Making the Grades
Like Daddy Day Care, this film has a musical score with plenty of upbeat tunes, as well as some unmanageable children. But that is about as far as the similarities go.
Even the main characters---originally played by Eddie Murphy, Jeff Garlin and Steven Zahn---have been replaced. Cuba Gooding Jr. takes over the role of Charlie Hinton, an unemployed advertising agent who opened a daycare and now has plans to run a Day Camp during the summer. Paul Rae takes on the role of Phil, Charlie's chubby, right hand man. And Josh McLerran plays a much smaller role as the goofy sidekick.
Charlie's childhood experiences at camp were anything but happy ones. So when his wife Kim (Tamala Jones) suggests they send their son Ben (Spencir Bridges) off to a summer getaway, Charlie is more than hesitant. Along with Phil and his son, Max (Dallin Boyce), he decides to check out the old Camp Driftwood, only to find it has fallen into shambles and is in need of some cash flow. Hoping to offer a new generation of youngsters a more positive outdoors experience, Charlie and Phil take on the challenge of restoring the facility. But when the two men find themselves swimming in a pile of unpaid bills and strapped with an undisciplined group of campers, Charlie has to admit defeat and call in the cavalry.
Although Charlie and his father, Col. Buck Hinton (Richard Grant) haven't seen eye to eye for many years, the retired Marine knows a thing or two about restoring order and he has plenty of backwoods knowledge as well. Enlisted as the new activities director, Buck not only teaches the children about hiking and fire building, he also sparks a team spirit among the rowdy kids.
While these elementary-aged children are initially as unruly as their preschool counterparts were in the prequel, their current behavior seems even less appealing. Potty jokes, name-calling and the intentional injury of others are all part of their first day at camp. Unfortunately, it's not much different among the adults. Flatulence, overprotective parenting and groin injuries are all played for laughs. When the competing camp's director, Lance Warner (Lochlyn Munro) pays Driftwood a visit, there's more immature conduct in the form of threats, taunting and physical attacks.
Brimming over with stereotypes and targeting the evils of being rich, Daddy Day Camp is plagued by extreme characters and situations. And with hardly any positive adult role models in sight, it's no wonder these campers are completely out of control. So unless you're aching for a wilderness experience complete with sewage, barfing children, bathroom humor and wedgies, this might be one day trip you'll want to avoid.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Daddy Day Camp.
How does Charlie’s parenting style differ from his father’s approach? What do the men learn from each other? How does Charlie’s opinion of his father change?
Can you make a list of all the stereotypes portrayed in this film? What does the film want us to believe about the overweight characters? What about the little boy with glasses? How are rich people depicted in this film?
How does Charlie’s childhood memories of camp influence his feelings about his son going to camp?