In the likely possibility you're spending your weekend inside due to the storm, streaming Camp Takota is a fantastic way to spend an afternoon with friends, lovers, or just a box of chocolate and a bottle that tastes a little like shame.
The film stars YouTube personalities Grace Helbig (It's Grace), Mamrie Hart (You Deserve A Drink), and Hannah Hart (My Drunk Kitchen) who also happen to be best friends off screen and play off each other wonderfully. Having that closeness in their personal lives really helped the onscreen chemistry and illuminated in their characters, Elise Miller, Maxine Reynolds, and Allison Henry, respectively.
Elise Miller is an engaged social media manager who works in publishing. The plot is setup for us to get introduced to her manic and stressful life immediately along with her (dare I say) metrosexual boyfriend Jeff (Chester See), and her obsessive compulsive boss Celia (Rachel Quaintance).
On that note, let me say that Grace Helbig portrays the "hot-mess" stressed out public relations woman astonishingly well. Her awkwardness on YouTube throughout the years works with a mix of self-confidence and humor, and whether or not that's just who she happens to be, Elise came to life in this picture.
After losing her job over leaked photos of her boss smacking lips with a YA Fiction movie star, Elise catches her boyfriend at home sleeping with what is assumed to be, for lack of a much better word, her arch-nemesis, Vanessa (Olivia Alexander), she downs a bottle of vodka and commits, through a series of inebriated phone calls, to a summer as a camp counselor at the namesake Camp Takota.
The nature of the film is such that I was laughing within the first two and a half minutes, and didn't stop until the very end. Throughout the picture, the dorky, slightly awkward, and fun-loving trio keep giving us reasons to fall deeper in love with this story, and ultimately, with the characters as well.
It's probably not the kind of thing you want to introduce your kids to until they're at least into their teens (drug references, adult humor, alcohol use) but as an adult comedy about growing up, finding your roots, and above all being the person you are without shame or fear of what the world wants you to be, it gets two very enthusiastic thumbs up from this writer.
Funny, bright, beautifully shot, brilliantly smart, and full of both reality and outrageousness. And let's face it, YouTube's holy trinity of comedy is something to behold. Stick these three girls into a film together and you're in for a wild ride.
Camp Takota is free of all those cliches and brings something truly original to the table. Praise for the writers, the director, cinematographer, makeup and costumes, even the sound guys who put us into the true perspective of Elise, and all her interactions those three months are again, well deserved.
If you haven't seen the movie yet, click here to be redirected to the website. Thank you YouTube stars and the entire cast of Camp Takota for reminding us what really matters, and in the wise words of Hannah Hart. "...there's never any reason to be ashamed of the person you want to be."