This year has been a surprisingly exceptional year for comedy with the releases of “Joy Ride,” “No Hard Feelings,” and “Bottoms.” However, none of these films have taken the crown as the funniest movie of the year. That title belongs to Molly Gordon and Nick Lieberman’s “Theater Camp,” which is now available to stream on Hulu.
This film focuses on a small theater camp in upstate New York that allows kids to explore and grow their talented abilities. When the camp’s owner, Joan (Amy Sedaris), falls into a coma, her clueless son, Troy (Jimmy Tatro), is forced to keep the place running. Camp directors and lifelong best friends Angelo (Ben Platt) and Rebecca-Diane (Molly Gordon) band together with the staff and students to stage a masterpiece production while Troy tries to keep their beloved summer camp afloat.
Compared to other comedy releases, “Theater Camp” was able to immerse viewers into this eccentric world of theater and kept them laughing throughout the entire movie. This was due to Gordon and Lieberman’s creative direction, as their knowledge of theater allowed them to authentically poke fun at the experience. As a result, the film felt real as it represented true theater culture and an accurate portrayal of theater students and staff. But what truly made this movie stand out was its mockumentary-style element. Every scene felt like you were there alongside the quirky yet charming characters. From the close-up reactions to the quick-witted remarks, you couldn’t help but laugh during every scene.
The hilarity of the film wouldn’t be possible without the incredible ensemble. “Theater Camp” had every type of character that constantly induced many laugh-out-loud moments. Jimmy Tatro’s character is a perfect example of that. Tatro portrayed the fish-out-of-water character who didn’t know much about theater. His clueless, hipster persona was such a joy to watch as he tried to navigate and understand the collaborative art form.
Also, “Theater Camp’s” many supporting actors helped sell the comedy as well. For instance, Ayo Edebiri’s character Janet Walch sold herself as a stage combat expert on her resume, but in actuality, she didn’t have any knowledge whatsoever. She was only seeking the job for some much-needed cash. These added characters were intriguing and funny, which made the audience wish for more scenes featuring the beloved side characters. However, the main stars of the movie were the children. They had incredible timing with the camera and showcased remarkable singing abilities which made such a lasting impression on the audience.
Beyond the film’s jokes and humor, it tells such a beautiful story about theater. From the auditioning process to the actual performance, it captured both the essence and beauty of the collaborative art form. The final number of their musical, “Joan, Still,” is a perfect example of this as the students sang a lovely number about their experience at camp. This left viewers truly moved since the final song was yet to be completed before opening night.
Overall the comedic elements, charming characters and exceptional storyline made this film undeniably the funniest movie of the year. It left viewers wanting to watch the movie over and over again and laughing more each time.
‘Theater Camp’ is available to stream on Hulu.