Standing Up Review – Family Fun with Big Heart

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“Standing Up,” from ARC Entertainment, presents a dramatic, coming of age adventure of two misfit tweens who, through fate, end up at the same summer camp and begin a lifelong journey.

“Standing Up,” from ARC Entertainment, presents a dramatic, coming of age adventure of two misfit tweens who, through fate, end up at the same summer camp and begin a lifelong journey.

"Standing Up" stars chandler Canterbury, Annalise basso, Radha Mitchell and val Kilmer and is directed by D.J. Caruso based on an adaption of the award winning novel of the same name by Brock Cole

We meet Howie, played by Chandler Canterbury, and Grace, played by Annalise Basso, who are the camp misfits, kids are cruel, and being away at summer camp is not different. Each season the “cool” kids pick the “goats” or those who haven’t matured gracefully and are still in a gangling, awkward, pre-pubescent stage. They take them to an island, strip them, and leave them. Lured away with the pretense of togetherness and innocent fun; It becomes hazing summer camp style.

This night, Howie and Grace, end up stuck, alone, scared, in an old camp lodge as the Grace, was left first, she is trying to recoup when Howie, the boys goat, was lured into the same situation.

The two, alone, without clothes, on an island about a mile swim from the main camp grounds, decide to make a run for it. Finding makeshift clothing, Howie, rises to the occasion and becomes the protector, and decision maker. Grace, conquers her fears, as she can’t swim, and becomes a partner, as the two decide to make the escape from Summer Camp and spend the next three days on the lam encountering obstacles, escapades, and challenges, meeting new friends, having fun and cementing a lifelong friendship.

Not wanting to be at the camp in the first place, when their three day sojourn becomes known, the counselors who labeled the two easy targets for the annual humiliation and torture “game” were stunned.  

There are some surprising scenes, very funny, as the two spend the night at another summer camp for inner city children encountering a culture very different from their own. The dance is hysterical.

It is unusual to find a ‘tween, family film, that is not in 3D or animated, that doesn’t tell the story through analogies or non-existent civilizations.

Not being one of the lucky ones who matured gracefully, the material resonated and brought back a flood of summer sleep away camp memories. The escapades of Howie and Grace, enhanced, I’m sure, for creative license were nowhere near mine, but the feelings are certainly universal.

For anyone who has ever felt awkward, unusual, bullied or just experienced the pains of growing up, “Standing Up,” a great summer film for kids of all ages.

Not being one of the lucky ones who matured gracefully, the material resonated and brought back a flood of summer sleep away camp memories. The escapades of Howie and Grace, enhanced, I’m sure, for creative license were nowhere near mine, but the feelings are certainly universal.

“Standing Up” isn’t candy coated and still it is a solid family film. The world isn’t presented as one pleasant note; the kids, even those from good homes as Radha Mitchell who plays Grace’s mother is an attorney raising Grace alone, face stinging rejection, loneliness, questions of value, and child abuse is presented an discussed between the children.  

Standing Up” is a contemporary retro classic, a true coming of age solid family film.

Standing Up” is in theaters August 16, 2013 and on DVD/Blu-ray/VOD August 20, 2013.