Hot Tub Time Machine - Movie Review

Hot Tub Time Machine

Hot Tub Time Machine - Movie Review

Growing up is hard to do, especially if you’re a middle-aged guy stuck in the ‘burbs - at least, according to Hot Tub Time Machine, released in 2010. This rollicking gonzo comedy starring comedic heavy hitters John Cusack, Chevy Chase, and Rob Corddry, amongst many others is a delightful look into the comedy stylings of the early to mid-aughts.

While the title is maybe a bit ‘meh,’ both overly descriptive and oddly underwhelming, the film belies a hilarious look at what being stuck in a rut in your 40s looks like.

Cusack plays Adam, who's been dumped by his girlfriend, and Corddry is a hard-partying guy (Lou) who simply enjoys getting wasted far more than is deemed seemly beyond the confines of a college frat party. Craig Robinson plays Nick, who is a put upon the husband. All three friends are depressed and estranged from one another at the start of the film.

One night, they get so drunk at a ski resort that they pass out in the hot tub, only to wake up to their younger selves completely hungover in 1986. And then, of course, hilarity ensues.

The conceit might feel a bit similar to another huge comedy from the period, 2009’s The Hangover. However, Hot Tub Time Machine moves in an entirely different direction, with rapid-fire pacing of one-liners, excellent scene-stealing gaffs, and ever-escalating mayhem all with a distinct sci-fi flavor. 

While all the actors are at the top of their game here, the stabilizing force of Cusack as the “straight” guy is a nice touch. Lizzy Caplan and Crispin Glover also give spirited turns in the film, while Robinson and Corddry achieve a higher plane of comedic timing that leaves audiences clutching their stomachs with convulsive laughter. 

The direction offered by Steve Pink - writer of another beloved John Cusack vehicle, 1997’s Grosse Pointe Blank, is subtle and he lets his stars shine without overwhelming the script.

It’s easy to see why Hot Tub Time Machine has turned into a mini-franchise of its own, leading to two more sequels that are hysterical and equally beloved.

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Updated 3 years ago