Wet Hot American Summer

Wet Hot American Summer

All of these folks had done funny things already, but the majority of them would reach fame and large pay checks within only a few years. Everything about this movie is great, from David Hyde Pierce and the indoor kids, to Ken Marino and the rescue of the eagles on moose river.

First Quote: Rachel Clipperrrr… Hoffer-man.
Second Quote: Now finish up them taters; I’m gonna go fondle my sweaters

This movie is a great slapstick film that makes fun of summer camp movies. It includes every cliche you can think of and comes up with quite a bit of original comedy as well. This cast is a whose who of future comedic talent, they excel at making fun of themselves throughout the whole thing. Oh, and did I mention it’s set in 1981? Yeah… it’s set in 1981. These folks were all on the prowl and were still trying to make names for themselves; I can’t imagine how much fun they must have had making this flick while dressed up like 1981 all day.

Our story is about your typical bunch of ragtag teenage camp counselors, who act like they hate camp so much that you have no clue why they are even there in the first place. It’s the last day of camp, and everyone wants to do drugs, get loaded, have sex and break rules. Nobody cares about the kids, nobody cares about the establishment, and nobody cares about the boss.

Let’s talk about the boss for just a minute though… the boss is Janeane Garofalo. Janeane, my one and only special someone (let’s not be confused, she doesn’t know I exist haha). Sigh. She is killer in the movie. totally funny, wicked cute, totally witty and just awkward all the time. She was the biggest name at the time attached to this movie, and it was a great casting move. The rest were all fairly similar comedians on the rise, but Garofalo has always been more on the cusp of darker humor.

At times, it makes fun of overdone montages too. There are two stellar montages that come to mind instantly in this laugh-a-minute showing of great writing and great delivery. One involves an hour in town, the other is about our geek character getting cool, a la Rocky Balboa, Apollo Creed.

THE LIST: Clutch placement

1. Of an amazing cast.

Paul Rudd, Michael Showalter, Molly Shannon, Marguerite Moreau, Michael Ian Black, Zak Orth, A.D. Miles, Ken Marino, Joe Lo Truglio, Amy Poehler, Elizabeth Banks, Bradley Cooper, and that’s not even all of them.

2. Of Christopher Meloni and the can of peas

So I have a cousin named Chris. He is a movie star. We are cousins in the way that I bet he has maybe heard my name six times in his whole life. In any case, I think this is his best role ever. He is a top dog on one of those Law & Order shows, but I am not going to lie, I think Law & Order is garbage, cousin or not. This is a clip that makes me die, maybe less funny out of context, but it just kills me.

3. Of great physical comedy…

Not once but TWICE, Paul Rudd seems to lose a camper while he is on lifeguard duty. Both times, he rides right into action in order to keep quiet the swimming partners of these fallen campers. Keep an eye out for a “Big Secret Pizza Party.”

Another time (and maybe the best thing in this entire movie) Rudd’s character throws his plate and tray all over the floor in the cafeteria, knocking over his chair as he stands up. The Director (My one and only someone special) is walking by and demands he pick it all up. His response is legendary. It’s more important than the first steps on the moon, or the truth about Jimmy Hoffa. I also love the quick second right when they return from town, and the three dudes just walk straight into a wall. (end of THE LIST)

This movie gets The Big Brown Chair nod, for being way underrated. I know plenty of people who know and love it, but the masses have never heard of it, and it’s a travesty. Great summer movie, and a great movie to make uptight people feel uncomfortable. Put it on for your in-laws after holiday meals when you’d like them to start heading home already.

Author: Peter Struzziero

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