|Hot Tub Time Machine
Starring John Cusack, Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson, and Clark Duke
The phrase "you can't judge a book by its cover" is nonsense. You may judge anything you like, especially if you're American. It's what we do. Besides, there are cases where cover judgmentality serves you pretty well: Krispy Kreme doughnuts probably aren't healthy for you; even if Secret is strong enough for a man...guys, would you use it? Another such example is Hot Tub Time Machine. The title tells you so much but reveals so very little. Five little syllables, and you pretty much have a handle on what's happening. You know it's a hot tub that has the power to send someone back or forward in (or maybe through) time. Now, you will likely either reject that idea completely or fall to your knees and rejoice that someone finally had the common sense and decency to combine the tried and true time travel movie premise and a frickin' hot tub. And no matter which one of those camps you fall into, you'd be absolutely right. If, in your opinion, a movie with a title so stupid only opens the doors to a movie that's even more asinine, there's very little evidence to suggest you missed the mark. Conversely, if you think this is a great idea for a ridiculous comedy, well...it is. And all you had to do is judge the book by its cover. Three longtime friends figuratively go back in time to the remote ski lodge where they spent some of the best weekends of their lives. Why? Because they've just spent one of the worst weekends of their lives. Adam (John Cusack) came home to an empty house. Well, almost empty - his nephew Jacob (Clark Duke) had been bunkered in Adam's basement for who knows how long playing video games. He was there, in fact, when Adam's girlfriend took all her stuff out of the house. "Was that what all the shuffling was," Jacob asks, barely looking up from his laptop. Nick (Craig Robinson) was once a promising musician, but now he works at a pet grooming store called, embarrassingly, 'Sup Dawg. But that's better than Lou (Rob Corddry), who drove home drunk and forgot to turn off his ignition after he closed his garage door and starting singing along to Motley Crue's "Home Sweet Home." Next thing he knows, Lou wakes up in a hospital bed with Adam and Nick listing the many reasons Lou actually has to try to kill himself. To lift Lou's spirits, they all decide to return to the point where they were their coolest, which takes on new meaning after a drunken hot tub party. Yep, they've been transported back to Winterfest '86, only because they actually attended the event the first time around, Adam, Nick, and Lou are their past selves, younger, thinner, worse hair. Jacob had accompanied them on the trip to the ski lodge, so he's back in 1986, too, even though he wasn't born yet, so he's kind of the shepherd of the group, trying to keep everyone on point so they can all return to the present safely.