here's Where I Stand" with such emotion that even her hardheaded dad gets the message."[11]

Award nominations[edit]

Camp received nominations for the following awards:[12]

  • 2004, Nominated for Artiors Award for Best Casting for Feature Film, Independent, Bernard Telsey
  • 2004, Nominated for Independent Spirit Award for Best Debut Performance, Anna Kendrick
  • 2004, Nominated for Golden Satellite Award for Best Original Score, Stephen Trask, and Best Original Song, Bob Telson and Lee Breuer (For the song “How Shall I See You Through My Tears”)
  • 2003, Nominated for Grand Jury Prize for Dramatic at the Sundance Film Festival, Todd Graff


Todd Graff has confirmed a sequel funded through IndieGoGo is in the works and a web site has been set up for news about the new film, however as of January 2018 the website is not accessible. The sequel will treat the original Camp as a movie filmed at Camp Ovation rather than as the events of a previous year at the camp.[13][14]


  1. ^ "CAMP (12A)". British Board of Film Classification. 2003-07-17. Retrieved 2012-01-08.
  2. ^ a b Camp at Box Office Mojo
  3. ^ "Camp (2003) - Financial Information". The Numbers.
  4. ^ "Camp (2003) – Movie Details". Yahoo! Movies. Archived from the original on June 4, 2011.
  5. ^ "Gay/LesbianChart". Archived from the original on 2019-08-30. Retrieved 2020-04-28.
  6. ^ "2003 PG-13 CHART". Archived from the original on 2019-07-09. Retrieved 2020-04-28.
  7. ^ "2003CHART".
  8. ^ "Camp (2003)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved May 23, 2019.
  9. ^ "Camp Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved April 10, 2018.
  10. ^ "Energy Keeps Camp on Que". Archived from the original on 2008-08-21.
  11. ^ Nevius, C.W.; Sullivan, James (January 9, 2011). "San Francisco Chronicle Review". The San Francisco Chronicle.
  12. ^ "The Internet Movie Database- Camp Awards". IMDb.
  13. ^ Heyman, Marshall (6 July 2015). "A New 'Camp' for a Fresh Theater-Obsessed Generation". Wall Street Journal – via
  14. ^ "問田孝圭の喀痰BLOG". Archived from the original on 2015-07-10. Retrieved 2015-07-08.

External links[edit]