Making the Grades
Summer camp is an irresistible theme for film makers and Heavyweights provides yet another variation -- a camp for obese children. For years this camp has been owned by a nice couple that go out of their way to make life easy for everyone. Each year they buy something new, like a huge air mattress to bounce on, or go-carts. But this year, all they have bought is disappointment when they announce their bankruptcy.
Enter the new camp owner, Tony Perkis, a physical fitness maniac. His goal is to get all the kids to lose weight on his new training plan while at the same time he produces an infomercial using the kids as proof that his system works.
This film has all the usual camp movie formulas -- passing gas, crotch shots, people pushed into the lake, breaking into the leader's living quarters -- but rather than one token fat kid, this movie has many. It seems the original plan of the film was to show that no matter what size you are, you can excel at just being yourself. Unfortunately, most of the potential found in this message is lost in the middle of the film where the kids take over the camp and suddenly things begin to look like a scene from Lord Of The Flies.
After putting up with Perkis' exercise and food deprivation program, the kids decide to take over. They tie up Perkis and his assistants, and put him in a small cell surrounded by an electric fence. Then all the kids have a huge party where they paint themselves with marshmallows and chocolate sauce and dance away the evening in crazed excess.
In the end, things do get better, but this movie teaches some very interesting problem solving techniques. If your children are ever subjected to an abusive leader, as these kids were, it may be wise to give them some more reasonable ideas to resolve their problem.