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Wet Hot American Summer

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Image Credit Eureka Pictures 2001, Wet Hot American Summer

Image Credit Eureka Pictures 2001, Wet Hot American Summer


How do I get through summer in Texas? Day b’day, people. One thing that helps is watching a hilarious movie about summer camp, and no I don’t mean The Parent Trap (although I do LOVE Hayley Mills). This week on Cinema Sips, I’m featuring the cult classic Wet Hot American Summer (DVD/Download). Spoofing raunchy 80’s movies like Meatballs and Porky’s, this film is so unabashedly silly that you can’t help but laugh at the bad one-liners, the poor production value, and the plot points that make absolutely no sense. I was lucky enough to see this in a movie theater when it was briefly released in 2001, and I remember wondering why the entire world was not as obsessed with this film as I was. It was the funniest thing I’d seen in years. Well, the world has caught up, and WHAS fever has swept the country, even spawning an upcoming Netflix prequel series. Will all of the original actors make it their beeswax to be in the new series? God I hope so!!

Wet Hot American Summer launched the careers of many of the top comedic actors popular today, including Amy Poehler, Paul Rudd, Bradley Cooper, Elizabeth Banks, Ken Marino, and even Christopher Meloni (who plays the scene-stealing Vietnam vet, Gene). Janeane Garofalo and David Hyde Pierce are amazing as always, and kudos to Molly Shannon for playing weepy divorcee/art teacher Gail von Kleinenstein, who pulls off a romantic relationship with a very mature 12-year old in a surprisingly non-creepy way. Because this was a David Wain film, we’re also seeing a lot of his usual cadre of actors, including Michael Ian Black and the hilarious Michael Showalter, who plays both lovelorn Coop and Borscht Belt comic Alan Shemper. There are so many quoteable lines in this film, but my favorite has to be the Paul Rudd classic, “You taste like a burger. I don’t like you anymore.” What??!

In an ode to summer camp, I’m making an adult version of Bug Juice. Traditionally made with powder packets (let’s not even think about where Gene claims to keep his packets), I’m eschewing that sugary version for something a little more boozy. Of course if you don’t have the energy for a complex drink, vodka and green Kool-Aid will do the trick, but I think we can do better than that. This week, I’m serving up some Adult Bug Juice

1 oz Blue Curaçao

1 oz Orange Juice

1 oz Pineapple juice

2 oz Lemon lime soda

Pineapple Sherbet

Fill a glass (or mason jar) 3/4 full with chipped ice.  Add the first 3 ingredients one at a time over the ice.  Top with soda, and then the pineapple sherbet.


When I watch Wet Hot American Summer, I always feel like the actors who were in this film must have had the best time making it. I’ve read accounts that it was ridiculously cold and rainy during the filming of it, which makes me really feel for Elizabeth Banks in that skimpy bikini (wait a minute- with that body, I do not feel bad for her). No matter what Amy Poehler does with the rest of her career, I’ll always think of her as the controlling drama-nerd counselor, and ditto for Bradley Cooper, who despite various Academy Award nominations, will always be making out with Michael Ian Black in a tool shed in my mind. So mix up a big batch of Bug Juice, get out your “arts & farts & crafts” supplies and D&D dice, and blast some Loverboy because we’re headed back to 1981 like you’ve never seen it before. Cheers!

*Note:  This week’s cocktail can easily be made non-alcoholic.  Just leave out the Curaçao.  Also, my drink looks great perched on one of my new coasters from Monday Morning Crafts!


Mean Girls

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Mean Girls

Mean Girls

Halloween is upon us in just a few days, and in the spirit of all things scary I’ve chosen to feature a movie that depicts the scariest thing of all- high school. Forget serial killers, zombies, and ghosts; the real terror of my life has been choosing the right cafeteria table. Additionally, this film’s commentary on women’s Halloween costumes is just priceless- In the regular world, Halloween is when children dress up in costumes and beg for candy. In Girl World, Halloween is the one night a year when a girl can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it.” Yep, sounds about right.

Mean Girls is based on the non-fiction book “Queen Bees and Wannabes” by Rosalind Wiseman. The movie tells the story of Cady Heron (played by an unusually fresh-faced Lindsay Lohan), who grew up in Africa with her globetrotting parents, but is now plunked down in an American high school. She makes friends first with the artsy kids (my personal clique-of-choice in high school) but then gets slowly sucked into the world of popular girls (aka The Plastics). This movie is hilarious in its depiction of the social strata, but also chillingly real too. Girls can be VERY mean, and not just the popular ones. In the end the film gets tied up in a nice harmonious little bow, which is a shame because that so very rarely happens in real life. If this were real life, I predict that over summer vacation everyone conveniently forgets to be nice to each other, and the whole system of queen bees and wannabes resets itself.

Because The Plastics make a big deal out of wearing pink (only on Wednesdays!), I think this drink is a perfect fit. It may not be spooky or scary, but it’s DELICIOUS and it totally makes me wish Amy Poehler (aka “the cool mom”) would have mixed me up a batch of these back in the day for an underage cocktail hour. For Mean Girls, I’m serving up the Pink Lady Problem:

1 ¼ oz gin

½ oz lemon juice

½ oz grenadine

1 egg white

Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice cubes. Shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.


You may say, isn’t the consumption of raw egg whites in a cocktail dangerous? Perhaps, but in general the alcohol will kill most germs that are in there. I love egg white cocktails, and I’m excited to feature one here. The egg whites add a creaminess that is so different from most drinks, plus it’s a fun excuse to work out your upper arms while you shake it up. So pop in a Toaster Strudel, perhaps slip into your Halloween costume that’s really just “lingerie and some form of animal ears”, mix up some drinks, grab your 3 closest frenemies, and say a prayer of thanks that you only have to experience high school once in your life. Cheers!