Review – Wet Hot American Summer (2001)

I’m only 17 years late to the party! Wet Hot American Summer is a loving tribute to the raunchy sexy comedies of the 1980s.

So what’s it about? Basically, it’s the last day of summer camp and nobody wants to go home without having had a summer romance, so everyone makes it their mission to get laid.

The movie plays out like a series of mini skits, strung together by a wafer thin narrative. Each ‘skit’ almost feels like it was directed or written by a different person. It almost makes me wonder how much of it was improvised, or written minutes before shooting? However, there is something, that I can’t quite put my finger on that does keep the project cohesive and incredibly watchable.

It’s strange to see pre-fame Hollywood A-listers such as Bradley Cooper, Paul Rudd and Elizabeth Banks before they were household names. It’s as clear as day they had the comedy chops to make it in Hollywood.

I related closest to David Hyde Pearce’s Professor Newman, the socially awkward, socks and sandal wearing astrophysicist. I wish I could have sat in on his rock solar system class. Work must have dried up as this role is a far cry from Niles Crane, but Pearce fully commits and makes the audience root for him.

Paul Rudd absolutely manages to embody every rebellious, unfaithful, obnoxious, spoilt teenager stereotype ever thrown on to the silver screen. I couldn’t help thinking that I was watching a young Brian Fantana.

I’m a fan of Joe Lo Truglio, and seeing him in the this brought a huge smile to my face. He probably has the best comedy timing of anyone in this movie. If you do want to see this master at work, check out Brooklyn-Nine-Nine.

It’s easy to understand why this movie was a commercial and critical failure. It was released in the same year as super comedies such as American Pie 2, Rush Hour 2, Bridget Jones’s Diary, Zoolander and a little movie called Shrek. It’s hard to compete for the audience’s dollar when you’re in the presence of the aforementioned.

Not Another Teen Movie and Scary Movie 2 were arguably the more popular ‘farce/spoof’ choices of the year, but I do believe that Wet Hot American Summer has aged significantly better and is well deserved of it’s current cult standing.

Writer/director David Wain in my opinion, was years ahead of his time.

Two spoons of soup as a movie for general audiences. 🥄🥄

But, a full five spoons of soup for silly fun. 🥄🥄🥄🥄🥄

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