Wet Hot American Summer (2001)

Wet Hot American Summer
Director: David Wain
Writer: Michael Showalter, David Wain
Cast: Janeane Garofalo, David Hyde Pierce, Michael Showalter, Michael Ian BlackMolly Shannon, Paul Rudd, Christopher Meloni, Ken Marino, Joe Lo Truglio, Amy Poehler, Bradley Cooper, Elizabeth Banks, Kevin Sussman, Judah Friedlander
Seen on: 7.9.2015

The last day of Camp Firewood puts the various councelors under stress to complete their open business that they’ve been pushing off for the rest of the summer. And camp director Beth (Janeane Garofalo) has to try and keep everything together. Which is easier said than done when you’re dealing not only with various romantic entanglements, a cook suffering from PTSD (Christopher Meloni) and a deadly piece of NASA equipment hurtling towards them. Oh, and of course, the talent show that is planned for the end of the day.

Wet Hot American Summer is a loud, silly and enjoyable movie with a cast that parodies everything that doesn’t get out of the way fast enough. I had fun.


Where the movie deals with the last day of camp, there is also a new Netflix show with pretty much the same cast (albeit almost 15 years older) that deals with the first day of camp. It was only after watching the show (which coincided with my reading of Amy Poehler’s autobiography where the film is mentioned) that I found out that the film existed. So I actually saw events in their chronology and while I usually really want to watch things according to their chronology, I think I would have appreciated both more if I had seen it in the sequence of their making.

That being said, I did enjoy both the series in the film, although it has to be admitted that both are exceedingly silly. I’m not always a fan of silliness, but in this case, I enjoyed it. I even prefer the amped up silliness of the series that starts with the casting choice that has the actors return to the very same roles they already were a little old for 15 years ago.

Wet_hot_american_summer1In any case, Wet Hot American Summer is a pretty great send-up of the usual summer camp movie with an amazing energy to it. From what I gather, things were not only crazy on screen, but also off screen, and I do believe that there is a certain feeling of unhinged joy to the film where that makes itself felt.

It’s certainly not a film I’ll start re-watching on a regular basis. But it’s a film that made me laugh. Not in the least because it’s always a joy to watch Janeane Garofalo at work, which we get way too rarely. And it’s of course generally pretty cool to see this cast, most of whom only got famous afterwards.

Wet_hot_american_summer2Summarizing: Much like a summer camp itself, this movie is a perfect storm at a perfect moment.

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