My Drunk Kitchen expert Hannah Hart co-stars in the new feature-length film, Camp Takota, about a 20-something aspiring media professional, Elise, who runs away to her old sleep-away camp after her professional and personal life falls to pieces when she is both fired from her job and breaks up with her fiance after finding out he’s cheating on her.
Hart plays Allison, an estranged friend of Elise (Grace Helbig), who is the camp’s resident chef. A third childhood friend and camp alum, Maxine (Mamrie Hart), is the camp’s head counselor. Reunited, Allison and Maxine counsel Elise through her breakup and the trio are tasked with saving the camp from impending foreclosure.
“YouTube’s Holy Trinity,” as The Daily Beast calls them, have a noticeable ease and intimate rapport, which is apparent in the flow of dialogue heavily dependent upon witty repartee. The film passes the Bechdel Test, and the theme of the solidification of, and nostalgia for, female friendship within a summer camp setting elicits older films like Troop Beverly Hills and non-summer camp lighthearted films like Girls Just Want to Have Fun.
In this regard, Camp Takota does not particularly offer a fresh take on a subgenre of comedy as much as to do it well. The formula of estranged friends reuniting at a summer camp as a means of rounding out their process of maturation is fleshed out with the expected elements, even the requisite “girls night” with boozing and comedically poorly choreographed dance routines and hugging-it-out. It’s no surprise that the cheating fiance attempts to win back Elise; it’s no surprise that she finds another guy at camp. What the film does well is modernize the female friendship summer camp film, primarily through the dramatic conflict of the camp’s near doom, as two hipster boys in black blazers want to buy the land and transform the camp into “D.I.C.,” “Digital Interactive Camp.”
Is Camp Takota saved? Is there really any question?
The actual denouement, arguably even the plot itself, are secondary to the focus on the female friendship between Allison, Elise, and Maxine. Scenes indulge in these moments, again, to evoke nostalgia but as well to really highlight how integral these types of spaces are for little girls.
Cuz we ALL know why we went to sleep-away camp with the Girl Scouts.
Our beloved, boozy chef spoke about the similarities between her and her character: “We are both gay! But that’s really where the similarities end. Allison works in the kitchen and enjoys cooking. She’s also likes to wear shirts with no sleeves. Which is the opposite of the fully-buttoned long-sleeved onesies I like to hide my body under.”
Harto also revealed some exciting news about what’s next in terms of her career: “I have a cookbook coming out in August! I am very pleased to share this with everyone because it’s the longest I have ever worked on a single idea. Normally, I’m like… HEY LOOK AT THAT SHINY THING!… and get distracted. But I spent many-a-moon writing this book and I hope that people get something out of it. As long as it’s not food poisoning.”