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Movie Review: 'Hot Tub Time Machine'

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Rob Corddry is the primary reason to see "Hot Tub Time Machine" and it's more than enough of a reason.


Rob Corddry is the primary reason to see "Hot Tub Time Machine" and it's more than enough of a reason.

The trailers for Hot Tub Time Machine have been all over the TV for a couple months and the cast members have been making the rounds on late night shows for the last two weeks in anticipation of this weekend's opening. We had the chance to see the movie earlier this week and we found it very enjoyable and probably your best choice for an outright comedy flick this weekend.The movie follows a group of friends who are—wait for it—at a crossroads in their lives: Adam (John Cusack) has been dumped by another girlfriend; Lou (Rob Corddry) is a burnt out party monster; Nick (Craig Robinson) is under the thumb of a controlling wife; and Adam's nephew Jacob (Clark Duke) is a basement-bound nerd. The solution, of course, is a road trip to their past stomping ground which is now a run-down ski resort. As seen in the commercials, the boys get hammered in a hot tub and are transported to the past.

The movie does rely a bit much on the easy jokes one can make of the 1980s, but hey, they deserve it right? But there's something a bit familiar about this film which seemed like a combination of Caddyshack, Back to School, and Groundhog Day. The film is directed in pedestrian fashion by Steve Pink and co-written by Josh Heald, and the duo of Sean Anders and John Morris who will be competing against another film of theirs that is out now, She's Out of My League. These guys put together what seems to be the necessary elements for a popular comedy film: lots of "partying" (meaning heavy drinking), requisite puking, requisite homophobia, casual sex and hard drug use (it's ok because everybody was doing it in the '80s), the "hit" song/performance, and, of course, boobies. It's a formula and it works, despite wanting to think that we're above it all.

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It's ok to enjoy a formula film because the primary reason to see this film is the incredible, the indomitable, and the utterly and weirdly fascinating Rob Corddry. Is the rest of the cast capable? Yes. Craig Robinson of "The Office" is pretty good and John Cusack, whom we love, is adequate, but we felt as if anybody could have played those parts. Chevy Chase, who has found a safe place on NBC's "Community", should probably stay there, and Crispin Glover, is, at best, underutilized but makes every moment he is on screen count.

However, Rob Corddry's "Lou", literally could not be played by anybody else and we found ourselves wondering where Lou was as the other characters' storylines played out. Is America not yet ready for an entire film built around Rob Corddry? If this film is successful, it's all because of what he does so hopefully some Hollywood scribes are penning something exclusively for him. If you want even more Corddry watch "Childrens' Hospital" (if you can stand the obnoxious WB ads). In the meantime, we'll watch this movie make a ton of money and hope that Corddry gets his due with his own movie sooner than later.

The Hangover this isn't, but for a fun weekend film Hot Tub Time Machine is probably your best choice.