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Wet Hot American Summer
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It's the last day of camp in the summer of 1981. Janeane Garofalo plays the camp director who falls in love with the local physicist, David Hyde Pierce. But the real star is Showalter, who plays "Coop," trying to get the girl of his dreams to fall for him, in spite of her "love" for vapid Paul Rudd (who reminded me a lot of Trey Parker here, for some reason).
This movie is basically a take-off of the `80's camp films like Meatballs. You know, the ones they used to show on USA Up All Night. And every possible gag is included here, including a few I didn't see coming (like the trip to "town").
One thing, though, keep in mind while you watch it that all of this is happening during the span of one day.
As some of the negative reviews have mentioned, there is a major lack of continuity in this film. This is something that made it really funny, in my opinion, and I would be willing to bet that those people didn't even notice exactly how much blatant discontinuity there was. In one particular scene, a character returns from a short trip with long, raggedy hair to talk to another character, and when the camera returns to him after she says something, his hair is at the length it was when he left. Just a couple minutes later, a similar thing happens with another character, even more obvious this time. I don't know about you, but I thought that was quite funny.
What I think is a problem for those who don't like this movie is that they expect some blunt parody of the 80's camp movies, when it really isn't. I think it revels in the genre but isn't really trying to directly mock it like Scary Movie did to horror movies. While there is definite parody in it, much of it is simply demented, nonsensical fun. I found the lack of consistent parallels refreshing, and it kept the movie interesting. And you have to really pay attention to it, because there is subtle humor strewn throughout.
I will say that I was a fan of The State in its days, but I had no idea that the people from that show had anything to do with this movie at the time I'd rented it. I just knew some people who thought it was funny. I also was never into 80's camp movies. So you don't have to be really knowledgeable of that genre to enjoy this. You do, however, need to have an appreciation for weirdness and an unusual sense of humor to really "get" this movie.
The awareness of the form is pitch-perfect, as is the fearlessness in turning the form on its ear -- such as when the camp has a marriage ceremony for two gay male characters and celebrates their love, instead of what would have transpired in the less tolerant movies of the early 1980s. Everyone from Paul Rudd to Christopher Meloni, Janeane Garofalo to Michael Showalter, and Michael Ian Black turns in incredibly hilarious performances. Wet Hot American Summer belongs in the rarest of comedy movies that you can watch literally dozens of times and always find something new to laugh at. Just watch it once the kids are in bed.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It was fun to see big stars in their early years, but the movie was a groan fest. I watched it once. That was plenty.Published 17 days ago by Leah Highgate
Volume quality was too poor. You could barely hear it with the volume maxxed out.Published 3 months ago by Emily W
Loved it! Fun to see actors who have made it big before they became famous.Published 3 months ago by HomeRun
This is supposed to be sent through as a NEW movie..... it has been scratching the whole way through; I've had to go through scene selections just to get through the movie. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Melissa M
Didn't get it! Had so much potential with so many great comedians and actors in it . . . but was just so so.Published 7 months ago by Hillary Olson
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