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Movie Review: 'Summer Camp' Starring Diane Keaton

Diane Keaton enjoys making the worst movies and I don't understand why.

By Sean PatrickPublished 2 months ago 3 min read

Summer Camp (2024)

Directed by Castille Landon

Written by Castille Landon

Starring Diane Keaton, Kathy Bates, Alfre Woodard, Eugene Levy

Release Date May 31st, 2024

Published May 31st, 2024

In a season 7 episode of The Simpsons, titled Sideshow Bob's Last Gleaming, the character of Sideshow Bob is pushed over the edge when he hears that beloved actress Vanessa Redgrave is starring in a vapid television show that casts her as a wacky granny who is going 'haul her ass to Lollapalooza' before peeling out on a motorcycle. So bereft is Sideshow Bob that he decides he must destroy television.

I bring up this beloved memory of The Simpsons not because it relates to the new movie Summer Camp but rather to remind myself that I once enjoyed the work of actress Diane Keaton. I held her in high regard once, not unlike how Bob feels about Vanessa Redgrave. And now, when I hear that Diane Keaton has a movie coming out, I want to burn down the very concept of movies.

Diane Keaton has, since the late 90s, seemingly gone out of her way to find the most depressingly unfunny comedies imaginable. Her resume is dotted with some of the most beige and forgettable comedy in film history. Her persona has warped and cracked from having been Annie Hall and Kay Corleone to being the epitome of that granny about to haul her ass to Lollapalooza.

In yet another shockingly forgettable comedy, Summer Camp, Diane Keaton stars as an uptight workaholic who gets roped into going to a summer camp reunion with her camp friends, Ginny (Kathy Bates) and Mary (Alfre Woodard). If the phrase summer camp reunion has you puzzled, it's explained during the story that Ginny, an uber-rich and famous life coach, arranged and paid for the summer camp reunion to get her friends to spend time with her.

What's grandma doing on a zipline? (Sarcasm)

And, allegedly, shenanigans ensue. Oh how I wish that shenanigans had ensued. I would have given anything for a single shenanigan, but, alas, it was not meant to be. There are no hijinks either, this is a decidedly shenanigan and hijinks free movie. I believe that shenanigans and hijinks are the intention but since I associate shenanigans and hijinks with things like joy or pleasure, I can assure you, you will find no joy or pleasure in this movie. You can hear people laughing in the movie, but they provide us with nothing to actually laugh at, only a mixture of confusion and annoyance as we puzzle over what the characters think is so funny.

Summer Camp is a droning bore. It's an empty exercise in grandma-sploitation where we take older women and drop them into scenarios typically reserved for much younger people, and, allegedly, hilarity is supposed to ensue. For instance, a white water rafting bit. Old ladies aren't supposed to go white water rafting (imagine I said that with the most sarcastic inflection you can imagine). Naturally, one of the ladies falls out of the boat and other things happen. It's not funny, it never had a chance of being funny as it bore the weight of a dozen movies that have done this same joke before to mostly laugh free results.

Find my archive of more than 20 years and nearly 2000 movie reviews at Find my modern review archive on my Vocal Profile, linked here. Follow me on Twitter at PodcastSean. Follow the archive blog on Twitter at SeanattheMovies. Listen to me talk about movies on the I Hate Critics Movie Review Podcast. If you have enjoyed what you have read, consider subscribing to my writing on Vocal. If you'd like to support my writing, you can do so by making a monthly pledge or by leaving a one time tip. Thanks!


About the Creator

Sean Patrick

Hello, my name is Sean Patrick He/Him, and I am a film critic and podcast host for the I Hate Critics Movie Review Podcast I am a voting member of the Critics Choice Association, the group behind the annual Critics Choice Awards.

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Comments (1)

  • shanmuga priya2 months ago

    Thank you for sharing your review. It makes me to watch the movie.

Sean PatrickWritten by Sean Patrick

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