Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Rise Of The Hot Tub Time Machines

Yesterday, I talked about how I don't concern myself with a movie's box office take. To prove that statement, I present what I wrote yesterday and today as the exception that proves the rule. Today I want to talk about Hot Tub Time Machine and the fact that, while it's not a box office failure, is considered to at least be a disappointment. Date Night was not as funny as Hot Tub Time Machine and it made way more money. Why? Dunno. All I can think of is that Date Night is more couple and family friendly and has bigger stars. Also, I think I heard something about Tina Fey promising to blow anyone who went to see Date Night. I can't confirm that but, if it's true, she should be swinging around Casa de Clear any day now.

Anyway, Hot Tub Time Machine is a very funny movie. It's not quite as funny as The Hangover, the movie to which it's being compared, but it's still pretty damn funny. Of course, if you're like me, and I'm assuming most of you are, the most important plot element is whether or not this broad, raunchy, light hearted comedy meets rigorous standards of scientific accuracy. The answer is: who do I look like, Stephen Hawking? I can tell you that three middle aged men who've been friends since high school decide to revisit a ski resort that was popular when they were young after one of them, Lou (Rob Corddry), apparently tries to kill himself though he swears he was just rocking out to Guns 'n Roses and was too drunk to realize that he shouldn't be doing so in a closed garage while his car was running. Lou's a total degenerate so this explanation is easy to buy but Adam (John Cusack) and Nick (Craig Robinson) take Lou to the resort anyway. Along with Adam's geeky 20-something nephew, Jacob, they all go back to the year 1986 when Lou spills an illegally imported Russian drink that probably had a little nuclear waste in onto the hot tub's controls.

Chevy Chase shows up as the hot tub repairman. He's the type of guy who speaks in cryptic double entendres that lets you know he's not just a hot tub repairman and knows way more than he's saying about time travel. Because this is a smart and self aware comedy, we get a series of funny scenes in which Jacob directly challenges Chase to reveal his true nature but Chase never breaks character and just magically teleports away when he gets tired of dealing with Jacob.

The guys (except for Jacob who wasn't born then) look to the rest of the world the way they did in 1986. Chase tells them they must do what they did then so as not to change history which means Adam must break up with his girlfriend who will then stab him in the face with a fork, Nick must have sex with some girl he picks up at a bar even though he's married in 2010 and Lou must get his ass kicked by the rich, snooty bad guy types who were in 99% of all teen sex comedies back in the 80s. They realize after a time that they've all basically lost at the game of life in their present lives and have little incentive to keep things the way they are.

Hot Tub Time Machine is one of those wonderfully and fearlessly offensive movies that people find themselves citing decades later. No one will do it with this movie, of course, because no one but me saw it. I'll have to entertain myself by talking into a mirror about things like the scene where Lou and Nick lost a bet and Lou...had to do something really, really bad to Nick. It's a shame none of you will ever know to what I am referring. Unless you watch the DVD in a few months, in which case, ignore this last paragraph.

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