"I write Stargate fan fiction. This is my bread and butter, man!" -- Jacob
The 1980s were the birthplace of the term "awesome," frequently accompanied by the adverb "totally." I was ages 10 through 20 during it. I will fight anyone who says 1980s music, TV, and movies are not awesome. There have been good things since the 80s. But none of them are Cutting Crew's ""I Just Died In Your Arms Tonight."
Hot Tub Time Machine is dude-centered and super-nerdy. I mean that as a compliment. Three sad sacks whose lives peaked in the 80s go back to then. Then a 1980s sex comedy breaks out, from the point of view of 40-ish nerds.
Rob Corddry (The Daily Show) ponders the changes they could make in the past. He says, "We could save Manimal."
That added 3 points to my movie rating, right there.
The movies has cuss words, nudity, Crispin Glover, Chevy Chase, a guy in a bear suit, and idiots who act like idiots. I also mean that as a compliment.
For '80s nerds, it's a loving homage. All the clothes are in Play-Doh colors. John Cusack wears both his Say Anything trenchcoat and his Better Off Dead ski hat. The soundtrack has Motley Crue, Spandau Ballet, Men Without Hats, and Scritti Politti.
I bought the soundtrack. I don't like to brag. But I did. Not because of Men Without Hats. (I already have their songs. Duh.) The soundtrack has Craig Robinson doing two 80s covers. Covers of 80s songs are almost as fun as authentic 80s songs.
It's not crammed with wacky cameos, like weaker comedies use as a crutch. There's just one: Johnny, the leg-sweeping bad guy from Karate Kid. He has a pivotal part that doesn't even reference Karate Kid once.
This movie is a refreshing change for John Cusack. Unlike all of his recent movies, neither his wife nor his children die.
The movie's title starkly divides people into two camps. One says "That sounds stupid, and I will never watch it." The other says, "That sounds stupid, and I can't wait to watch it."
You need to be the second one.