Thursday, October 7, 2010

Home video review: Hot Tub Time Machine

John Cusack, Rob Corrdry, Craig Robinson, and Clark Duke try for a lost weekend at the ski resort where they had so much fun when they were in their early 20s.  Broken down and shabby, the resort is nothing like how they remember it, personified by the surly one-armed bellman (Crispin Glover).  A mishap with energy drink, a squirrel, and Chevy Chase turns their hot tub into a time machine, and they are sent back to relive a weekend they spent at the resort in 1986, even looking like their younger selves to outsiders.  Duke plays Cusack's nephew, and he knows that if he allows his companions to change the way they did things, that it may jeopardize his entire existence.

This is a wonderfully silly movie, and probably the only reason I didn't like it as much as I thought I would is that it's best watched with a group of friends, not in bed alone at 10pm like a big lame.  Rob Corrdry is excellent as the most obnoxious guy that no one would ever want to have in their group of friends, and Cusack, Duke, and Robinson all hit their characters' single notes just fine.  The music was fun and the supporting cast made for a better dumb "bro" comedy than what we usually see.

The three musketeers struggle with trying to balance righting the wrongs they lived through in 1986, and trying not to change anything so drastically that their young friend ceases to be.  In the end, Rob Corrdry's character decides to stay behind and change the future for the better (having just conceived Duke's character with Cusack's character's sister), so when the rest of the guys make it back to 2010, they see how their friend has given them all better lives...and invented Google along the way.

For a split second I wanted to think critically about how terrible it would end up if you woke up with a totally different life than the one you knew, and never got to experience the past 20+ years, even if you're told how great they were.  But then I realized that this is not a movie that I should think too hard about, and it really just makes me want to watch Better Off Dead (something about John Cusack and skiing, I guess).

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