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Friday, September 18, 2020


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Featured Flick: Hot Tub Time Machine

The guys who seem as if they've popped up in every Judd Apatow or similar comedy movie for the last five years have suddenly been cast in a movie about a hot tub time machine. In it, three broken, grown-up dudes and one nerdy teenager get transported back to the '80s by said time machine and have to change their crappy lives.

A trippy time-warp scene, Chevy Chase in a throw-away role and an awkward part for Crispin Glover later and I realized that I'm very glad I missed the '80s. No offense, to those of you who loved it (or to those of you who think wearing the fashion and listening to that decade's music makes you an honorary era historian). The fact, though, that the decade of "Reagan and AIDS" -- yes, that's a quote from the movie -- holds very little appeal for me made this film even funnier than it was.

Although this movie is nowhere near as great as "The Hangover," the same quirky, irreverent tone exists here. In fact, now that I think about it, this is a dorkier, but still funny, version of "The Hangover." And the best part of this movie has to be Rob Corddry (who had a supporting role in "What Happens in Vegas" -- another one of those movies in which the main characters should have been killed off five minutes in and the "best friends" should have had free reign).

Corddry is basically that buddy everyone has who will always be 10 times drunker than you ever thought possible for a human being. He's a mess through and through, stealing scenes from the moment he enters until well into the closing credits, making cocaine seem like the dream he can only realize the second time around and being the only guy in history, I hope, who knocks up an '80s girl after almost having a three-way with his son.

Sorry if you were planning to go to this and think I've spoiled something for you, but I haven't. You can pretty much guess where everything in this movie is going way before it gets there. Also, there's a strange subplot about their childhood bullies that really could have been replaced with more Corddry and Craig Robinson scenes. In addition, whoever roped John Cusack into joining this band of special men, congratulations. He's almost funny, which makes him more appealing in an all-around sort of way.

Still, the focus of this film seems to be Corddry and Robinson, who together are like the most manic train wreck in the family or, as is the case around Pig Roast, the college student most likely not to remember Saturday or Sunday. Their story is one of sex, drugs and rock 'n roll, and doing all of these things together. Cusack and the nerdy teenager are sort of just there, along with all of the female characters in this movie, but they still play their parts well.

In any case, there is a hilarious and rather sweet brotherly feel to the movie that makes the characters seem destined to do stupid stuff. And you'll laugh the whole way through.

Contact reporter Jordan Trippeer at

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