Wet Hot American Summer (2001)



Critic Consensus: As comedy, Wet Hot American Summer is a slapdash, fragmented affair that misses more often than hits. As parody, it fails because it attempts to satirize something ridiculous and self-parodying in itself.

Movie Info

The setting is Camp Firewood, the year 1981. It's the last day before everyone goes back to the real world, but there's still a summer's worth of unfinished business to resolve. At the center of the action is camp director Beth, who struggles to keep order while she falls in love with the local astrophysics professor. He is busy trying to save the camp from a deadly piece of NASA's Skylab which is hurtling toward earth. All that, plus: a dangerous waterfall rescue, love triangles, misfits, cool … More

Rating: R (for strong sexual content, language and a drug sequence)
Genre: Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Michael Showalter, David Wain
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jan 8, 2002
USA Films - Official Site


as Coop/Alan Shemper

as Victor

as Caped Boy

as Medieval Kid

as Cure Girl

as Mallrat Girl

as Guitar Dude

as Can of Vegetables

as Bear Claw Coach

as Standup Comic

as Bobby's Buddy

as Godspell Girl

as Gail's Boy Camper

as Raft Camper No. 1

as Raft Camper No. 2

as Bunk Boy

as Juke Box Kid No. 1

as Juke Box Kid No. 2

as Friends ...

as Friends ...

as Drug Dealer

as Kenyan Runner

as Gene's Wife

as Counselor

as Counselor

as Counselor
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Wet Hot American Summer

All Critics (72) | Top Critics (24)

The skewering of underdog sports clichés, horny teen staples and Vietnam-trauma melodrama is long overdue and perfectly irreverent in execution.

Full Review… | July 28, 2011
Top Critic

Have a good summer.

Full Review… | June 22, 2007
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic

For all its failings, Wet Hot maintains energy and high spirits over most of its length. The trouble is, such energy and spirits are not infectious, and the movies it mocks were better.

Full Review… | February 8, 2002
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic

This is supposed to be funny? It was so depressing I almost started to cry.

January 6, 2002
Washington Post
Top Critic

This is an almost laughless bomb.

Full Review… | September 20, 2001
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic

Where is Jason Voorhess, the hockey-masked killer of Camp Crystal Lake, when you really need him?

Full Review… | July 19, 2014
The Moving Picture Show

Audience Reviews for Wet Hot American Summer

Does antisocial meanness, shrill dramatics, petulant assholery, and non sequitur screaming pass for comedy? Never mind the baseless and cyclical love story between nebbish Coop and sweet but heartless Katie, the movie is a series of daffy improv skits, not a cohesive story. The few clever one-liners are delivered so emphatically that they lose timing and believability. This dreck is neither wet nor hot nor American nor summery.

Alice Shen

Super Reviewer


An entertaining, hilarious mash-up of summer camp movies with horny teenage camp counselors and how their last day of summer camp goes. I don't understand how this movie has such a low rating on RT (31%!), because the cast definitely understands what is going on and has a ball with it. Sure, it kind of feels like an extended sketch but the humor is spot-on for the most part. The cliches and stereotypes are examined and torn apart with skill, and the movie is well paced for the most part. Nothing outstanding, but definitely solid entertainment.

Dan Schultz
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer


Beth: McKinley, there are some lower campers stuck in the obstacle course. I meant to tell you about that yesterday, but could you get to it now? 

"High times. Hard bodies. Soft rock."

Wet Hot American Summer is a parody that doesn't really  work in my opinion. It has a great cast, a great soundtrack, but everything else... lacks. Maybe it's because I never went to summer camp, maybe it's because I haven't watched a whole lot of summer camp movies; but I just didn't like this movie at all. There were a couple laughs, rather chuckles, though out, but for the most part the jokes were flat.

This follows a variety of characters on the last day of summer camp in 1981. Most of the humor revolves around characters trying to get someone on the last day of camp. The movie makes all the characters completely ridiculous and the plot points even more ridiculous. Obviously that's the point of parody, but it just doesn't work for whatever reason.

If you're a huge fan of parodies, this may be worth a shot. As for me this isn't a genre I love, other than a few notable exceptions. Don't expect much from it though if you do go ahead and watch, even with a phenomenal and large cast of funny and talented people. The great soundtrack makes everything go down slightly better though.

Melvin White

Super Reviewer

Wet Hot American Summer Quotes

– Submitted by Charles R (22 months ago)

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