Wet Hot American Summer has been buzzing in my brain since it roared through the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. The movie searched for a distributor for months and was finally (and thankfully) scooped up by USA Films and opened this past weekend in New York City. A creation of David Wain (Director, Co-Writer) and Michael Showalter (Co-Writer, Lead Actor), WHAM is a warm story which focuses on the last day at Camp Firewood in 1981. Much of the cast once graced the MTV channel on the short lived sketch show The State, in which Wain and Showalter were also a part of. This is seriously one of the funniest movies that I have seen in a long time and I was so happy to catch this flick in it's limited release, and pray to the non existent movie gods that it will one day see a national release.
The creators of the film no doubt watched Meatballs high on marijuana cigarettes before finishing this outlandish script. Camp Firewood is about to wrap up another summer, teen counselors are trying to bang one another, and a strange satellite is plummeting towards the camp on the night of the big talent show. This plot sounds simple enough, but Wain and Showalter add a pleasurable dose of absurdity and potty humor to make this film a keeper. Jeannine Garafalo plays the camp's director who is searching for love with the associate professor next door, played by David Hyde Pierce . Pierce plays the sad and pathetic role pretty well, but his kiss with Garafolo was completely sickening and I am sure Pierce was thinking the same thing. Former members of The State, Michael Ian Black, Joe Lo Truglio, and Ken Marino were hilarious in their various roles. The motorcycle chase where Lo Truglio is on a bike and attempts to grab Marino (who is out running the bike) is amazing, and the brand of humor was taken from some of the earlier sketches which aired on The State's show.
The best characters of the film were Christopher Meloni 's Vietam vet / cook's character, and Paul Rudd 's lazy teenage hornball dude. Meloni was fantastic, as he mumbled innaporiate sentences to everyone then tried to cover them up (I'm going to rub my ass with mudd / I said I am going to fill the bass with glug). Rudd's performance was relatable to every horny male teenager, who cares about getting laid and nothing else. He nailed the character and nearly every girl at camp.
Sure we have seen Meatballs or Earnest Goes to Camp or even NBC's Poison Ivy which starred a young Michael J. Fox and Nancy McKeon , but this camp flick takes the cake. There are so many great moments towards the climax of the film, that you feel the need to see it again. Wain is a great director and the writing, acting, and improvising was right up my alley. Amy Poehler , the newest cast member of SNL and member of the Upright Citizens Brigade gave a great performance as well, and you will be hearing a lot more of her name in the future. If you are in the greater NYC area and want to laugh, check this movie out. It is brilliantly written, shot, acted, and I loved it.
Source: Jason Anfinsen