Meatballs, a 1979 Canadian comedy film directed by Ivan Reitman, is the film that started Bill Murray’s successful comedic career as a leading actor. This coming of age story centres around a summer camp, Camp North Star. It is about a group of adolescents who are dropped off by their parents for the duration of the summer. Comedy genius, Bill Murray, plays the head counsellor, Tripper Harrison.
Harrison, leads a group of new counsellors in training, also known as CITs, for various age groups. Harrison throughout the film frequently enlists the help of the CITs in pranking the camp's director Morty Melnick (Harvey Atkin) as he sleeps. Thus, strapping him to his bed and placing him various areas of the camp during the night. Some places are a little more creative and difficult to execute with poor Morty waking up in his bed suspended up in the tree line or on the side of the road.
Meatballs, provides an entertaining and lively experience for the whole family. Also, it is the definition of a timeless piece that despite its aged date is still relevant to this day. It is an embodying film about what it's like to grow up and make new friends and fall in love. While exercising our own adolescent milestones and the free, adventurous spirit of a youthful soul.
Summer camp cannot be without a healthy dose of competition and in this case Camp North Star faces off against their much more wealthier opponent, Camp Mohawks, who are situated from just across the lake. Camp Mohawk participants pay on average of $1000 a day and has a cliche of better experiences and practices that rival those of a spa retreat. The Mohawks have subsequently beat Camp North Star 12 times in a row and appear to be well on their way to making it a13th time unless Camp Northstars band of flawed misfit CITs can come together successfully.
Faced with insurmountable odds, Harrison delivers a motivational chant that obliterates the fear of losing, because as Harrison puts it, “it doesn't matter whether we win or lose, because even if we win, all the pretty girls will still only go out with a Mohawk because of their money!” Once a loser always a loser, doesn't mean you can't do it with style. Needless to say with no other outcome but total failure, I guess it does take out the stress of winning.
This is the first film that Bill Murray appears as the starring role, and you can see from his performance that the actor we know and love today was just as goofy and hilariously outrageous as he was at the start of his career.
Meatballs made a grand total of approximately $43 million in the box office, which was nearly 29 times the amount of the films budget for production ($1.6 million).