I'm all for the promotion of preposterous film ideas and I'm all for anything that relates to the second to last decade of the twentieth century, so when I saw the trailer for Hot Tub Time Machine, I ignored its somewhat blatant, Farrelly brothersesque stupidity. And, speaking of the Farrelly brothers, this movie has its fair share of gross-out moments, mainly involving barf.
Some might view the vomit, the shit flinging, and the fake cum on Lou's face as pros in the movie, but I think I might put a tick mark under the cons column for that. Possibly the only time throwing up comes across as funny rather than foul is when Lou does it on a squirrel. Another con is the total laziness in the character development/explanation of backstory department. I could understand if it was just one writer slapping this script together, but there are not one, not two, but three men responsible for creating the incomprehensible world of Hot Tub Time Machine: Josh Heald, Sean Anders, and John Morris. I don't know, it just seems like three minds should be able to come up with something a little more detail-oriented. Like, for one, why is Jacob twenty years old if his conception was in 1986? Why is Chevy Chase even there to caution them about changing the future if everything they decide to alter turns out to make things better for them in the long run? Why would a new episode of Alf be on during a weekend when anyone with any sense of nostalgia knows that it aired on Mondays? Jesus Christ, will someone please give me a fuckin job as a script supervisor? Because whoever worked on supervising this did not deserve such a high level of compensation. Oh wait, it was Stephanie Rossel, who also worked on such linearly plotted movies as Love Happens and Juno. Sorry Stephanie, but I think the time change variances of Hot Tub Time Machine are slightly beyond your abilities.
But my high expectations for some semblance of realism aside, I think there is an under acknowledged, self-referential wit to the movie. The fact alone that John Cusack, the reigning king of 1980s teen movies, was diffident and unpretentious enough to agree to play the lead part of Adam and then either concede or suggest (he is, after all, a producer) to let the filmmakers have someone shout out the infamous "I want my two dollars" line on the ski slopes speaks volumes for the general fabulousness of Cusack.
I think that was the main pro. So back to the cons. The soundtrack: I get that buying the rights to a song is expensive, but how many times does "Bizarre Love Triangle" need to be played in a movie that alludes to the eighties? And why did Adam's friend Nick have to choose "Let's Get It Started" by The Black Eyed Peas as the song he wanted to steal from the future? I mean, really? Of all the songs post-1986, you're gonna choose "Let's Get It Started?" This is all Steve Pink's fault (he's the music supervisor, in case you were wondering and were sane enough not to know already). Then there was throwing Cusack into a random Serendipity-like (the movie, not the noun) relationship with Spin magazine writer April (Lizzy Caplan), who was forced to go to Winterfest to catch the Poison show. And yes, now I know I'm starting to sound like a nutter with my obsessiveness on the minutiae when most people would just go to this movie specifically not to think, but it's a disease, what can I say?
So, since I'm feeling mildly remorseful for listing so many cons and ripping several named film crew members a new asshole, I'll leave you with the pro to end all pros: Crispin Glover.