Film (with rating): Hot Tub Time Machine (R)
Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
Summary: When longtime pals Adam (John Cusack) and Nick (Craig Robinson) learn of their friend Lou’s (Rob Corddry)
suicide attempt, they decide to cheer him up by taking a trip down Memory Lane
and vacationing in the hard-partying ski resort they fondly remember from their
’80s youth. But now, the town is dried up and boring…until a fateful dip in
their hotel’s magical hot tub transports them back in time to 1986.
Review: One of my favorite movies is “Back to the
Future.” I love everything about it: the characters, the simpler life of
the 1950s, the 1980s “present,” Michael J. Fox, the DeLorean.
“Hot Tub Time Machine” is sort of like a drunk version of “Back
to the Future,” without the classic feel. I guess you could call it a
wayward, dysfunctional lovechild of “Future” and “Hot Dog–the
That being said, I still enjoyed “Hot Tub.” It’s silly,
brainless and peppered with too much vomit humor, but it’s still funny and
memorable. Add to that the 1980’s staple Cusack (one of my favorites from the
decade) and an obvious “Future” nod with the inclusion of side
character Crispin Glover (hello, McFly!), and you’ve got yourself a decent romp back in 1980s
It doesn’t hurt at all that one scene featuring Cusack and his
newfound reporter friend screams “Sixteen Candles,” the all-time best
1980s film around. The music, silly hairstyles and ridiculous clothing trends
are worth a viewing of this DVD all by themselves (did we really look like
that? Did I really wear a headband–on my forehead?)
“Hot Tub” also boasts of an appearance by another
1980s icon, Chevy Chase, whose character is pretty lame, but sort of funny just
because it’s Chase muttering the nonsensical lines. He could read the phonebook
and still be hysterical. The other characters, especially Cusack and newcomer Clark Duke, take
the sometimes-lame dialog and turn it into some really funny fodder. A
highlight? When Craig Robinson’s character lectures his future
wife, now just 9 years old, on the perils of infidelity.
So on this holiday weekend, when all you want to do is laugh
and mindlessly enjoy your post-BBQ euphoria, “Hot Tub” my just be the
answer you seek. So take a plunge back into the leg-warmer 1980s, tip your hat
to the McFly factor and wonder what you would do if your tub suddenly transported
you back in time.
Extra highlight: None
What to serve for dinner: A 1980s food mentioned in the
film: fondue! Start with the classic cheese fondue (gofondue.com). Have crusty
French or sourdough bread on hand for dipping, as well as a variety of cut up,
raw vegetables: broccoli, bell peppers, carrots, celery, cauliflower, etc. It’s
also helpful to have a fondue pot for this, as it keeps the cheese warm and
enables you to take your time eating.
1/2 lb Emnenthaler Cheese (shredded)
1/2 lb Gruyeye (shredded)
1 clove garlic
2 cups dry white wine
1 tbs lemon juice
2 tbs flour
3 tbs Kirsch
1/4 tsp white pepper
Nutmeg and/or paprika to taste
Rub the inside of the fondue pot with the garlic clove. Add
clove to pot or discard. Heat up the white wine and lemon juice, but do not
boil. Reduce heat to low and slowly add cheese while stirring constantly.
Slowly add remainder of ingredients while stirring. If fondue is too loose, add
more cheese. If fondue is too stiff, add more wine. When at the right consistency,
start dipping your bread chunks and vegetables.
What to talk about over dinner: What time would you go back
to and why? Compare this movie to “Back to the Future.” What are the
similarities? What is the best time of your life? Would you revisit it if you
could? What would you change? What would make a great time machine?
What is your favorite John Cusack
movie? How about one from Chevy Chase? What is your favorite 1980s movie?
Hairstyle? Song? Fashion trend? Me, I was a big fan of neon layers and legwarmers.
How could this film have been funnier and less silly? Anyone else have
flashbacks to Johnny Lawrence from “The Karate Kid” whenever Blaine
the ski guru hit the screen?
And what’s up with the bear?