|Directed by: David Wain
Written by: David Wain, Michael Showalter
Produced by: Howie B
Production year: 2000
Original release: July 27, 2001
Running time: 1 hour, 37 minutes
Other cast: Janeane Garofalo, David Hyde Pierce, Michael Showalter
Misc: IMDB | Amazon | iTunes
Set on the last day of camp, in the hot summer of 1981, “Wet Hot American Summer” follows a group of counselors who are each trying to complete their unfinished business before the day ends. The entire summer of pent-up sexual frustrations, unresolved post-traumatic stress, pending separations and of course, the talent show, all weigh heavily on the minds and groins of counselors and campers alike.
Paul Rudd plays Andy Fleckner, the teenage, douche-bag boyfriend / bad boy of the film. Andy has a girlfriend named Katie, who he occasionally disrespects and cheats on. When he’s not making out with Katie, he’s making out with another girl at camp, Lindsay. He’s rude to other campers, doesn’t care about anyone but himself, and is very immature.
As a counselor at Camp Firewood, Andy is in charge of supervising the kids who swim in the lake. He is not very good at his job, as he is usually distracted by other things, mainly with making out with the scantily-dressed Lindsay. Due to his negligence, several kids drown while under his care, and he “gets rid” of the drowned kids’ swimming buddies in the woods.
In the film, the character Katie describes Andy as “really hot,” “like cut from marble,” and “he’s gorgeous and he’s like this beautiful face and this incredible body,” but she also describes him as “kinda lame.”
Andy’s wardrobe mainly consists of denim and dark colors. His main outfit is a denim jacket with jeans and a dark-colored t-shirt, topped with a red handkerchief in the back pocket, a leather bracelet, a shark tooth necklace, and aviator sunglasses. Sometimes, he is seen in super short, cut jean-shorts, instead of regular jeans.
Katie: Oh, I was thinking. Maybe we can take a walk later. Maybe go out to Gunner’s Pass one last time.
Andy: God damn it, Katie. You’re suffocating me. I’m chokin’ alright. Give me some breathing room.
Katie: Well, I just wanna spend some time with you, you know. It’s our last day of camp.
Andy: My butt itches.
Katie: What are you talking about? Hey. We’re soul mates, right?
Andy: What? Yeah. Whatever. If you want… J.J. Save me a waffle, man!
Katie: Andy, I’m serious! Come on! I just want it to be special.
Andy: Fuck you, dyke!
Katie: Why are you being such an asshole?
Andy: I gotta finish my breakfast. I love you, baby. So good talking to you.
Lindsay: Hey! What’cha writin’ on?
Andy: My gournal. Write my thoughts in it everyday.
Lindsay: Oh, you mean a, a journal?
Andy: Yeah, whatever. Guess I’m not all smart like you.
Andy: You taste like a burger. I don’t like you anymore.
Coop: Hey, Andy. Can I talk to you for a second?
Coop: Okay, well–
Andy: Time’s up. You said a second.
Coop: I wanna ask you something.
Andy: So, you wanna talk for for more than a second?
Coop: Yeah, um.
Andy: What is it then? You think like a couple minutes?
Coop: No, yeah. At most, say like three minutes.
- The film was shot at a real summer camp, Camp Towanda in Honesdale, PA, and the actors stayed and slept in the camp bunks during shooting.
- Even though the camp counselor characters are teenagers, the actors who portrayed them were in their late twenties and early thirties. Rudd was 31 when this film was shot.
- Rudd thought about and channeled Matt Dillon in Little Darlings (1980) when he played Andy.
- Rudd’s character, Andy, was originally a blatant murderer. Director/co-writer David Wain said, “In the original script, when one of the swimming buddies drowns, Andy takes the other one into the woods. He’s like, ‘We’re going to go on a pizza party, just close your eyes!’ Then he takes out a gun, screws on a silencer, and shoots him, two bullets in the brain. My father read the script and said, ‘If you do that part, I’m disowning you.’ He was quite wise about that.”
- Rudd’s agent hated the way the love triangle story line between Andy, Katie, and Coop concluded in the film.
- The budget for the film was so small, Rudd wasn’t paid. He told Entertainment Weekly in 2011, “I’m not sure I got paid. I’m not kidding. If I did, I would have gotten the very minimum. But it was such a small production, and stuff falls through the cracks.”
- Rudd was a big fan of the script and has said, “It was the only script that I ever kept around and reread out of pleasure, like a book.”
- Rudd’s role as Andy in this film helped him land his role as Brian Fantana in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004), as the director, Adam McKay, was a fan.
- This film was the first time Rudd worked with the David Wain and Michael Showalter gang. In following years, Rudd continued to work with them in a number of shows and movies, including The Baxter (2005), Role Models (2008), and They Came Together (2014).