Meatballs

dir. Ivan Reitman

Series - Retrospective

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Ivan Reitman's prototypical summer-camp comedy propelled Bill Murray from SNL fame to big-screen stardom.
It's another summer at the cut-rate Camp North Star, and the less than popular Rudy (Chris Makepeace) isn't looking forward to it. But wiseacre head counsellor Tripper (Bill Murray) soon takes Rudy under his wing, while trying to prove to his colleague and crush Roxanne (Kate Lynch) that he's finally matured. With the annual camp olympics looming that will pit the ragtag North Stars against the snooty rich kids at Camp Mohawk, Tripper rallies Rudy and the other campers to believe in themselves and finally defeat their cross-lake rivals. Transposing Animal House's underdogs-vs.-elitists formula from the campus to the campsite, the goofy yet bittersweet Meatballs was phenomenally successful at the box office, propelled Murray from SNL fame to big-screen stardom, and still ranks as one of the most popular Canadian films ever made. Though the film spawned several disposable and barely related sequels, its true pop-cultural legacy lives on in such spoofs/homages as Mr. Show's "Camp Monk Academy" and the gloriously absurd Wet Hot American Summer.