In 1995, back before Kenan Thompson and Judd Apatow were household names, the comedic powerhouses joined forces with a still-on-the-rise Ben Stiller on Heavyweights, a Disney big-screen comedy about youngsters at a “fat camp” and the manic fitness guru who takes over.
Upon its original release, the film wasn’t a hit with critics or moviegoers, earning poor reviews and less than $18 million at the box office. “Heavyweights is really two movies in one, and they don’t mesh,” New York Times critic Stephen Holden observed at the time. “One movie is a no-holds-barred spoof of a Tony Little– or Susan Powter-style fitness merchant, in which maniacal perkiness is equated with uncontrollable rage. The other movie is a conventional family comedy that pokes lighthearted fun at the chubby young campers.”
In the years since its release, however, the film has developed a cult following, with Disney releasing a Blu-ray version of the comedy in 2012, and some critics have looked at it more favorably in recent years. “Today, a comedy featuring the combined prosperous forces of Apatow and Stiller would be a surefire draw at the box office,” PopMatters’ Jeremiah Messengale wrote in 2013. “Despite its flaws, the comicality in Heavyweights does hold up quite well.”
In honor of the movie’s 25th anniversary on Monday, February 17, scroll down to see where the cast is now.