I saw Hot Tub Time Machine its opening weekend. I can’t believe it either. Who am I? It doesn’t matter. The movie was fun and prompted me to spend part of Sunday looking up old Rob Corddry segments from The Daily Show. Anyway, my favorite part by far was when the guys were all hungover but went out skiing anyway, their muted-hued outerwear reflective of their dulled capacities and year of origin. Putting a SPOILER ALERT here, which is preposterous. What isn’t?
Dotting the slopes around the buddies as they executed astonishing, Vancouver-worthy aerials and miraculously didn’t die: A bitchin’ ’80s rainbow of brightly colored ski outfits that the guys didn’t even notice until they’d entered the snack bar/arcade/other dimension…and THEN. Super Mario! Miami Vice sweatshirt! Michael Jackson is black! Legwarmers! ’80s references abounded for the rest of the movie — former Nick’s Kid ‘n Play (“that’s actually two people”) trapezoidal hairstyle, Chevy Chase starring in the role of Utter Nonsense, a William ‘Still a Villain’ Zabka cameo, and an Indian-style candlelit smooch à la Sixteen Candles, among many more. Oh, and there was John Cusack, ultimate ’80s spokesperson, to guide us through the gurgling pool of homophobic sex stunts, patterned sweaters, and cocaine.
The movie didn’t make me miss the way the ’80s looked (too many primary colors), but I did get nostalgic for an era without email, texts every few seconds, and the constant sense of dread/duty accompanying the knowledge that any spare moment could be “more productively” spent catching up on stupid entertainment news on my phone. Sometimes I don’t yet want to know the things I end up knowing, like that Carrie Underwood chose cupcakes over a bigger wedding cake. And I’d probably want to die if we all had cell phones when I was in high school and my parents could have tracked me all the way to a Chicagoland area Denny’s using something called the “Family Locator” app. GROSS. At one point in HTTM, Clark Duke’s character Jacob meets a hot girl but has to step away. “How do I get in touch with you?” he wonders, bewildered. “You come find me,” she replies, luring his face closer with her sex eyes and the off-chance of a second run-in. “That seems so…exhausting,” Jacob laments. (!!!) And it does. But it also seems better, the idea of people being less dependent on their pocket controllers so that they’d have to either deal with the chaos and talk to girls with their mouths…or just go home. I don’t know. I’m super lazy so I’d probably miss the Maps app in a matter of hours the next time I got off the subway and had no clue which way is West. Just kidding! I’d never have left my apartment in the first place.
Off-topic, kind of: I can’t imagine spending money the Hot Tub Time Machine soundtrack on CD, but I might if it were a cassette tape. Weird. Yes I still have a boom box!
Did Hot Tub Time Machine make you nostalgic for the ’80s, relieved that they’re over, or both? If you weren’t alive in the ’80s…um, what did you think of this accurate film depiction of the ’80s?
Annie on Twitter: @EWAnnieBarrett
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