Film Reviews

HOT TUB TIME MACHINE

By • Mar 29th, 2010 •

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Rob Corddry becomes a certified star. This is perfectly vulgar fun. The only misstep is casting Chevy Chase.

The title says it all. Thank goodness John Cusack has finally freed himself from a career low of weepy movies like GRACE IS GONE (2007) and MARTIAN CHILD (2007). Cusack hasn’t stopped working, but who goes to see a John Cusack movie?

How long can he dine out on 1987’s SAY ANYTHING? As a producer and star of HOT TUB, Cusack may have positioned himself into a bright new second-stage comedic career.

Written and directed by Steve Pink, the movie has a chaotic style in keeping with the premise – three 40-something friends and one teen nephew travel back to the wild and crazy 1986.

All three friends are failures: Adam’s (Cusack) girlfriend cleared out his house when she dumped him. Reason not known but I suggest she was fed up with his clinical depression and lousy personality. Fat Nick (Craig Robinson) is bullied by his wife and owns a dog grooming shop. He considers himself a failure. If only he had pursued his dream of being a rock and roll star. Lou (Rob Corddry) is a suicidal drunk.

When Lou is released from the hospital after a suicide attempt , his two friends, along with Adam’s nephew Jacob (Clark Duke), go back to the ski resort site of their best adventure. Jacob is chubby, nerdy and the movie’s “voice of reason”.

The ski resort is now a dump but their suite has a big hot tub. Jumping in and messing up the mechanism, the group jumps back to a weekend they all experienced in 1986. Jacob, who is schooled in Star Trek quantum mechanics knows that the guys must do everything exactly as they did in 1986 or he will not be born. Like in BACK TO THE FUTURE, he meets his mother Collette Wolfe) and she is a slut – I mean a “free-spirit” young lady. This is the weekend Jacob was conceived.

Can you go back in time and, knowing that someday there will be Internet porn and celebrity sex tapes, change your future by creating Microsoft and Google?

The answer as we all know – it’s the Multiverse theory or Seth Speaks psychobabble – is “yes”.

Why hasn’t anyone mentioned that Crispin Glover walked off with ALICE IN WONDERLAND as Stayne? IMDB.com shows that Glover has never stopped working, yet it is great to see him in two high visibility roles in ALICE as the sexy, evil villain and here as resort bellhop, Phil.

“Beloved” Chevy Chase is the movie’s only casting misstep. Was Mickey Rooney busy? Rob Corddry plays the character every one of these movies relies on for outrageous, highly inappropriate behavior. That means gay stuff. He clearly enjoys shocking the audience and is having fun. He knows this is the role that audiences love and remember. But, as Will Ferrell and Adam Sandler have painfully found out, it has a “use by” date stamp.

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