Did you see this coming? The trailers made it look like National Lampoon’s Animal House for middle-aged men (although that might be enough right there to get many guys I know in the theatre seats). But when Hot Tub Time Machine opened this weekend I expected to see movie reviewers bulking up on adjectives like crude, sophomoric, predictable, infantile and just plain dumb. Okay, there are some reviewers using those words, but many, many more are giving this flick an enthusiastic thumbs up.
In fact, Hot Tub is already registering 67% among top critics on the Tomatometer! And it’s a New York Times Critic’s Pick! No kidding – A.O. Scott (the man can be brutal) comes close to calling it an endearing film for baby boomers:
But viewers of a certain age and background — let’s say those who know the lyrics to “Jesse’s Girl” by heart, even if they never really liked that song — are likely to endure the merry anarchy with a twinge of pained, slightly nauseated nostalgia.
Critic Richard Roeper calls it:
Best title since “Snakes on a Plane” and consistent laughs throughout.
The patriarch of all American movie critics (do I really have to name him?) begins his review by stating what I certainly was thinking when I saw the trailer: how good could a movie called “Hot Tub Time Machine” possibly be?
But Roger says he saw things differently from the get-go:
I saw the stand-up display in a movie lobby and perked up. With a title like that, the filmmakers aren’t lacking in confidence.
Well Mr. E, that’s why you get paid to see movies and I don’t…and I could never have anticipated these words of praise from you:
The bottom line is, gross-out guy comedies open twice a month, and many of them are wretched excesses. “Hot Tub Time Machine,” which wants nothing more than to be a screwball farce, succeeds beyond any expectations suggested by the title…
What do I have to say about all this? See ya at the multiplex!