Wet Hot American Summer


Janeane Garofalo, Michael Showalter, Marguerite Moreau, Paul Rudd
Directed by David Wain
Rating: D-

A cult classic with an A-list cast but this movie was just terribly, embarrassingly, frustratingly stupid.

It’s the last day at summer camp Firewood and it’s the camp counselors mission to get laid. The kids are off being kids and doing scheduled activities while the teenaged counselors shirk their responsibilities to make-out or get high. Wet Hot American Summer is the ultimate parody of summer camp movies, and maybe those who went to camp can appreciate the humor. Otherwise, it was extremely hard to get through.

In this unbelievably long day at camp Firewood activities go awry while couples break up and make up. I guess the only positive thing about this movie is the acceptance kids have for each other. Two guys have a ceremony cementing their love, and when their “homophobic” friends (because that’s how they act when they find out about the ceremony) find out, they buy the couple a wedding gift. Meanwhile a cook accepts himself for who he is and opens up about his weird feelings in front of the campers.

Yet it’s the lack of character growth, frenzied-dialogue, and over-exaggerated personality traits that makes this film hard to swallow. I paused this movie halfway and almost didn’t return to it, because it was just so bad I wasn’t entertained. There wasn’t much happening to make me laugh -something this movie is trying to accomplish- however there are a lot of people who like this movie. There are also a lot of people who don’t.

The cast is what sold the movie to me, but even ten minutes in I knew I was setting myself up to settle in and suffer. I know this movie is supposed to be silly, but what’s funny about watching a bunch of actors play dumb? It completely lost me at the scene when a bunch of counselors go into town to buy stuff and check books out at the library, but then they buy cocaine, harass people on the street, shoot heroine, and become prostitutes. That is when I thought, okay, what just happened?

I’m just one of those who don’t get it, and I wouldn’t recommend this movie to anyone. It’s just not funny. I can’t give it an “F” though, because somehow people actually like it.

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