Canada 1979. Dir: Ivan Reitman. 94 min. DCP

“It just doesn’t matter! It just doesn’t matter!” Bill Murray’s rousing, raving, contra-motivational chant is but one of the inspired hilarities in this Canadian comedy classic, the first studio-backed directing gig for Ontario-raised, Hollywood-bound Ivan Reitman. Part-funded by the Canadian Film Development Corporation (now Telefilm Canada) and shot at an actual summer camp in Haliburton, Ontario, it casts SNL-era Murray — in his earliest leading role — as the irreverent head counsellor at a bottom-barrel summer camp at war with the posh, preppy camp across the lake. The film’s surprise success green-lit three forgettable sequels, three unforgettable Reitman-Murray collaborations (Stripes, Ghostbusters, Ghostbusters II), and an entire subgenre of coming-of-age camp comedies. Mercifully predating the lewd, gross-out trend in teen movies to come, Meatballs is, instead, a refreshingly sweet, PG-zone summer comedy that celebrates the unsung goofball in us all! Are you ready for the summer?


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Cinema Sunday films are introduced by Vancouver film history teacher and critic Michael van den Bos.