Supplemental Viewing – Hot Tub Time Machine

Hot Tub Time Machine

I honestly watched this movie by accident and I did not like it. The language was filthy, the material just didn’t appeal to me, and the science and paradox was barely addressed. It is a comedy and probably would appeal to some college students, though. And it has to do with time travel, so it is relevant to the class.

Summary

The movie begins by setting up the lives of three childhood friends who never see each other any more. Adam recently had a breakup and his girlfriend has just moved out. Nick gave up his dreams of becoming a singer so that he could be a good husband to his wife, and he is now a dog groomer, and completely unsatisfied with life. Lou is an alcoholic wild child who annoys even his own friends to the point that they never answer the phone when he calls. Jacob is Adam’s nephew and live is the basement of Adam’s house. He is a computer nerd and never leaves the basement.

After a night of drinking, Lou ends up in the hospital and his two friends Nick and Adam come to visit him because the doctor thinks that he tried to commit suicide because he is unhappy with his life, and he encourages these two friends to cheer him up. Nick and Adam try to cheer Lou up by planning a trip to the ski lodge that used to be THE PLACE to hang out when they were teenagers. Their idea of this place is that it is a party place where everyone gets laid. Jacob, Adam’s nephew tags along with the three friends. The place is now a dump, all their old hangouts are closed, and they are gravely disappointed. They settle for a night of drinking in the hot tub. They all get drunk and pass out.

When they wake up and go skiing for the day they notice everyone is wearing brightly colored spandex retro ski suits, bandanas, everyone has funky hair cuts, girls are wearing leg warmers, and young kids are everywhere. When they get to the ski lodge they see old tube TVs showing mostly black and white, old TV shows, and people are buying cigarettes from a cigarette box machine. A young man is listening to a walkman cassette player. When Nick asks a girl “What color is Michael Jackson?” and she responds, “Black,” They freak out and run back to their room. In their room they discover that even though they see fat middle aged bodies, when they look in the mirror, their teenage selves are looking back at them, and Jacob is flickering like a TV screen.

(-What color is Michael Jackson?

-Black.)

There is an eerie mechanic who appears from no where and tells them that he is fixing the hot tub and they are not to change anything or it could affect their futures.

The three friends remember that this is the night that Adam breaks up with Jenny and gets stabbed in the eye with a fork, Nick sings on the stage and then has sex with a girl named Tara, and Lou challenges the ski patrol to a fight and gets the crap beat out of him by six guys because his friends didn’t show up to have his back.

As they go about trying to reenact their past, all three of them have a hard time going through with it.

Adam thinks about his miserable life with his girlfriend who just dumped him and moved out, and he wonders why he broke up with Jenny. He can’t bring himself to break up with her, but he meets a journalist who he really likes but tells her that he can’t talk to her because “this didn’t happen before.” Jenny breaks up with Adam and he tells her she is going to get fat and she stabs him in the eye with a toothpick.

Nick doesn’t want to sleep with Tara because he feels like he would be cheating on his wife. His friends pressure him that he can’t cheat on someone he hasn’t met yet, and they pressure him into having sex with Tara. While she is on top of him, Nick is crying and repeating “I’m sorry Courtney!” Tara realizes he is crying and gets angry. Nick tells her something that he has never told anyone. That he found out that his wife cheated on him.

Lou doesn’t want to get beat up, but he challenges the ski patrol and tells his friends “You guys better show up this time.” He also tried to have sex with a girl that he didn’t have sex with in the past, but it didn’t work out.

Adam spends the evening with the journalist girl, Nick performs songs ‘from the future’ for his crowd that ends up loving it! And Lou wins a bunch of money in a bar by making bets on the football game that is on, since he already knows what will happen in the game.

The eerie mechanic guy tells them that the hot tub will only be a time machine again if they can get a Russian beverage that the ski patrol have in their possession. The three friends and Jacob have to break into the ski patrol’s house and steal the beverage. There is a party at the ski patrol house. Adam’s sister is there, and Lou has sex with her (That’s how Jacob is born). The friends and Jacob go back to the hot tub where they travel back forward in time, but Lou decides he wants to stay in the past and be a good parent for Jacob because he is miserable in the future.

When Jacob, Adam, and Nick travel back to present day there is a DVD waiting for them in their room. Lou is on a big Yacht and tells them that he used his knowledge of the future to make a lot of money. The Bellman gives them directions for them to go home. They all have different lives than they did before. Adam is now married to the journalist woman. Nick is the owner of a huge recording studio, and his wife never cheated on him, and Lou is married to Adam’s sister and taking care of their son, Jacob. “Google” has been renamed “Lougle,” and the band “The Motley Crew” is renamed “The Motley Lou.”

Themes

There is a theme of second chances in this film. These friends are given a second chance to relive their pasts in a better way than they did the first time. They make different choices since they still have the wisdom and foresight that they have now that they have come from the future. Their experience gives them a new perspective to use better judgment. Adam chooses to spend time with this amazing journalist who he knows would be really great for him instead of dating the girls that have all left him high and dry. Nick chooses to spice things up for his crowd and sing songs from the future to spark his singing career and to create a fan base for himself. Lou chooses to stay in the past and be a good father since he never really did anything with his life the first time around.

There is a theme of reaching out to friends as well. The three friends, prior to this weekend trip, have really drifted away from one another. All three of them have miserable lives, and now none of them even have friends. The second time around, Nick and Adam forgot to show up at the fight between Lou and the Ski patrol. They forgot for the second time to have their friend’s back. They find Lou drinking on the roof where he tells them that they are not his friends and that they have never been there for him. He knows that they never answer his calls. He tells them that he hates them. That’s when they all realize that they could be there for each other more often. They could stand by their friends more.

There is a theme of having closure, not letting guilt ruin your life. Adam shares with the journalist girl that his dad used to take him and his sister to a steak sandwich joint every Saturday for dinner. One time a new pizza place opened and he and his sister begged their dad to go to the pizza place. Close to 40 people died of eccoli. Adam still blames himself for his father’s death. The journalist tells him that he can’t let one bad pizza ruin his life. This is an important moment of release for Adam. He finally lets go of the guilt that he has been harboring for years and allows himself to live a happy life.

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