Monday, May 17, 2010
Hot Tub Time Machine (2010)
Sometimes, Alan Smithee is lured to the local multiplex by the not terrible reviews of the latest major studio release. If he is lucky, there are enough amusing moments in one of these committee-made, personality-driven films to make it worth the matinee price.
As you may know, multiple writers often work on the scripts for these films—many anonymously—so that every element deemed essential to box office success is present. The result is that every audience member enjoys something in the film (but the film as a whole is a failure).
Hot Tub Time Machine is yet another product of this process. It has something for everyone, except those who enjoy excellence. John Cusack is present to lend the film a patina of intelligence (and he is conspicuously absent from the stupidest scenes). All the usual archetypes are there—the amusing black friend, the nerdy teenager—and the writers exploit them for the usual jokes. Did you know that young people spend lots of time using new technologies? Isn’t that hilarious?
Alan Smithee admits that he enjoyed this film, primarily because it distracted him from whatever meaningless crap he was wasting his time thinking about.
Sometimes, hours after Alan Smithee has seen one of these movies, when he's completely forgotten the experience ever happened, he’ll overhear young revelers walking home from the multiplex talking about a movie they’ve seen in their loud and belligerent voices. Through all the cursing, he’ll realize that they’re retelling scenes from the very movie he saw, and inevitably, it’s the stupidest ones.