Synopsis: With a nephew in tow, three friends in a rut vacation at their favorite lodge, and accidentally learn their old room has a hot tub time machine.
• The entire cast give the absurd story their all, literally with self-aware winks at the audience.
• A largely effective nostalgia-fueled plot that made fun of nostalgia.
• The fact that many of the actors involved had popular 1980s films, including John Cusack, Crispin Glover, and Chevy Chase, gave an air of authenticity.
• The jokes surrounding imperfect memory and the “butterfly effect” help to make up for any the film’s weaknesses.
• Those unamused by 80s pop culture might not find the film that funny.
• Though well integrated with the plot, some of the darker themes of suicide and depression might turn off some viewers.
• Too absurd for its own good at times.
If we found ourselves back in time with our memories, such as they are, intact, what would we do differently? Would it even be possible to do it all the same? Those conundrums are at the heart of the absurd plot of the film. Yet, everyone involved, the writers, the actors, the characters, all knew how crazy the plot was. It can be impossible to remember everything accurately for most, while we might have no way not to rewrite our past. Sure, there would be ramifications, but maybe we would not change that much at all in the long run. Doctor Who has been toying with the concept of tweaking the past for decades, and it is hard to say how much the Doctor ever really changed history in the long run. In the real world, there may be no way to know what it would mean to change our past. It does not really matter. Hot Tub Time Machine was just absurd fun about wish fulfillment of wishes we might not know how to fathom.
Rotten Tomatoes — 63%