Meatballs

"Excellent"

Meatballs Review


Bill Murray has enjoyed a career renaissance in recent years, playing the model of middle age and forlorn cool in movies from precocious youngsters such as Sofia Coppola and Wes Anderson. Having cachet in the independent film community is very nice, and it does make for some good magazine articles.

Still, I miss the laugh-out-loud Bill Murray, the one from circa 1979 to 1993. And, really, with American comedy in such a precarious state at the multiplex, isn't it time he dug into his old bag of tricks? Would anyone blame Murray if he broke ranks with the art house crowd and helped revive the Farrelly brothers' career?

If it leads to something half as enjoyable as Meatballs, the movie that launched Murray's film career, I'd be thrilled. Murray plays Tripper, the head counselor at Camp North Star. Basically, the movie revolves around the mischievous Tripper putting the moves on a fellow counselor, harassing the camp's boss, and befriending a lonesome camper (Chris Makepeace of My Bodyguard fame). There's also some pseudo-sexual shenanigans involving the teen-aged counselors in training and some spirited pranks with a neighboring, well-to-do camp.

That doesn't sound like a lot, but director Ivan Reitman and his gang of writers (including Harold Ramis) make it work. The movie is casually paced so you don't mind the lack of structure, especially since it's delivered by a good-natured and good-humored young cast that has fun the entire time. Also, Reitman and his writers don't just overload you with goofball antics; they add some authentic human interaction. Murray's confidence-building rapport with Makepeace feels right, as does the quest of the two nerdy counselors-in-training to find love on the lake. Nothing feels tacked on.

Murray, of course, is a big reason why everything here is so entertaining. He's charming and obnoxious and hilarious. He's like Bluto from Animal House with a soul and without the beer gut. The stench of Animal House had to be all over Meatballs, which was released in 1979. Reitman directed both, Ramis wrote both, and Murray, like John Belushi, got his start on Saturday Night Live. But for all of its bawdy fun, Meatballs is a sweet movie that warms the heart without being disingenuous or saccharine. And in his brief career in television and movies, Belushi was never known for displaying that emotional range. That Murray can portray such a range has given him a career that's gone beyond Stripes and Ghostbusters, even if that's a mixed blessing.



Meatballs

Facts and Figures

Run time: 94 mins

In Theaters: Friday 29th June 1979

Distributed by: LionsGate Entertainment

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 75%
Fresh: 24 Rotten: 8

IMDB: 6.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Dan Goldberg

Starring: as Triipper Harrison, as Morty, Kate Lynch as Roxanne, Russ Banham as Crockett, Kristine DeBell as A.L., Chris Makepeace as Rudy

Also starring: ,

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

The 2012 Canadian comedy Goon was one of those surprising little films that snuck up...

Detroit Movie Review

Detroit Movie Review

After The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal reteam to...

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Good news: Steven Soderbergh's well-publicised retirement from directing only lasted about four years. He's back...

American Made Movie Review

American Made Movie Review

An enjoyably freewheeling tone and Tom Cruise's star wattage combine to make this an entertaining...

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

It's been a decade since Al Gore's wake-up-call documentary won the Oscar. And here he...

Advertisement
The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

It really doesn't matter that this movie is utterly ridiculous, because the central pairing of...

Final Portrait Movie Review

Final Portrait Movie Review

A relaxed, amusing true story about noted Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti, this sharply...

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Finnish artist Tuoko Laaksonen used the name "Tom of Finland" as he drew explicit illustrations...

A Ghost Story Movie Review

A Ghost Story Movie Review

Filmmaker David Lowery reunites the stars from his offbeat Western Ain't Them Bodies Saints for...

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front...

Girls Trip Movie Review

Girls Trip Movie Review

This movie's premise basically sounds like The Hangover with added black girl power. But it's...

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.