I love little movie theatres and delightfully kitschy parody movies, so when I walked past Coolidge Corner theater and saw Wet Hot American Summer listed on the marquee my heart skipped a beat. I immediately recruited Jess to accompany me and gushed about the perfection of Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler, and Bradley Cooper in 1981-appropriate short shorts at a summer camp. This movie is the classic summer celebration, and as a former camp counselor I can’t resist. It also happened to be three days before my 27th birthday, providing the perfect excuse to do something different.
So, with Jess on board I went to buy a ticket and… the only showing was at 11:59 PM. Frantically searching for a more reasonable time, it dawned on me…daaaaaamn, this was a midnight movie. Uuuuuuuuuugh. Then: Karma. Why Karma you ask?
Fargo, ND has a teeny-tiny art deco theatre nestled on our one “downtown” street. As restless high schoolers the “midnight movie” provided the perfect excuse for an extended curfew. The best part? You didn’t even have to go to the movie! (sorry, Mom and Dad) The first time we “went” to a movie, we bought the ticket just in case our parents decided to verify our location with the ticket stub. They didn’t and we realized we could save that one ticket stub for all future showings and hope they wouldn’t scrutinize it closely enough to realize the listed date was about three months ago.
Naturally we used these extra two hours to drink in a field as North Dakotan teens are known to do, or something similarly enlightening.In high school these midnight movies were my curfew-busting savior. Now, as someone on the cusp of 27 I was cursing at the idea of breaking my self imposed curfew. Oh how things change. Thanks for the pre-birthday reality check, life.
I complained to Jess, she told me I absolutely had to go, and go we did. It turned out to be wonderful with loud laughs and (most likely not sober) audience interaction the way only a midnight showing can provide.
I couldn’t have asked for a better way to spend my birthday weekend.
For those of you unfamiliar with this cinematic delight, here is the trailer, and of course, I recommend a midnight showing, regardless of your age.