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It Just Doesn't Matter

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Holy crap, Meatballs is 30 years old. How is it possible that the ground zero of summer camp-based, teen comedies reached such a non-teenage age? And yet Meatballs still holds up. OK, the fashions and the hairstyles are a little dated -- Chris Makepeace's hair is magic, ya'll-- but the story is solid and the laughs are plentiful. Bill Murray stars as wisecracking and good-hearted Tripper, the head camp counselor who befriends Rudy (Makepeace), a depressed camper adrift in his own solitary world. Tripper brings him out of his shell through a controversial training regimen of late-night poker and early-morning jogs, and the two forge a genuine friendship. Tripper's fellow counselors provide the camp-movie staples — prank wars, panty raids, disco dancing — and Trip dabbles a bit in the romance department himself. These two story lines are neatly wrapped up in the Olympiad, an athletic competition between Tripper's misfit campers and the genetically pure teens of Camp Mohawk — if you don't know who's responsible for saving the day, you've clearly never seen a teen movie. Is Meatballs a great movie? Eh ... it's a fun movie. Let's be happy with that. The Webster University Film Series presents Meatballs at 8 p.m. at the Schlafly Bottleworks (7260 Southwest Avenue; 314-968-7487 or www.webster.edu/filmseries) as part of the Strange Brew series. Admission is $4.
Wed., Sept. 2, 2009

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