Wet Hot American Summer (2001)

Director: David Wain

Starring: Michael Showalter, David Wain, Janeane Garofalo, Marguerite Moreau, Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, David Hyde Pierce, Amy Poehler, Christopher Meloni, Michael Ian Black, Molly Shannon

Awards: None

This is a guilty pleasure I keep tucked away, a forgotten indie comedy that not many people know about and even fewer liked. Roger Ebert quoted, “Wow, I hate it something fierce,” in his Allan Sherman hommaging review, but I however, think it is hilarious. Written by the members of the comedy group the State and Stella (check out Stella’s short films online, the Turkey Hunt and Die Hard spoofs are awesome), Summer is an irreverant jab at summer camp movies like Meatballs, and well, Meatballs II. The cast is well rounded and composed of lesser known talents at the time that went on to SNL and Judd Apatow film fame like Paul Rudd and Elizabeth Banks. Marguerite Moreau lends some wholesome eye candy to the lead love interest role and performs her character with brilliant comedic timing and goofiness.

There are some truly great scenes in this movie if you like dark quirky comedy, notably when the counselors go to town for some supplies, resulting in an escallating montage of debauchery culminating in hardcore drug use and crime, only to end up back at camp completely refreshed an hour after they left. Great supporting characters abound throughout the film, like Christopher Meloni’s crazed Vietnam vet chef who garners advice form a talking can of vegetables and asprires to hump the fridge. There’s a fun drinking game you can play while watching too, take a drink every time they use the canned plate breaking sound effect, you will be wasted by the credits…and stick around after for a secret scene.

Other Notable Films by this Director: The Ten (2007)

Unfortunately I couldn’t find the official trailer in a format that didn’t have blown out audio, so you get the scene I was describing above:


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