Meatballs | Chicago Reader

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Rated PG · 92 minutes

A cheerful, if not particularly deft, summer-camp comedy (1979) that owes less to its ostensible inspiration, Animal House, than to the adolescent romantics of Where the Boys Are. Ivan Reitman, who coproduced Animal House, directed this time. He's not very good (his camerawork is uncertain, and the sentimentality is given rather than earned), but his heart is in the right place: the film is generous and often gentle. With Bill Murray, very likable as a head counselor who gruffly plays Wallace Beery to an updated, angst-ridden Jackie Cooper (Chris Makepeace).

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