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Friday, May 12, 2017
Wet Hot American Summer Spoiler Free Review
Wet Hot American Summer, 5/12/17, 4 Stars out of 5.
The year is 1981, a looser time for all. It’s the last day of camp at Camp Firewood (real original name), and camp director Beth (Janeane Garofalo) is trying to keep the camp running. Meanwhile, many other camp stories go on, some of which are left unresolved, others are wrapped into a neat little bow. There’s romance, teen drama, and just plain weirdness throughout. The plot moves as casually as a summer day, which works for it because like a hot summer day, the plot moves this way, that way and every other way. There are a lot of characters they follow, and some storylines go unresolved, and the climax comes from out of nowhere, which is both as absurd as classic summer vacations can be and just plain dumb at the same time. Look, the plot’s a mess in terms of coherence, but the pace reflecting summer days works out. Most adult viewers will be able to relate to the main characters in some way, whether it’s the laid back guys, the girls, Professor Henry Newman (David Hyde Pierce), or any of the kids, because this is a classic summer vacation movie. The main characters you really care about are Beth and Henry, but everyone else just takes up time that could be spent on them. Otherwise, character development is weak due to too many characters they try to focus on, but some of their arcs go unresolved, or just feel shoehorned in. However, the film was hilarious, whether it was the wild dialogue from Gene (Christopher Meloni) and his “friend” the can of peas (H. Jon Benjamin). There’s plenty of sight gags and zany dialogue to keep you entertained, even if you think afterward “that was really stupid.” Theodore Shapiro and Craig Wedren make an orchestral score, but with great 80s songs put to good use, we don’t hear much of that. All the music sets the mood and is appropriate to the scene. And there were also a lot of swears. Wow, that was as random as this movie, which may be the unique charm that doesn’t sink my rating of it.