The days are getting shorter, the leaves are turning, and all the kids are back in school. Yes, it's officially fall, but for a mere $9.50, you can relive that summer magic with the movie Wet Hot American Summer, an incredibly funny satire of the 80's summer camp movie by two of the creators of MTV's now-defunct The State.
Anyone who has ever found themselves with nothing to do on a Sunday afternoon has seen this type of movie: horny, badly dressed teens congregate at summer camp, geek meets hot girl, geek wins the game/talent show/archery contest, thus proving he is no longer a geek, geek either wins hot girl or realizes that he loves tomboyish sidekick (who, of course, has had a fabulous makeover).
Co-writers Michael Showalter and David Wain take every tired convention to absurd extremes, and throw in unexpected touches -- such as a talking can of vegetables -- that will have you rolling in the aisles. The fantastic ensemble cast, which includes Janeane Garofalo, David Hyde Pierce, Molly Shannon, Showalter, and Paul Rudd as the ultimate hot slacker guy, smirk through their roles, letting you know that they've already thought everything you're thinking. Don't even start to roll your eyes at the sight of a played out joke, because they'll throw a twist at you before you can even let out a jaded sigh.
I have to admit I had pretty low expectations for this movie. When a movie is described as a "spoof," I usually interpret that to mean "a movie that is bad, but everyone knows it's bad, therefore it is funny." While Wet Hot American Summer occasionally went for the obvious joke, the writers included enough new material that I was almost thankful for a lull so I could catch my breath. As someone who, for some inexplicable reason, has seen Meatballs 3 starring a very skinny Patrick Dempsey several times, I'm very aware of the conventions of a bad summer camp movie. I was so impressed with Wet Hot American Summer, I'd even consider shelling out another ten bucks to see it again. If you've ever seen a teen movie and said to yourself after 15 minutes, "I already know how this ends," or if you just thought it was funny when they sprayed the Pope with grape juice on The State, this movie is for you.
Photo is from the
the Wet Hot American Summer website.