Three friends on losing streaks: Adam, whose girlfriend dumped him, Nick, with a dead-end job and a cheating wife, and Lou, a suicidal alcoholic. To help Lou recover from car-exhaust poisoning, Adam and Nick, with Adam's nephew Jacob, go to a winter resort that was their old party place. It's now a dump, but the lads rally for a night of drinking in the hot tub. Somehow, the hot tub takes them back to 1986, on a fateful night for each of them. Maybe if they do everything the same way they did that night, they'll get back to the future so Jacob can be born. There are serious temptations to do things differently. Will they make it back to their sorry lives? And what about Jacob?Written by
United Artists' last film to be distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. See more »
At the start of the film when Jacob can be seen playing a PC game for about two seconds you can clearly see the Windows Media Player 11 "play" buttons as they come up when a video is full screen and has the mouse over it. See more »
Maybe I liked this movie because I had such subterranean expectations for it. From the previews, and, indeed, just the title, I was certain it was going to be stupid rather than funny.
But I went out to dinner with my friends Saturday night, and after dinner, to my chagrin, everybody had a reason to bail on the evening, and I found myself alone, at 9pm, with nothing to do, and not wanting to go home. So I went to the theater to play movie roulette. Hot Tub Time Machine was playing almost immediately, and the next movie after that wouldn't be for another 45 minutes. I *almost* turned around and went home, so sure was I that this film was going to be stupid rather than funny. But I figured, what the heck, I'm here...
Well, the movie *is* stupid. But it's funny too. And what's more, it knows it's stupid and makes no bones about it. At no time does it ever take itself seriously. Now, I could have done without some of the extremely gross bits. Happily there aren't *too* many of them. And I'm sure I didn't get all the 80's references; although I did live through the period, I largely avoided popular culture at that time, and still couldn't tell you most of the bands or big hit songs of the time (or of today, for that matter).
But I have to confess, the movie did make me laugh. Not all throughout, but I did have a number of genuine, laugh-out-loud moments. And plenty of chuckles and smiles. And I found myself genuinely liking the characters, and finding them to have a bit more depth than I expected from a film entitled "Hot Tub Time Machine". And the basic theme of the loss of the zany, free-form fun of youth, and regret of the relative staid blandness of "adult" life, is a theme which resonated with me.
Now, let's get real. This is no "Citizen Cane", "Vertigo", or "The Godfather". Nor is a timeless comedy masterpiece like "Airplane", "Blazing Saddles", or "Monty Python and the Holy Grail". Someone here displayed gross unfairness in trying to compare it to a classic '30's comedy, but obviously this is not "It Happened One Night", "Bringing Up Baby", or "Duck Soup", and if you go to the theater expecting it to be, the fault lies with you. What it is is a silly, fun, enjoyable way to pass a couple hours. Not deep, not profound, not brilliant. Not timeless, not enduring.
But not bad. And not nearly as stupid as it looked like it was going to be. And these days, that's not too bad.
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