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Wet Hot American Summer (2001)

aka Wet Hot American Summer

Directed By: 
Details: 97 mins · English · R (USA)

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Surprisingly Hilarious

Wet Hot American Summer is not a film I would normally watch, but I'm incredibly glad that I did. Despite it's appearance, this is certainly not your typical American Pie style comedy, but rather a clever story that twists expectations constantly and left me with a smile on my face.

Something to note is that this film has a fantastic all-star cast, including Paul Rudd, Bradley Cooper, Michael Ian Black, Molly Shannon, Amy Poehler, Joe Lo Truglio, and more. But unlike most films that rely too heavily on their talent, Wet Hot American Summer has the script to back it, never taking itself seriously and playing up some of the more absurd moments of the last decade of films. It also uses a lot of physical comedy to their advantage, which adds a fair amount of charm and enjoyment. But the film is at its best when it simply pokes fun at itself. All of our characters are supposed to be teenage camp counselors, but were clearly in their 30's when the film was shot. Stock sound effects are int...(more)

Wet Hot American Summer is not a film I would normally watch, but I'm incredibly glad that I did. Despite it's appearance, this is certainly not your typical American Pie style comedy, but rather a clever story that twists expectations constantly and left me with a smile on my face.

Something to note is that this film has a fantastic all-star cast, including Paul Rudd, Bradley Cooper, Michael Ian Black, Molly Shannon, Amy Poehler, Joe Lo Truglio, and more. But unlike most films that rely too heavily on their talent, Wet Hot American Summer has the script to back it, never taking itself seriously and playing up some of the more absurd moments of the last decade of films. It also uses a lot of physical comedy to their advantage, which adds a fair amount of charm and enjoyment. But the film is at its best when it simply pokes fun at itself. All of our characters are supposed to be teenage camp counselors, but were clearly in their 30's when the film was shot. Stock sound effects are intentionally misused, situations are made overly dramatic, and time is constantly toyed with, as the film is meant to take place over the course of one day.

I'd rather not say more, as this is a film to be experienced, not spoiled, but I will say that I enjoyed this film so thoroughly that I immediately watched the entirety of the follow-up TV series, shot 11 years after this with the same cast. If you're looking for some clever comedy wrapped in a somewhat familiar package, definitey take the time to watch this. (less)

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Cast:

Small Beth
Small Henry Newman
Small Katie
Small McKinley
Small J.J.
No_movie_poster Gary
Small Andy
Small Gene
Small Lindsay
Small Coop
Small Susie
Small Neil
Small Gail von Kleinenstein
Small Ben
Small Steve
Small Victor
Small Ron von Kleinenstein
Small Arty (voice)
Small Bobby's Buddy
No_movie_poster Bobby

Crew:

No_movie_poster Mark White Set Designer
No_movie_poster Lisa Scoppa Set Decoration
No_movie_poster Theodore Shapiro Original Music Composer
No_movie_poster Craig Wedren Original Music Composer
Small David Wain Director
Small Michael Showalter Screenplay
No_movie_poster Howard Bernstein Producer
No_movie_poster Ben Weinstein Director of Photography
No_movie_poster Meg Reticker Editor
No_movie_poster Susie Farris Casting
No_movie_poster Bryan Hodge Art Direction
No_movie_poster Jill Kliber Casting
No_movie_poster Patty Benson Set Dressing Manager
Small David Wain Writer

Plot:

On August 18, 1981, Camp Firewood, a summer camp located near Waterville, Maine, is preparing for its last day of summer camp, which means counselors have one last chance to have a romantic encounter with another person at Camp Firewood. The summer ultimately culminates in a talent show.


Beth (Janeane Garofalo), the camp director, struggles to keep her counselors in order — and her campers alive — while falling in love with Henry (David Hyde Pierce), an astrophysics associate professor at the local college. Henry has to devise a plan to save the camp from a piece of NASA's Skylab, which is falling to Earth.


Coop (Michael Showalter) has a crush on Katie (Marguerite Moreau), his fellow counselor, but has to pry her away from her rebellious, obnoxious, and obviously unfaithful boyfriend, Andy (Paul Rudd). Only Gene (Christopher Meloni), the shell-shocked Vietnam war veteran and camp chef, can help Coop win Katie — with some help from a talking can of vegetables (voiced by H. Jon Benjamin). All the while, Gary (A.D. Miles), Gene's unfortunately chosen apprentice, and J.J. (Zak Orth) attempt to figure out why McKinley (Michael Ian Black) hasn't been with a woman; and Susie (Amy Poehler) and Ben (Bradley Cooper) attempt to produce and choreograph the greatest talent show Camp Firewood has ever seen.

Release Dates:

DVD : 2002-01-08

DVD : 2002-01-15

DVD : 2002-08-13