Netflix Movie Review: Camp Takota
By: Alec Davis
Camp Takota (2014)
Director: Chris Riedell, Nick Riedell
Starring: Grace Helbig, Hannah Hart, Mamrie Hart, Ellen Karsten, Chris Riedell, Chester See
Camp Takota is a movie written by, produced by, and starring YouTube personalities Grace Helbig, Hannah Hart, and Mamrie Hart, and it’s pretty darn good, especially considering it’s the first time any of them have worked on a feature length movie.
The movie starts off with Elise (Grace Helbig), whose life seems to be going great. She’s getting married in two weeks, she has a great job at a publishing company, she just finished writing a book, and she has a trip to Paris planned. Then all in one day she loses her job and she finds out her fiancé has been cheating on her. She’s understandably upset by all of this and ends up calling her old summer camp counselor and offers to work at the camp for the summer to get away from everything. When she gets there she finds out that her two best friends from camp, Maxine (Mamrie Hart) and Allison (Hannah Hart), are also counselors, and they spend the rest of the movie having a great time together.
The biggest problem I had with this movie is that there didn’t seem to be much of a plot, or at least not one that was able to sustain an hour and a half movie. Elise struggles with being out of her element away from the city and finds a love interest, and about halfway through a very thin plot about some guy trying to turn Camp Takota into a high tech something-or-other is introduced, but the movie seems to be very focused around brief moments rather than any one big plot. This makes sense, since this is coming from a group of people who are used to putting out shorter videos on YouTube. Even the directors, the Riedell Brothers, are YouTube personalities, and that is incredibly evident throughout the movie. As a result of that though the movie drags a bit in the middle, and the run time feels a lot longer than the hour and forty-some minutes it actually is.
Camp Takota isn’t bad though. Not by any means. It’s really funny, it’s shot beautifully for a goofy indie comedy, and it’s just generally a nice, heartwarming story about friendship. And very importantly it’s a good female-led comedy, which is always a plus since we still don’t get a lot of those (although in recent years more and more of them have been coming out). And again, this is the first time anyone involved in making this move had done anything on this scale, so for a movie a group of friends made in their spare time it’s impressively good. So if you’re looking for a fun little movie about gals being pals to enjoy on a night in, I highly recommend Camp Takota.
Since not everyone can afford to go to the theater to see a new movie every weekend, I’ll be here every week to tell you about a movie you can find on Netflix instead. Because we can all use some good movies in our lives.