Thursday, March 26, 2009

Three by Three

Three things I liked about Wet Hot American Summer:
  • Chris Meloni is as good as legend would have it as the bat-shit crazy camp cook. He hedges the performance not one bit, committing fully to the character's unhinged lunacy.
  • The kids. By and large, they cast very well, and elicited great, non-grating or show performances from the campers.
  • Jeneane Garofolo and David Hyde-Pierce, who not only have surprisingly good chemistry, but nail the balance the film calls for between parody and sincerity.

Three things I did not like about Wet Hot American Summer:

  • How unevenly the cast and film nailed that balance. WHAS isn't an out and out parody the way Airplane was, but it's not just a goofy comedy film set in the 80s either. It's a very schizophrenic mix of parody and original absurdist humor, and while at times that mix worked great, at other times it felt very disjointed.
  • That they filmed (per the bonus features) and didn't use the 10-years later flash-forward reunion. That looked funny.
  • The comedy. Not really. It was very funny. But I couldn't help but feeling throughout that it should have been funnier.

Until Whenever

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


I saw this as a midnight cult classic showing at a super cool hip theater near Boston called the Coolidge Corner in Boston. It was summer, the audience was awesome, and sometimes things are just *funnier* after midnight.

I think that if you loved Meatballs and you spent some time in summer camp as a kid, this is just comedy gold. Glad you caught it. I'm thinking of hosting a WHAS party this summer. Do up some bbq, lots of beer, then show the movie.