Hot Tub Time Machine

I’ve said it before, and I will inevitably say it again: I really like sneak previews of movies. Like, a lot. They’re free, which doesn’t hurt, and I get to see them before other people, which is nice for this whole ‘review’ gig I have going. But they’re usually only a day or two before release and if I’m at all busy, I still fail to get the review out in time. So I guess what I like best of all are the rare previews that are weeks in advance, wherein I get to feel like I’m sitting on some kind of secret.

Yesterday, I got to do that again for the first time in a year or so, at least that I can remember. (If only there were documentation!) After sitting in line for a goodly while and having one of the most surreal stranger-conversations of my life between my friends and the dude in front of us in the line[1], after having all electronic devices stripped from us by the local constabulary[2] lest we make a shitty recording of the film to dump onto youtube, after eating pizza and drinking a milkshake to combat the effects of surreality and douchebaggery, we finally settled down to watch Hot Tub Time Machine, a movie about… well, I think you can tell from the title, right? But, okay, there are specifics, and they are as follows: three high school friends that have drifted apart (and also John Cusack’s nephew) decide to return to a ski resort that was the prime destination of their party days, to reconnect. Except the town is dead, the resort is falling apart, and things generally suck about as much as their lives do. But one drunken night in the hot tub later, they wake up at Winterfest 1986 in their teenage bodies. And then hijinx, as they say, ensue!

It really is a direct port of an ’80s teen sex comedy, except with a nostalgia filter and focus on adult friendships. And there’s also a cute hipster girl for Cusack who really doesn’t fit into the rest of the picture, but John Cusack [contractually] cannot be in a movie without a romantic interest. That’s just how things work. All in all, though? Pretty good stuff and definitely funny, with an excellent mixture of zany, raunchy, and sweet.

[1] I’d explain, but the explanation would I think actually be longer than the review if I did. I can’t even figure out how to sum it up in a snappy one-liner. It was just… bizarre.
[2] And, speaking of true stories: the constable guy actually said this, and my paraphrase is in no way misleading: “If I see you with a cellphone that you’ve snuck in here anyway, I have handcuffs and I’m empowered to march you out of the theater. … Let’s all try to have fun tonight!”

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