A comedy must be able to breathe to deliver requisite laughs, and this irritating dud of a movie does nothing but suffocate the audience through an endless parade of dull gags and self-satisfied quirks. This feature debut from the creators of the often-clever series The State is so preoccupied with its own smarminess that it never achieves a life of its own, leaving in its wake a lot of unfulfilled potential and wasted comic ideas. Despite a few choice moments, the movie is never as clever as it thinks it is, and its smug, too-contemporary satire leaves the audience yawning more than yukking. Additionally, many cast members flounder with the material, such as Paul Rudd, Janeane Garofalo, and Christopher Meloni; their appearances feel like a favor to the filmmakers instead of being a valuable part of it. Its send-up of 1980s summer camp movies seems incredibly dated in 2001, and the movie never seems to have much of a purpose for being, which becomes a major problem when there are too few laughs to satisfy. Wet Hot American Summer debuted at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival.
by Jason Clark review