Every Thursday I list one of the movies that made me love Film
When I was a kid Pay-Per-View used to have an option where for X amount of dollars you could rent a movie for the day. That’s when I first saw Heavyweights. I enjoyed it but quickly forgot it until the summer after I graduated high school. I was preparing to go to Creation Fest (which would ultimately be my last trip to creation fest) and my friend Matt suggested we rent Heavyweights.
Somehow what was a relatively forgettable movie turned into one of the most brilliant dark comedies I’ve ever seen. Judd Apatow and Steven Brill crafted the darkest kid’s movie since the Goblin King stole Jennifer Connelly’s brother. This is in part to the script but even more so do to Ben Stiller’s insane performance as Tony Perkins.
Heavyweights tells the tale of Camp Hope, a fat camp that used to be filled with fun and games, but is quickly turned into a hellhole when health nut Tony Perkins becomes the new owner. His desire to create a successful weight lose infomercial drives him to starve and torture the young overweight campers. FInally the kids have had too much get revenge.
There are so many brilliant elements at work in this movie. Tony Perkins takes a campers pez dispenser and as he empties the pez from it the sound of a bullets hitting the ground is overdubbed. In another scene one of the kids back talks Tony and the film freezes and fades to white, when it fades back there’s just an empty bed. Even quotes from Tony have a sadistic and cruel element to them likes like “Today is our evalutation day. Key word is Value, do you have any? Not yet” or “Lunch has been canceled today due to lack of hustle.”
My freshmen year of college my friends and I would quote this movie all day long. In the summer we all because Orientation Leaders and would frequently do the ‘buddy system’ sequence or just talk like Lars (the most brilliant character in the film).
I don’t think the film works as a kid’s movie. But it’s an amazing comedy for the grown up kid.