Heavy Weights (1995)
August 27, 2014 9:42 AM - Subscribe

Plump kids are lured into joining a posh fat camp with the promise of quick weight loss and good times, only to find that the facility is a woodland hellhole run by a psycho ex-fitness instructor.
posted by troika (5 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
One summer in the 90s my brother was in a work situation where he was basically by himself in a very small town with very little to do during his free time, so he ended up watching a ton of movies on HBO that he ordinarily wouldn't have bothered with. This was the one gem in the lot that he recommended I check out...He said he was watching it, half-heartedly snorting at the dumb jokes...He said that he started to pay attention and actually enjoy it at the part where they're first arriving at the camp, and at the gate they see the scared looking kid with a staff silently warning them away in slow motion.

It's not exactly brilliant, obviously, but we appreciated that it was a bit more subversive than you'd expect if you know nothing about it other than "Disney Fat Camp Movie"...Also we were both Ben Stiller fans at the time, mostly from his brief stint on SNL and his (likewise very brief) sketch show, and this initial run of his villain character that he recycled in Dodgeball was a great surprise. (Also the character of his father in this is his "Do It, Do It" Guy that he had done on his sketch show and again later when undercover in Starsky & Hutch. Wow, other than playing himself he only has like three very specific characters in his repertoire).
posted by doctornecessiter at 10:51 AM on August 27, 2014

"Lack of hustle." Nice tag.
posted by Monochrome at 5:39 PM on August 28, 2014

I somehow never heard of this before. I didnt love it, but it had some funny parts. I did appreciate the pre-dodgeball Stiller character, but a lot of the other stuff fell flat to me.
posted by Literaryhero at 7:53 AM on August 29, 2014

I love low-stakes movies and anything with even a whiff of slobs vs snobs, so I tend to like this movie more than it earns. Ben Stiller's whole thing is pretty meh, but I love the parts that are just the kids interacting with each other and Pat/Julie/Tim/Lars.

I must point out here that Paul Feig's dancing is slightly better in Ski Patrol.
posted by troika at 11:21 AM on September 2, 2014

I was probably about 9 by the time I saw this on The Disney Channel, I don't think my parents took me to see this in the theater. I recently watched it again last year. It's really interesting to see what holds up well vs what doesn't. As a kid I was so captivated by the sort of "miraculous victories" so common among kids films of this era like the go-kart jump. I also really liked the ingenuity of the candy hiding spots. I continue to enjoy to this day that the camp does actually feel rough around the edges and dangerous, there's really no one out there protecting these kids, it's a shitty summer camp. It's a detail that helps elevate it above more kiddy fare. The White Goodman/Tony Perkis rehash

It's gone unmentioned so far that it was co-written by Judd Apatow, his sensibilities definitely come through in the spots that blend humor and honesty like the dance and the interactions with the non-Perkis counselors.
posted by JauntyFedora at 4:54 PM on October 20, 2014

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