A Week Away desperately clings to the fame of its actors

The poster for the Netflix movie A Week Away, taken from IMDb.


The poster for the Netflix movie A Week Away, taken from IMDb.

Lately, it feels like there is a short rotating cycle of plot options for movies. I am constantly seeing ideas I have already experienced multiple times. A Week Away is not much of an exception.

A Week Away tells the story of orphaned teenage troublemaker Will Hawkins (Kevin Quinn) during his first week of summer camp. Will has been in multiple foster homes within six years. He continually has to move out of houses as he causes trouble—the latest being stealing a cop car. He was already in a group home, which was the “last resort,” as described by the social services worker. Due to this, Will’s only option is juvenile detention. Until, that is, Kristin (Sherri Shepherd) and her son George (Jahbril Cook) invite him to Camp Aweegaway.

Upon arriving at camp, Will becomes infatuated with Avery (Bailee Madison), a frequent camper and counselor. From the minute they see each other, their relationship has the potential to develop into a love story, but of course, there are complications. Avery’s dad, David (David Koechner), runs camp Aweegaway, making Avery off-limits—not that she would want to be associated with a car stealer, naturally.

There was nothing original or unpredictable—it was quite bland. ”

Camp Aweegaway exhibits three teams competing against one another to win a championship. As one would expect, the main characters are divided amongst teams. George and Will belong to team Verdes Maximus, Avery to a team named the Crimson Angels, and the antagonist of the movie, Sean (Iain Tucker), to the Apostles, who hold the winning streak.

The movie follows the teenagers through games and tasks while they try to outwit each other. Of course, there is also drama regarding Will’s past, which he hasn’t told anyone about.

Honestly, I felt A Week Away was clinging to its two main actors’ fame. Kevin Quinn gained fame and success on Disney Channel’s Bunk’d as the attractive counselor Xander, and Bailee Madison is pretty widely known for her work in The Good Witch, Bridge to Terabithia, and Wizards of Waverly Place, just to name a few of her successful endeavors. I don’t think many people would have looked twice if they hadn’t seen the faces of actors they knew well.

It also clung to stereotypical musicals that aspire to be as great as High School Musical. It featured a new kid—Will—and a camp, or school, favorite—Avery—helping the new kid fit in. They randomly burst into song with some questionably, cringy choreography. There was a heartfelt song between the two main characters that attempted to give off the same energy as the balcony scene in High School Musical mixed with the lakeside scenes in Camp Rock.

A Week Away really just felt like a hybrid of many well-known musical movies. There was nothing original or unpredictable—it was quite bland. 

Even the teams fighting for glory reminded me of Harry Potter. There seemed to be no prize except glory and bragging rights, which reminded me a lot of the annual House Cup in every single Harry Potter movie and book.

If A Week Away came out with a sequel, I would not watch it, much like how I never hope to watch the original again.