Starring: Janeane Garofalo, David Hyde Pierce, Michael Showalter, Bradley Cooper, Marguerite Moreau, Michael Ian Black, Amy Poehler, Zak Orth, Paul Rudd, AD Miles, Ken Marino, Joe Lo Truglio, Chris Meloni, Molly Shannon, Elizabeth Banks, Kevin Sussman, Judah Friedlander, H. Jon Benjamin, Kyle Gallner
Directed By: David Wain
Fun fact. Wet Hot American Summer was a flop when it was first released. It made only 295K at the domestic box office in 2001. Bradley Cooper’s career hadn’t yet taken off. This was around the same time as the first season of Alias. Long before American Sniper or The Hangover. Paul Rudd wasn’t famous for being Ant-Man. He was known for The Object Of My Affection, The Cider House Rules, and Clueless. Amy Poehler started SNL in 2001. This was shot before she joined the cast. Joe Lo Truglio hadn’t done Brooklyn Nine-Nine. You get the point.
Wet Hot American Summer is kind of an absurdist look at summer camps, with actors who are clearly way older than teenagers playing teenagers. Everyone is horny. Everyone is oblivious. No one would ever want to send their child to this camp. There isn’t a single responsible adult here. Yet, sandwiched in this story are some pretty great characters, and some interesting romantic connections. Garofalo and Pierce make an interesting couple, as do Cooper and Ian Black. The most surprising couple is probably who Molly Shannon winds up with at the end of the movie.
I loved Paul Rudd in this. Hilarious. Comedy gold. His performance is so over the top, yet it’s great. It’s exactly what this film needs. David Wain would go on to direct Role Models, Wanderlust, and They Came Together. Sort of a wide net of quality, but Wet Hot American Summer is probably his best work. I also noticed he directed an episode of A To Z, and nothing about that show was any good… so what the hell David Wain. Did your kids school need some tuition?
The Netflix series premieres July 31st, and the movie is currently up for your viewing pleasure there. So, check it out and familiarize yourself with the absurd cast of characters before the series drops. I promise. It’s worth it.
FINAL GRADE: A-