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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 19.61%
Average: 0%
Pretty Bad: 15.69%
Total Crap: 5.88%

4 reviews, 27 user ratings

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Wet Hot American Summer
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by Chris Parry

"A let-down, but an expected let-down."
2 stars

Call this year's Sundance Film Festival the festival of summer camp movies, for after Happy Campers and this flick, audience members started to get the urge to sing Koom-Bai-Yah. But while Happy Campers was a movie for 12-year-olds with 25-year-old themes, Wet Hot American Summer is a movie for 25-year-olds with 12-year-old themes. Feeling like a blend of Saturday Night Live and The State, Wet Hot summer never truly gets off the ground or out of TV territory. There are spatters of truly dark and bizarre comedy throughout, which gives an indication that the film will take off in an original direction, but as the film wears on it drifts closer and closer to the same old same old, resorting to easy endings and predictable set pieces.

Janeane Garofalo deals out a fine performance as the camp director with a crush on a local astrophysics nut, but simply put, she's too good for this material. David Hyde Pierce essentially plays his Frasier role all over again, as a slightly stuck up, slightly insane intellectual type. Paul Rudd is completely wasted, though occasionally funny, as a ladies man camp counselor, and the rest are just blah.

If a similar film hadn't been playing at this festival alongside Wet Hot American Summer, it might have escaped unfavourable comparison with others of its genre, but the simple fact of the matter is that this isn't a patch on Happy Campers - and that wasn't a great film in itself. As a modern day update of the Meatballs theme, Wet Hot American Summer falls badly short of the mark. Some characters are simply puzzling, and the ending is trite in the extreme, but as a rainy day video or a made for Comedy Central TV movie, it would be a fine thing.

But that's no bonus. As a feature film, the few bright spots in Wet Hot American Summer will leave the average viewer feeling eight bucks and 90 minutes worse off.

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originally posted: 02/16/01 06:48:16
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User Comments

6/14/18 Bents Not funny...the more bizarre parts are the only reason not a 1 Star 2 stars
3/23/15 Corey ait'd an uneven, unfunny POS that Cooper, Pierce & Garogolo ALL regret making. 1 stars
7/01/11 Justin V Very funny, very original, only a handful of jokes don't work 4 stars
11/21/06 William Goss Oh, man. A LOT of fun. 5 stars
9/15/05 tatum Great comedy, gets it totally right from start to finish 5 stars
1/19/05 Jeff Anderson A TOTAL DELIGHT! Up there with MEATBALLS and INDIAN SUMMER. Christopher Meloni STEALS THIS! 5 stars
1/10/05 Jim I can honestly say I've never seen a movie quite like this one ... 4 stars
11/10/04 kristi rediculously funny 5 stars
6/18/04 Jonathan Some people don't get it...don't limit it to the "camp parody" genre. 5 stars
4/17/04 Michael Greenwaldt Takes a bit to get going, but becomes outrageously, ridiculously hilarious! 4 stars
1/21/03 tina excellent 5 stars
1/21/03 Richard Dean Anderson's Mullet People who don't like this movie take themselves too seriously 5 stars
10/05/02 ryan phillippe gets hit by a car and it rules Even funnier than canada 5 stars
9/17/02 Eric Carpenter Amazingly random and strange, loved it 5 stars
8/08/02 I Can't Swim only history this makes is 'Worse Movie Pre-Teens Love, Inexplicably" 1 stars
1/22/02 The Bomb 69 very funny and dark in spots, very stupid and campy in others still... 4 stars
12/17/01 Andrew Carden Excellent Movie That Will Be A Cult Classic One Day. 5 stars
10/30/01 mikko alanen very good movies 1 stars
7/30/01 Max Great movie. A must see . Funniest thing I've seen in a long time. 5 stars
7/16/01 Jennifer Bitchin'! 5 stars
7/05/01 Leonard If you don't see this movie then you have missed a great moment in film history 5 stars
6/23/01 Jim Stansel The most original comedy I've seen in years. 5 stars
6/08/01 Bob Jones Awesome Movie 5 stars
4/19/01 A.A. This movie was awesome! Highly reccommend it for anyone who wants a good laugh. 5 stars
3/24/01 John There are a few funny lines and situations but too much of the material falls flat. 2 stars
2/28/01 Meanie Hilarious in every respect. Finally a movie that is actually funny-NOT in a lame studio way 5 stars
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  27-Jul-2001 (R)



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