Amazingly enough this movie was not a porno. Jick (creator of Kingdom of Loathing – see episode 4) has spoken about this show many times over on the KoL podcast, and I’ve been meaning to give it a watch for a couple years now. The other day I saw it on Netflix streaming, and gave it a shot.
The Plot: It’s the final day at Camp Firewood for the summer of 1981. That means this is the last chance for all the counselors and campers to find someone to kiss or hook up with at the big talent show that night. Coop, the nice guy counselor has spent his summer pining for Katie, unfortunately for him, Katie is seeing douchebag/serial cheater Andy. Beth, the camp director, works on hooking up with camp neighbor Henry. This turns out to be a good idea, as Henry is an astrophysicist, and a piece of SkyLab is on a collision course for the camp. Hilarity mostly ensues.
I realize that’s a pretty bare bones plot summary, but this movie has only a couple threads that run throughout, and relies mostly on playing with tropes or individual set pieces. I feel that to make people realize how good this movie can be is most easily done by listing the cast:
David Hyde Pierce
Michael Ian Black
That’s a pretty heavy list. In case you weren’t looking that closely, that is Christopher Meloni aka Detective Stabler from Law & Order SVU, playing Gene, the crazy refrigerator-humping camp cook. Damn I love it when that dude shows up in movies. This isn’t a movie where I laughed my ass off constantly. It depends at least as much on putting weird characters together in a room and seeing what happens as it does on its plot. Fortunately, the weirdos at this camp are pretty engaging. Paul Rudd turns in a wonderful performance as Andy, the douchey boyfriend. (A scene in the cafeteria where his is forced to pick up his lunch from the floor and does so in the manner of a 8 year old is priceless.) Showalter gives us a steady lead, and David Hyde Pierce does a great job with a small, but funny role.
It’s not the funniest movie ever, but I enjoyed myself. You prolly will too.
Check out the trailer: