Directed by Steve Pink
Starring John Cusack, Rob Corddry, Chris Robinson, Clark Duke, Lizzy Caplan, Chevy Chase, Crispin Glover
Heidi’s Illustrious Rating: 2.5/5
Word of Warning: This one is rated R for good reason. Mom, you have been warned.
The eighties were pretty funny, that is something we can all agree on – hot pink, neon, leg warmers, big bangs, “Red Dawn,” Bow Wow Wow. This movie incorporates all the hilarity of these ridiculous styles and yet it continues the use of “shock comedy,” a new trend in movies that is really starting to put me off.
Tapping into our eighties sentimentality, this film star John Cusack, who will go down in the history books as an eighties movie icon. The storyline reunites old friends, Adam (John Cusack), Nick (Chris Robinson of “The Office”) and Lou (Rob Corddry).
The lives of these three forty-something year-old men couldn’t be more different. Adam is a semi-successful suit who is unsuccessful in love. His sister’s twenty year old son, Jacob (Clark Duke), who spends all his time living in a virtual online world, lives in Adam’s basement. Nick works in an unfulfilling job and is married to a controlling wife, who may be cheating on him. Lou is an alcoholic who can’t seem to stop the party, and it’s killing him.
The friends, with Jacob along for the ride, embark on a weekend trip to their old party stomping grounds, Kodiak Valley Ski Resort. When they arrive they find the place nearly deserted. Shops have been boarded up and their hotel is in disrepair. The hotel bellboy, a surly one-armed man (Crispin Glover), shows them to their suite, also rundown and not nearly as cool as they remember it.
They decide to make the best of a bad situation by getting naked and drunk in the suite’s outdoor hot tub. After a night of debauchery, they awake to find Kodiak Valley Ski Resort has changed – they have been transported to the headache inducing eighties to relive a crazy weekend from their youth.
The problem? If they don’t relive it exactly, the future could be drastically altered and Jacob, who is only twenty, might never come to exist.
As far as the acting in “Hot Tub Time Machine,” Rob Corddry is a damn funny guy, and even though I felt bad laughing at the drunken antics of an alcoholic, he was well-cast for this role. Chris Robinson showed he is able to expand his abilities beyond playing Darryl the warehouse guy from “The Office.” Clark Duke played a likable geek and John Cusack, well, he was John Cusack. But where was Joan Cusack? Don’t they always do movies together?
“Hot Tub Time Machine” is amusing at times, and even borders on eighties-style campiness, which is great. Yet, the “shock comedy” factor was unnecessary. Why does every comedy have to resort to this type of humor?
I’m not a prude, but I would like a writer to surprise me with his or her wit, not surprise me with the depth of their depravity. Yes, this style of humor will often make me chuckle, but it’s sophomoric and at times insulting, and honestly, I’m over it.
If you want to reminisce about the eighties, listen to some “Jessie’s Girl” on the big screen, and relive your glory days as a pot-smoking, wannabe member of a hair band, this just may be the movie for you. But be warned, the fart joke has been taken to another level and you may not like it.
Note: My husband liked this one a lot more than I did. Perhaps it is because he has a much better memory of the eighties. The nineties were my decade.
**Also appearing in the Berthoud Weekly Surveyor.