Director: Johanna Vuoksenmaa
Writer: Johanna Vuoksenmaa
Cast: Minttu Mustakallio, Taneli Mäkelä, Eppu Salminen, Iina Kuustonen, Minna Koskela, Essi Hellén, Jarkko Pajunen, Jarkko Niemi, Lauri Tanskanen, Annaleena Sipilä
Part of: FrauenFilmTage
Seen on: 27.2.2016
Saara (Minttu Mustakallio) just got divorced and needs to get out from the everyday drudgery and, preferably, get laid. So she decides to go on a weekend retreat in the form of a camp: just a group of people who don’t know each other spending some time together on a small island; a summer camp but for adults. But as the heterogenous group realizes, the promotional video might have promised too much and when the camp organizers leaves to take care of his pregnant dog, they are all quite at a loss.
Adult Camp is a funny, sweet film that manages to spend enough time with each of its characters – although the group isn’t small – that everyone gets some character development. It didn’t blow me away, but it was absolutely entertaining.
The characters in Adult Camp are all rather clichéd at first glance, but bit by bit layers are uncovered about them that make us readjust our initial judgments. In some cases more than in others, certainly, and some people just turn out to be as shallow as you thought at first, but they all get a bit of development anyway.
That the film is so character-driven is its biggest strength and there’s probably a different favorite story for everyone in it. Personally my heart went to Alli (Annaleena Sipilä) and her growth, especially in her relationship with the island cook Mervi (Minna Moskela) which put me through all kinds of emotions, most of which can be expressed with squeeeeeeee.
The film moves at a quick pace and gives you barely any time to breathe, only pausing occasionally for laughter, so time flies by as you watch it and all too soon the weekend on the island is over and its back to reality – both for the characters and the audience. And while both will probably leave satisfied with how things turned out, it probably would have been nice if it had been just a little longer. When I think back to my own experiences with summer camps, that was also always the feeling I had when it was over, so I can only congratulate Vuoksenmaa for capturing that.
Adult Camp is not a revolutionary film that will leave you reassessing everything you know or thinking very hard about your life or anything like that. But it’s a lovely, entertaining, fun film that I would have no issues with revisiting.
Summarizing: Watch it if you get the chance.