Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later

Ten years ago, Wet Hot American Summer debut in New York City and according to Wikipedia, it promptly became a "commercial and critical flop." Was the film perfect? Hardly. But it had an energetic cast doing silly antics and has thus gaining a cult following of which I'm a proud member. I re-watched the film today and I was cracking up at all of the same places I cracked up a few years ago. The film is also a wonderful time capsule of the careers of most of the actors in the film who have since gone on to bigger fame. Thus this following quote from the film, uttered by the then unknown Bradley Cooper, takes on new meaning:
Hey, let’s all promise that in ten years from today, we’ll meet again, and we’ll see what kind of people we’ve blossomed into.
Let's see just how they blossomed, shall we?

Both Janeane Garofalo and David Hyde Pierce were already household names when they did the film back in 2001. They already got a couple of Emmy nominations, with Pierce winning three at that point for Frasier. So really it was all downhill from there. Okay, not really. Both kept working throughout the decade mostly sticking to TV. Garofalo most recently appeared on the now-canceled Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior while Pierce finished his stint on the Broadway stage in La Bête earlier this year.

Michael Showalter
wrote the film with the director David Wain. Both were part of the MTV series State in the mid-90s. He has mostly stuck to writing and hosting in his own shows, sometimes collaborating with fellow co-star Michael Ian Black. Browsing through her credits, it's probably easier to name TV shows that Marguerite Moreau hasn't appeared in. She was clearly in demand before the film and kept quite busy since. More recently, she made a multi-episode appearance in Parenthood and Shameless.

This entry is really devoted to these two. Not many people knew who the heck Amy Poehler and Bradley Cooper were when this film came out and now? Let's start with what happened right after the film was released. She started her stint in Saturday Night Live and he went on a show named ALIAS. The rest, shall we say, is history. She went on to appear in a few movies and TV shows before branching out on her own show Parks and Recreation where she is brilliant and has been twice Emmy nominated. He, on the other hand, has turned into a in-demand Hollywood heartthrob getting his huge break in The Hangover. He starred in the film's sequel this year and is rumored to play Lucifer in an upcoming film adaptation of Paradise Lost.

Thanks to her long stint on Saturday Night Live, Molly Shannon at that time was one of the most popular female comedians around. The year she did the film was also the year she left the show and has since starred in bit roles in plenty of films and TV shows. Earlier this year, she ended her stint on Promises, Promises. Most recently she appeared in Bad Teacher. Christopher Meloni already had a couple of seasons of Oz and Law & Order: SVU under his belt before the film and kept a dominant presence in each afterwards even garnering an Emmy nomination. He is moving on from his SVU show and will appear in the new Superman film.

Michael Ian Black
had a professional relationship with Michael Showalter before the film and kept working with him afterwards. Like Showalter, he has focused more on his writing, but he has also made himself a fixture on VHI's I Love series. Apparently he's currently co-writing a book with Megan McCain. Ken Marino didn't have much in his resume before the film, but then appeared in Dawson's Creek, Veronica Mars, and other TV shows including most recently starring in Party Down and Children's Hospital.

Last, but not least we have Elizabeth Banks and Paul Rudd who are also quite in demand at the moment. Banks was more or less an unknown when the film came out while Rudd already had made a bit of a name for himself appearing in bit roles in Clueless and Romeo+Juliet. Both followed similar tracks to fame appearing in a handful of comedies, be it an Apatow film or an NBC sitcom. Both are starring in the upcoming film Our Idiot Brother, but are currently working on two anticipated adaptations of popular books--Rudd in Perks of Being a Wallflower and Banks in The Hunger Games.

[Images from MovieScreenshots]

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