This movie is an homage to classic 80's teen comedies, only better. Many of those movies did the same stereotypical cast, jokes, and gags repeatedly. They all had the Asian guy who was a tech wizard. The jock whose nickname was a thinly veiled reference to his junk. The stoner, the horn dog, the clueless parents that come around in the end, stupid adults the kids outsmart, sibling rivalry, horror-able sex acts, the holy grail quest to get laid, and lastly the sweet kid just trying to figure it out. Most think of Porky's or the John Hughes movies. As funny as Porky's was, it wasn't a very good movie in many ways, naked girls just to have naked girls, poor camera work, over the top raunchy script setting up studios to lose focus on cinematography and dialog for the rest of the decade. It wasn't until Kevin Smith's Clerks in 1994 that anyone spent time developing dialog again. Watching the John Hughes movies now, all the characters are one-dimensional and teens always win/figure life out in the end, type of boring. Not, that these movies weren't good at the time, but they don't hold up well.
Pitching Tents is a good mixture of 'One Crazy Summer' (1986), 'Last American Virgin' (1982), and maybe 'Meatballs' (1979). The director Jacob Cooney has a George Millerian skill in communicating information to the viewer non-verbally. Which is the only way this movie would work. With a large cast of charterers, he is able to introduce them seamlessly without veering off course from the plot. While avoiding over redundant stereotypes that make many movies unwatchable/predicable. Jacob does a good job of showcasing the beautiful women in this movie. Made difficult by hideous 80's fashion. All the girls are way too beautiful to wear waist high, pleated, acid-washed jeans. Not the typical 'have the girl jump up and down' gonzo directing so many teen films have. The steamy make-out scene in the woods is way hotter than the standard mandatory 'the movie needs this' nude scene. One of the hard things to secure for this movie had to be Grandpas mint condition boxy 80's boat. Image trying to pitch dear old pappy on letting his cherry vintage ride he has waxed twice a week for the last forty years to be used in a movie about a wild drug party in the woods with a side quest for Goddess Camp. A movie you never can let him watch due to the weird necrophilia-beastiality and drug use in his car.
Pitching Tents YouTube Trailer
From start to finish this was a funny enjoyable movie to watch. Mister fast forward button wasn't needed once, the first or second viewing. The dialog does have many raunchy jokes, keeping with the feel of eighties teen comedies. Without being dependent on them. It has plenty of witty quick dialog, more in tune with a Joss Whedon vehicle than anything from forty years ago. Great period soundtrack with talented actors. Both Samantha Basalari and Micheal Grant should be in more movies in the future. Best eighties teen film since the eighties!