Not Even Diane Keaton & Kathy Bates’ Talents Can Elevate This Confused Comedy


  • The chemistry between the cast shines, and Josh Peck is especially great.
  • Summer Camp’s comedy falls flat, lacking depth and laughs.
  • Unnecessary side characters detract from main story.

Summer Camp is a comedy about three childhood friends who attempt to reconnect at a summer camp reunion. The film is written and directed by Castille Landon, who spearheaded the last three After films. It also features a great cast, including the talented Kathy Bates, Diane Keaton, and Alfre Woodard playing the trio of friends. While the film does win some laughs, and the third act is noticeably better than the first two, Summer Camp won’t be for everyone.

Summer Camp follows Ginny (Bates), Nora (Keaton), and Mary (Woodward), who, having lived full lives building careers and families, have grown apart. Ginny, a famous self-help guru who is widely known as a celebrity, is particularly keen to see her old friends again. Over a short period, these women reconnect, both with each other and their younger selves.


10 Best Summer Camp Movies

Summer camp is generally a quintessential coming-of-age experience, but some of the best summer camp movies aren’t all about kids growing up.

Summer Camp Does Something Old Relatively Well

summer camp movie stars

The idea of a comedy movie set in a summer camp is not new. These camps, though, rarely focus on those in their golden years, so it gives Summer Camp a unique take. However, it also feels like a group of actors who were at the peak of their popularity in the 1990s have been pulled together for a small indie movie that would feel at home on the Hallmark Channel.

The film is by no means a bad movie, but equally, it isn’t a particularly good movie.

The acting is better than what generally gets churned out on those channels, but the story is not a challenging one, nor is it particularly exciting for the actors involved. Fortunately, like the best Hallmark movies, it aims to deliver a lesson by the end. It’s a coherent message, and it genuinely feels as though the actors had fun in their roles, but there is a disconnect between the story and the caliber of talent involved.

Summer Camp is by no means the most horrible movie you’ll ever see, but it isn’t a particularly good movie, either. There are some laughs and genuinely funny moments, but these don’t really appear until halfway through. Early on, the comedy feels forced, and some characters appear too ridiculous to be anything but a joke. While the 1990s would have found a character that is so out of place comical, it’s cringe-worthy and misguided in 2024.

Summer Camp Offers 1990s Comedy With A 2024 Spin

summer camp

Summer Camp is also well aware of its setting, choosing to incorporate a lot of hot-button topics to try and assert itself as relevant. However, this is in direct opposition to some of the choices made to try and elicit a laugh. Had the movie really committed to one side of the situation it was trying to insert itself into, it could have found an audience. As it stands, it is unclear who the movie is for.

There are better summer camp movies, there are better comedies with ensemble casts, there are better legacy movies that feature stars from previous decades.

Technically, the film is well shot, contains several wonderful performances, and an enjoyable narrative with a neat and satisfying conclusion. However, there are too many things that feel dissonant to praise it highly and recommend it for any one thing. There are better summer camp movies, there are better comedy movies with ensemble casts, there are better legacy movies that feature stars from previous decades. Summer Camp is okay, but that’s all it really is, and it feels like that isn’t enough for any of what it was aiming for.

Summer Camp 2024 TV Show Poster

Summer Camp tells the story of Nora, Ginny, and Mary, who have been best friends since being inseparable at summer camp. As the years have passed, they’ve seen each other less and less, so when the chance to reunite for a summer camp reunion arises, they all take it.


  • The chemistry between the cast is wonderfully natural
  • Josh Peck stands out in every scene where he appears

  • The comedy can feel flat and underwhelming throughout
  • Unnecessary side characters with overly exaggerated behaviors

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