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‘Family Camp’ Review: Born to Be Mild

Dad humor abounds in “Family Camp,” a vanishingly mild comedy that resembles other films about parents and kids bumbling in the wilderness. The lessons about being good to your folks are the same; “family is family,” to quote the absolutely undeniable title of one song in the film. But this summer trip, replete with cabins (or yurts) and goofy activities, is a church outing: the family that prays together, glamps together.

Tommy (Tommy Woodard) can’t tear himself away from work and be “present” with his wife, Grace (Leigh-Allyn Baker). They head to camp with their teenage daughter (Cece Kelly) and camera-wielding son (Jacob M. Wade). Tommy gets into a keeping-up-with-the-Joneses rivalry with Eddie (Eddie James), another dad, who rallies his wife, Victoria (Gigi Orsillo), and kids like a motivational team leader. He serves as the eager-beaver counterpart to Tommy’s phoned-in approach to worship.

As Eddie, James mugs furiously, while Ackerman’s low-key wisecracks struggle to register, making their long hike in the film’s second half feel even longer. (The two have a following as a podcast and performance duo called “The Skit Guys.”) As for Grace and Victoria, their concerns are phrased in terms of feeling overshadowed or neglected by their husbands. And “Meatballs” this is not: a rude boy’s interest in Tommy and Grace’s daughter ends up getting shut down.

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The film wasn’t screened for review by critics but it cracked the top 10 in the weekend box office, just behind “The Northman,” which I personally preferred as an outdoor adventure.

Family Camp
Rated PG. Running time: 1 hour 51 minutes. In theaters.

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