Picks and Pans Review: Heavyweights

updated 02/27/1995 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/27/1995 01:00AM

Tom McGowan, Aaron Schwartz, Ben Stiller, Jerry Stiller

Think of this as Meatballs with extra cheese. Cowritten and directed by Steven Brill—best known for taking the blame for writing The Mighty Ducks—it is a summer-camp epic in which the chubby kids, instead of being comic relief, are the whole story. (As for comic relief, there isn't any.)

The only satiric touch with any sting is provided by Ben Stiller, who, with his 50 pounds of eye makeup and mincing gait, looks like the head of a camp for aspiring cross-dressers. But he also aptly sends up infomercial fixture Tony Robbins, playing a hyperactive motivational speaker who buys a camp for overweight boys and installs a military-style discipline. Schwartz, the inept goalie in The Mighty Ducks, is the leading camper, while McGowan is a roly-poly counselor nostalgic for the camp's old regime, which was benevolently headed by Stiller's real-life parents, Jerry Stiller and Ann Meara. Brill and cowriter Judd Apatow aren't brimming over with taste, relying on jokes based on bulimia and flatulence. (PG)

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