Picks and Pans Review: Indian Summer

updated 05/10/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/10/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Alan Arkin, Elizabeth Perkins, Diane Lane, Matt Craven, Kevin Pollak, Vincent Spano, Julie Warner, Kimberly Williams

While it is essentially The Big Chill Goes to Summer Camp, this helium-weight comedy seems fresh and funny, thanks to an attractive ensemble east and writer-director Mike Binder's minimizing his lapses into serious melodrama.

Arkin, whose versatility as a comic actor is turning him into a kind of American Peter Sellers, is the owner of a summer camp in Ontario. About to shut it down, he invites some alumni from his favorite summer for a reunion.

These alumni have stayed much closer than most ex-campers. And their original experience seems to have been heavier in sex and pot smoking than arts and crafts. But they are all likable, even the obsessive practical joker played by Pollak.

The serious subplots-involving Spano and Warner's unhappy marriage, the grieving of recent widow Lane, Arkin's racism and Craven's sexist relationship with Williams—cast occasional palls.

The wry Perkins and acerbic Pollak are, however, reliably funny, and Binder gives them enough physical comedy to maintain the high-spirited mood. It's also fun to see Spano, noted most recently dining on his fellow passengers in Alive, getting a chance to exploit his Jeff Goldblum-like looks and talent for romantic comedy.

It's all amusing enough for even the campophobes among us to wax nostalgic! about those summers spent under the sun, stars, leaky roofs and clouds of mosquitoes. (PG-13)

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