The cast of Wet Hot American Summer reads like a who’s who of Hollywood these days but in 2001 the all-star cast were still on the rise. In fact, WHAS actually marked the movie debuts of Bradley Cooper, Elizabeth Banks and Kyle Gallner. Poehler and Shannon were still on SNL and Hyde-Pierce was on Frasier.
This summer camp movie takes place in the summer of 1981. The movie is the last day before Camp Firewood closes and the opening says you have one more day to find that summer love or lose out forever.
Janeane Garofalo is the camp manager and she has her hands full with the rambunctious campers and horny counselors.
Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Marguerite Moreau play a love triangle of campers.
Ken Marino, Molly Shannon, Amy Poehler and Bradley Cooper are counselors.
Chris Meloni is the very goofy camp chef and David Hyde Pierce is a science scholar who creates a bond with Garofalo and the campers.
This is one great ensemble cast and there are many great summer camp laugh-out-loud moments. The 80s soundtrack, young love and goofiness make this a must watch every summer.
The amazing thing about the film is that it seems to become a lucky feature for many members of its cast.
With so many breakthroughs in the film, I kind of wonder what happened to Marguerite Moreau, she was just so incredible in WHAS you wonder why she didn’t end up having a mega-career. It is true she looks very similar to other actresses (especially like Frances O’Connor & Jacinda Barrett) but she is just so good and has great comedic timing. Zak Orth is another actor from this cast who hasn’t really surfaced. But unlike Moreau he is shining in small comedic character parts.
WHAS is a great movie to revisit for a classical laugh or just to check out this amazing cast.
4 out of 5
So Says the Soothsayer
TRIVIA NOTE: Elizabeth Banks has said in interviews that she was really relieved that she got Paul Rudd for her first on-screen kissing scene. She said that he actually taught her how to kiss on camera. Wow, if there was any a time to admire Paul Rudd it would be now!