Ep. 47: Hot Tub Time Machine

Lucy and Jenny and Token Guy Alastair agree this is great comedy and great bromance and then part company on the craft (who is the protagonist anyway?). Get the podcast: [Listen here at PopD] | [Go to iTunes]

Story Analysis & Ratings:

Lucy says: 5 Pops ~ Hot Tub Time Machine is everything the title makes you think it isn’t; smart, funny, and well-written. There are areas where a little focus and clarity would have helped, but overall, this is a fun, well-written movie with a lot to love. Lucy’s rating breakdown: Structure: 4, Comedy: 5, (B)romance: 5

Jenny says: 5 Pops ~ This is a tightly written comedy in which the jokes are smart and complex, and everything pays off. The structure is a little loose and the ending is problematical, but only if you look too closely, so don’t look.
Jenny’s rating breakdown: Structure: 4, Comedy: 5, (B)romance: 5

Alastair says: 4 Pops ~ My inner craft geek gets tangled up in the structural problems, but the rest of me is entirely charmed.  Smarter, sweeter and much funnier than I could have expected.  Proof, if proof were needed, that gross-out comedies are best when they have a heart, and know what they are.
Alastair’s rating breakdown: Structure: 3, Comedy: 5, (B)romance: 5

Blog Poll Rating: TBD

Read the chat transcript here!

Movie Info:

Story: Four men, bored with their lives, accidentally travel back to the eighties because of a malfunctioning hot tub.   Release Date: March 26, 2010.  Writers: Josh Heald, Sean Anders, John Morris

15 thoughts on “Ep. 47: Hot Tub Time Machine

  1. Anyone else have problems with the end of the podcast? Mine stopped when you guys were talking about respect (Dodgeball and You Kill Me).

  2. I haven’t seen this yet, but listening to your podcast made me want to watch it right now. I have class, so that’ll have to wait, but still. Great podcast.

    Re: the Faking It mention. I loved that book, and Tilda is my favorite Crusie heroine. I don’t see her lacking vulnerability in the beginning as much as I see her shoving it to the side so that she can get stuff done. She’s not giving herself time to be vulnerable, and that makes her even more so to me. I’m sure I’m completely off base here, but that’s why I re-read that one more than any other of Jenny’s books. 🙂

  3. @Briana: I had trouble with it too, but it works when you open it in iTunes.
    @Sierra: With you on Faking It. It’s one of my favorite books ever, and I always loved Tilda.

    About Hot Tub Time Machine…I didn’t hate it. Which is high praise from me where this kind of movie is concerned. I didn’t laugh nearly as much as you guys apparently did, because the comedy was so disgusting that I couldn’t find it funny. Honestly, I would have been happy with this if it had been Adam going back alone and meeting April. But then of course it would be a completely different movie. Loved Crispin Glover. Was it my imagination or did the guy Lou was betting with in the bar call him McFly? Because that was great. Basically only about half the jokes worked for me, but I still see all the stuff that you guys pointed out as working, so I gave it a 3.

    Your discussion about what makes Guy Comedy work took me back to Due Date again, which I have huge issues with, but I think the reason I enjoyed some of it was that the bromance is really strong. So I may need to give it another shot. Maybe. Someday. I think I’m sticking with non-gross out humor for a while.

  4. Honestly, I didn’t love it either. Sure, I love the concept of “hot tub time machine” like anyone else, but my problem was that I really despised Lou and wanted him to die in a fire immediately. Now, I liked it better by the end (especially with Lou’s changes), but I was seriously wanting to turn it off for the first hour or so because of him. If there is one main character that makes me want to stab him repeatedly, I have a very hard time watching the movie because you can’t ignore the asshole jumping up and down in the front.

    This series has made me wonder if I am too much of a damn chick because I didn’t love any of these movies and at best, tolerated them. Also, I feel like I have seen every poop/fart/bodily function joke known to man by now and I just don’t laugh at a darned one of ’em any more because it’s all ABC gum to me. Admittedly, a dog’s anal whatnot isn’t something I see in every movie, but still, feh. Over it. No longer fresh and funny. I guess I am too much of a damn girl.

    By the way, I got forced to watch Due Date during the weekend and Zach Gallifinakis is playing virtually the same character as in The Hangover, except with a dog.

  5. Re: Faking It. I’ll have to think about whether it was a vulnerability issue but I did like it better the 2nd and subsequent readings.

    As for HTTM, I liked it better than I thought. I, too, wanted to hit Lou with a large, heavy object. I did laugh, but mostly I just wasn’t repulsed by it like I was by some of the others. I did like how they came together for a friend even if I couldn’t figure out who was the protagonist. I know this genre isn’t for me and clearly as a woman in my 40s I’m not the demographic for this movie in any way, shape or form. It’s kinda sad that some of the romcoms weren’t marketed to me either, though.

    @Jenny – I just started watching Body of Proof, too, and it makes me sad that I can’t like the main character. Her partner is cute and the stories are good but she is not a nice person.

  6. @Jennifer: “Zach Gallifinakis is playing virtually the same character as in The Hangover, except with a dog.” Yeah, I noticed that too. I think he’s going to be playing that character for years. I watched it because I was on a Robert Downey Jr. kick, which gave me unfortunately high expectations.

  7. Was anyone else annoyed by the constant gay joking from Lou? I swear, that’s what ticked me off the most. He’s one of those guys who calls everything gay, regardless of its resemblance to anything remotely homosexual. (And yet, dudes naked in a hot tub together isn’t gay at all!) I remember Lucy saying something last week about being annoyed by the gay joke in The Hangover, but not a word was mentioned this week (yes, hours later I’m finally finishing the podcast) and I found it so much worse in this movie.

    I know, I know, Guys Find Gay Jokes Funny, and I am probably being a damn girl again, but I just wanted to yell, “What are you, a 12-year-old boy? You should know better in 2010, dammit.”

  8. Jennifer, I don’t think it’s that you’re too much of a damn chick, I think you just don’t like this kind of movie. A lot of people don’t like romcoms. Although, you are, of course, an awesome chick.
    Stephanie, I think they were going for the House dynamic on Body of Proof but they missed. You don’t like House but you respect him and after awhile he kind of becomes Lou, our asshole. I don’t see the protag in Body of Proof ever getting there. For one thing, she’s not funny.
    On Lou and his gay jokes: I didn’t find most of what Lou said funny because Lou was awful, but the gay jokes weren’t presented as funny, they were presented as more evidence that Lou was the asshole. You’ll notice that none of the good guys laughed at the gay jokes (as I remember). The stuff I laughed at with Lou was him getting beat up, or him sliding those drinks down the bar to Kelly and her watching them crash, the kind of stuff that was set up to be funny because Lou was awful and therefore should get beat-up and shut-out. Adam or Nick or Jacob getting hit wouldn’t have been funny (except for the fork in the eye, that was funny), but Lou? Hit him again. I think they were part of the Lou-has-no-boundaries-and-is-unredeemingly-awful character build rather than real humor intended to make the audience laugh.

  9. I definitely liked this the best of all the Dumb Guy movies in this series.

    In trying to figure out why I liked this so much more than Dodge Ball, I think it’s because the characters in HTTM were actually pretty believable. I know, that sounds funny to say, in such a patently unrealistic movie, but I honestly do know people just like the four main characters, including the uber-asshole (whom you gotta give props to, for totally nailing the part of being a complete self-destructive asshole).

    By contrast, all the characters in Dodge Ball were extreme caricatures with whom I could form no rea emotional connection: the whimpering teenage nerd, the pirate, the completely unengaged slacker, the evil gym owner, etc. All cleverly constructed and entertainingly acted, but none of them at all realistic, with the possible exception of the slacker. And I freaking hate slackers.

    So yeah. For me, HTTM beats DB, hands down.

    That said, I’m ready for another genre.

  10. OK, got through it the second time. Don’t know what was up the first time I listened.

    I agree with Sierra and Katie on Faking It — I loved the book, I loved Tilda and I thought of her as vulnerable, even if it wasn’t out there.

    And I loved Hot Tub Time Machine. As in, watched it twice in two weeks and just told a friend we should watch it sometime soon. It made me laugh (hard!) and I loved the 80s jokes! I did think there were problems with finding a protag, but I also thought that the characters changed — Lou even ends up doing unselfish things (pushing Adam into the hot tub, fathering Jacob (ew!)) — and I loved the bromance aspects.

    Plus, apparently, I have a 13-year-old boy inside. I blame my brothers for this.

  11. I’m in the middle of the podcast right now, but I wanted to say, regarding Lou’s extra 25 years in the end, is that Lou probably NEEDED 25 years to catch up to the rest of them and to be a good friend and become a little more than “their asshole.”

  12. I did really like the movie. I liked Jacab the best, but I have such a soft spot for geeky men, but thought he was a really good actor in it. I like Lizzy Kaplan (who plays Adam’s love interest), I thought she was really funny. I love Cusack in anything he’s in (including Must Love Dogs, my love knows no bounds).

    I thought all the other actors were great. I did laugh a lot.

    I did have one serious problem – the blow job to his friend, I believe that Lou would do it but it really made me pull me out of the movie. It made me really wonder why that scene was there.

    I like gross comedy in some instances, Team America who has been mentioned before made me laugh out loud in the most hideous scenes (and has a blow job thing in it too). It didn’t pull me out of the film, I think its because the tone of full out gross and bad taste (it has an aids song thats all I’m going to say) is established at the start.

    Overall thought that it worked

    ForrestJane mentioned antagonists that weren’t people – Erin Brockovich has a company, Back to the Future – the goal is that he has to be there by that time. But I did find it really hard to find antagonists that are not people.

    I don’t really watch horror so I think that might be a good genre to look at antagnonists that aren’t people. The Faculty does have aliens, but the thing that I thought was interesting about that film was the idea of discrediting aliens so when they do come no one will believe them. It also helps that Josh Hartnett is in it the film that made me have a crush on him.

    Going on a tangant now – so overall good movie, but that one scene really made me pull me out of it. I think the thing they did well at the end is bonding at the end, and it was written really well, I loved a lot of the lines.

  13. The blow job scene grossed me out, but I had to admit it was exactly what Lou would do. The movie does a really good job of putting the viewer in the position of being one of Lou’s friends: you can’t get rid of him, most of the time you really don’t want to get rid of him, but there are times when you wish he would go away.

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