Well, it’s been two days since I sat down for the silliness that is “Hot Tub Time Machine.” I was planning on writing about the film immediately upon returning home, but I thought I should wait a day or two and let the experience sort of settle in my mind before I wrote it up.
It’s just short of 48 hours since I went into the theater. And here, nearly two full days later I can tell you that I LOVED “Hot Tub Time Machine.”
It’s true. I found myself laughing out loud quite a bit and genuinely enjoying this completely silly movie. The performances are great. Cusack brings a sort of grounding realism to the film allowing the other actors the freedom to go bigger than real. Somehow, it works. Now, this isn’t an overly sentimental ro-com or a terribly high-brow film. No it’s a classic shock humor, repulsive behavior type film… the kind of movie that’s usually given to younger actors to play in. But for this unique movie, it’s a bunch of middle aged men running around in a younger mans playground… and the results are quite funny.
The gags about them being in the 80’s are actually some of the weaker points of the film. The real comedy comes from the exploration of these characters as young men. We get enough of the 80’s to laugh at the hair, and the weird clothes… even the large cell phones. But it’s nothing over the top funny, and the filmmakers seemed to move as quickly away from making fun of the 80’s as they could and got into telling their story. This, I think, was a wise choice and actually made the movie funnier than it might have been. It’s easy to make fun of the 80’s, but I don’t think we could do it in any sort of entertainingly sustainable way for an entire film. The trip back to the 80’s was more a necessity of story telling, of getting these old men back to their youth. If this film had been made 10 years sooner it would have been just as well told in the 70’s. Seriously. The era in which they travel to does not matter. It’s the journey of these older men into their youth that is the main point here, and it plays very well.
Of particular note I’d like to mention Crispin Glover. He has a small role in this film but it’s one that will have you laughing hysterically every time he comes into a scene. It’s a simple gag, but it’s executed very well.
I don’t want to spoil the movie, so this review is just a review about my feelings for the film. I strongly recommend you go and watch this when it comes out and allow yourself to just go with the flow of it all. Don’t take it seriously or you’ll be disappointed. Go in expecting it to be ridiculous and over the top and you’ll really enjoy it.
I mean, really, how else should you go into a movie about a Hot Tub Time Machine?