A Fox in the Camp
Summer is here and various teens are off to Camp Pinewood, located in Clifton, Maine, a summer camp where Dennis Baxter (Michael J. Fox - Mars Attacks!) has arrived to work as a camp counsellor. Amongst the boys at camp is slick talking Jerry (Joe Wright), comical Toby (Matthew Shugailo) and the shy Timmy (Cary Guffey) who not only can't swim but is desperate to run away. For Dennis summer camp gives him the opportunity to spend 8 weeks flirting with camp nurse Rhonda (Nancy McKeon - Love Begins) despite the fact she is engaged whilst for the boys it gives them a chance to bond and become friends for life.
So in the same year which saw Michael J. Fox travel back in time in "Back to the Future" he also appeared in "Poison Ivy" a made for TV comedy about summer camp. Now to me summer camp is quintessentially an American thing as having been raised in Britain we never had such a thing, oh there was stuff like cub and scout camp but nothing which basically saw children bundled off for weeks on end. As such "Poison Ivy" whilst having the appeal of featuring a young Michael J. Fox and some fun is very much a movie which seems to appeal to those who went to a summer camp like Camp Pinewood.
Despite this there is some simple fun to "Poison Ivy" and most of that for me comes from watching Michael J. Fox as Dennis firing off excruciating bad chat up lines as he flirts with Rhonda. But at the same time there is also something amusing about the various kids at the camp although most of them are cliches from the comical tubby kid to the sensitive one who wears glasses as well as the smooth talking, wheeler dealing Jerry. To repeat myself it does feel like a movie which will appeal to those who experienced summer camp and can recognize the character types from their own experiences at summer camp.
What this all boils down to is that "Poison Ivy" ends up an okay summer camp movie which churns out some cliche characters and set ups which will probably appeal more to those who went to summer camp. But it also has Michael J. Fox whose constant flirting is amusing for those who never did the summer camp thing.