The funniest movie of 2010 was Hot Tub Time Machine! Packed with hilarious and crude scenario’s, good old fashioned male bonding or in this case sex, drugs, and rock n roll, and plenty of 80’s references (ex: legwarmers, Walkman cassette tape players, & MTV back when they actually played music videos and lots of big collars, bigger hair & tight t-shirts). Heck, they even had a 21 Jump Street mention as well. If you don’t remember that 80’s gem of a show, it was basically the launching pad for Johnny Depp’s career, Google it lol! H.T.T.M. is a rare film that can combine the nostalgia and feel-good memories of a past decade, with the laugh-out-loud silly & quirky humor of modern times today & make it work.
Three old high school buddies, Adam (played by John Cusack), Nick (played by Craig Robinson) & Lou (played masterfully well by Rob Corddry) have all reached that “what have I really done with my life” & “how did I get to this point” stage that some middle-aged men go through. So they all decide to revisit their favorite ski resort from yesteryear. Along for the ride is Jacob (Adam’s nephew, played by Clark Duke) who joins the trio who tries to rekindle some of the passion for life from their youth. What they didn’t anticipate is that thanks to a “mystical” hot tub that travels through time, they would get to literally relive their youth by traveling back to 1986! Adam, Nick & Lou each get a chance to not only take a trip down memory lane in their past but also a shot at re-writing history to better their future as well! How many of us would love a chance to travel back in time and relive our high school lives a little differently? I envy the thought!
The Plot Thickens
Adam wants to use this opportunity to hold on to his high school sweetheart who got away, who might have been the true love of his life. Nick wants a second shot at pursuing his dream & doing music with his band, while Lou just wants a better life in general. One new life filled with promise, hope, happiness, and a true appreciation for your friends and family! Their results and feelings are mixed at first and obviously met with anxious caution. The guys are worried about doing anything too dramatically different in their past, that might affect their future for the worse! No one is more leary and aware of these consequences than young Jacob (who wasn’t even born yet in 1986) and tries to remind the guys of the dangers of changing the past (ex: The Butterfly Effect) every chance he gets.
Cusack shows a nice blend of wacky fun and heartfelt sincerity in this role here. And because of his diverse acting resume, he can give a film like this the credibility it needs when it wants a serious moment, and switch to the feel-good fun so that it never takes itself too seriously as well. Craig Robinson adds another notch to his comedic belt, in a nice growing list of memorable and likable roles (Ex: “Pineapple Express”, “Zack & Miri Make a porno”, etc.) His comedic timing, clever quips, and aggressive antics are a fun burst of energy. But the one-man wrecking crew & comedic favorite award has to go to Rob Corddry, whose character Lou will be added to comedy’s hall of laughs honor roll (if there was such a place lol). Like Stifler (played by Seann William Scott) in the American Pie series or McLovin (played by Christopher Mintz-Plasse) in Superbad, Lou grabs your attention right away & holds your sense of humor hostage from start to finish! If you’re a fan of these aforementioned films & others like it (Ex: Road Trip, a 40-year-old virgin, etc.) then you should love H.T.T.M. as well. It’s at times cool, sometimes sweet, other times raunchy, and always funny.
So on a scale of 1-5, 5 being the highest and 1 being the lowest I give Hot Tub Time Machine 4 ½ stars. I’ll be sure to review the sequel sometime too.