Meatballs (1979)

Meatballs (1979)

“It just doesn’t matter! It just doesn’t matter!”

A wacky counselor (Bill Murray) inspires his motley crew of misfit summer campers to stay positive during their annual Olympiad competition with a rival camp, while romancing a fellow counselor (Kate Lynch) and providing one-on-one mentoring to an insecure young boy (Chris Makepeace).


  • Bill Murray Films
  • Comedy
  • Misfits
  • Summer Camp

Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary writes that this “unremarkable comedy” — the first in a string of films Bill Murray made with director Ivan Reitman, including Stripes (1981) and Ghostbusters (1984) — “broke Canadian box-office records, proving former Saturday Night Live star Bill Murray could make it as a movie star.” He notes that while “Murray is quite funny”, “too much of the humor is sophomoric and tasteless”, and “at times schmaltz gets in [the] way of humor”. That just about sums up this tedious flick, which was understandably enjoyable for audiences of the day hoping to either relive nostalgic memories of summer camp or fantasize about what never was, but hasn’t held up well at all. It’s strictly must-see viewing for Murray fans.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • An innocently nostalgic look back at summer camp

Must See?
Nope. You can skip it.


2 thoughts on “Meatballs (1979)

  1. First viewing. Not must-see, and in complete agreement with the assessment… though I don’t think it’s *quite* as sophomoric as other ’70s American films of this type. ~meaning, it’s slightly less dumb and, therefore, slightly more entertaining. But only slightly.

    Specifically, Murray’s mentoring process with Makepeace is somewhat genuinely sweet. Still, there are no real surprises here – so, if you’re not a Murray fan, your response could easily be a ‘”meh”.

  2. A big film for us teens at the time but it’s fallen by the wayside over the decades and is therefore definitely not must see these days. It’s amusing enough and entertaining though with Murray stealing the show as always.

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