As a Geek you have a hard time fitting in except for when you are with other Geeks. It is also known as being a misfit, not fitting in anywhere. As Geeks or misfits we dream of a chance to prove ourselves so we will be accepted. One of my favorite movies has lots of misfits who are given a chance to prove themselves, but they do it without changing who they are.
Meatballs was a movie from 1979 that starred Bill Murray. The plot summary on IMDB.com says “Wacky hijinks of counselors and campers at a less than average summer camp.” This is true. Anything that has Bill Murray is going to be wacky, but there is more to this little known movie.
The camp is filled with misfits and underdogs. This is made even more apparent when the camp takes on their rival camp in a summer camp Olympics. I like the take on the misfits in this movie. Yes, they do rise to the occasion and overcome. That is a given to any movie about misfits.What I like about these misfits is they don’t change or really improve themselves. They overcome by being their misfit selves.
There is one boy, by the name of Rudy, who is even a misfit in the misfits. He’s no good at any of the sports. Bill Murray’s character, Tripper, takes him under his wing by being his friend. He doesn’t push Rudy to be friends with the other kids or try to make him better at the sports. He helps Rudy find who he is and what he is good at. There is a pivotal moment in the movie for Rudy and sports and the other kids, but I won’t ruin that for you.
There are two other characters that I love to root for in Meatballs. They are Spaz and Fink. Fink is a large individual who loves to eat. Spaz … his name says it all. Fink uses love of food to take on a hot dog eating challenge. Spaz stays himself and finds love.
The low point of the movie has always been the high point for me. It is where the true message of the movie lies. Tripper makes a sermon explaining how “it just doesn’t matter.” Under the laughter of the sermon there is poignant lesson. As a misfit it doesn’t matter if you win, because you will always be a misfit. And, it’s good to be a misfit.