David Wain’s new biopic spoof A FUTILE AND STUPID GESTURE had a pretty ignominious Netflix debut, but that seems in keeping with the comedic director’s history of films that are unappreciated in their time but grow a cult following — a history that was established with 2001’s WET HOT AMERICAN SUMMER, a Sundance flop that’s now rightly considered a comedy classic. In the first half of our comparison of the two films, we talk over our WET HOT impressions then and now, share some theories for why it didn’t hit with critics or audiences, and consider the limitations of Wain’s affectionate but ultimately insincere, sketch-comedy-influenced style. Plus, some feedback on our recent episodes on PHANTOM THREAD and I, TONYA.
Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about WET HOT AMERICAN SUMMER, A FUTILE AND STUPID GESTURE, or both by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.
Outro music: “Higher and Higher” by Craig Wedron and Theodore Shapiro
• Tonya Harding Would Like Her Apology Now, by Taffy Brodesser-Akner (New York Times)
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