December 30th, 2014
(Photo from www.camptakota.com)
Ever since I fell in love with My Drunk Kitchen, I’ve kept semi-tabs on the YouTube series creator, Hannah Hart’s, whereabouts. Last year sometime, I heard she’d signed to appear in an independent film with other YouTube personalities, including Grace Helbig, and Mamrie Hart, and I promptly Googled all I could about the film.
Turned out the movie was a comedy written by Mamrie Hart and directed by The Brothers Riedell, who are also popular on YouTube ( as well as writers/directors in their own right) (as well as hot). Named Camp Takota, the movie would be distributed through digital channels and was available for pre-order, a move I didn’t make at the time because all the money was out of all my pockets.
Still, the idea of a feature-length comedy written and starring by people who’d made their reputations online, intrigued me. Although I’ve been a blogger since the dawn of the new millennium, the fame and fortune gained by digital personalities turns me on. There’s a ton of talent out there that’d never otherwise be seen and appreciated through traditional avenues, and I’m glad I have the chance to discover these people on my own terms, and not remain subject to who publicists and movie studios deem watchable. Because Kim Kardashian.
Yet Camp Takota eluded me. After my initial spurt of Googling the hell out of it, I forgot it ever existed for almost a year. Until yesterday, when I noticed that Netflix now streamed it and the movie was available for my eyeballs to watch.
So I did what any one in my position would do. I withheld love, affection, and lunch from my kids for two full hours as I watched Camp Takota in bed with a full bag of Veggie Sticks and a spoon (for the full pint of ice cream).
Telling the story of a down and out young woman (Grace Helbig) who’s lost her job and her fiancee and hightails it to her childhood summer camp to work and escape, Camp Takota is yes, predictable, although in the best way possible. When you know what to expect from a movie, especially a comedy, it’s somehow comforting and satisfying, because the girl will get the boy and the cheating fiancee will be punished, and the camp will be saved from the money grubbers.
The YouTubers’ performances turned out well, which admittedly was semi-surprising because the transition from online personality to film actor is a leap, but they all jumped and made it to the other side, even if a leg dangled off the cliff here and there.
I’ve already watched certain parts two or three times because Camp Takota has that you’ll-repeat-some-of-its-lines-into-old-age quality held by all the John Hughes movies. It’s a cute, fun romp in the hay with a formulaic but sweet premise that’s totally watchable.
I’m recommending Camp Takota for immediate Netflix streaming, not just because I’m a blogger, but because we all need to to lie in bed with Veggie Sticks and ice cream pints and enjoy adorable comedies from time to time. Life is hard. Let’s Takota it.
P.S. I’m a member of the Netflix Stream Team, but Netflix doesn’t tell me what to watch ever. Facebook does.