directed by David Wain
The beauty of Michael Showalter and David Wain’s excellent Wet Hot American Summer is not that it’s different from every other summer camp genre comedy. The beauty of the film is that it’s exactly like every other summertime genre comedy, and therein resides the genius. Wet Hot American Summer is like every mocking conversation you and your friends have had whilst watching Meatballs, Meatballs 2, -insert title of some lesser summertime comedy of which you have some inside jokey type of personal connection here-, and the result is a wacky ass and raunchy flaunting of cliché. It never hurts when you have the cast of usual Wain suspects at your disposal, talent like the enormously spectacular Paul Rudd, the always perfect Elizabeth Banks, the marvelously smarmy Ken Marino (that perm!), the elusive Michael Showalter- hell, I could go on and on, about the genius of Jo Lo Truglio (the bike slash foot chase between Truglio and Marino is classic), the underplayed hilarity of Janeane Garofalo, or the fantastically fantastic stylings of Bradley Cooper and Michael Ian Black, but the total is far greater than the sum of its very hilarious parts. The plot is easy enough: the last day at summer camp and all the shenanigans and tomfoolery you can imagine, but this is the kind of film I love to watch about this time of year to prime the engine for summer. Critically and commercially it was a dud, but we all know how much we can trust those snobby, know it all movie critics. Bottom line: Wet Hot is great in much the same way Shaun of the Dead or Hot Fuzz is great, because it pokes fun at a genre for which we all share a great deal of affection while succeeding at being tremendously funny in its own right. Wain has said he is writing both a sequel and a prequel to Wet Hot, and frankly I don’t know which one of those possibilities makes me more excited.