Three thirtysomething under-achieving best friends and one of their twentysomething nephews take a vacation to a ski resort, trying to recapture their 80’s heyday when each one experiences a run of bad luck. During a drunken party in the outdoor hot tub, an energy drink shorts the electric controls, and the foursome find themselves back in the party-hardy 1986.
Nothing says 80’s movies like John Cusack as Adam, who just had a painful break-up with his girlfriend. His best buddies are Lou (Rob Corddry) - a party animal who can’t seem to find a party; Nick (Craig Robinson), who is obsessed with the idea that his wife cheated on him; and Adam's twentysomething nephew, Jacob (Clark Duke), who can’t leave his basement and video games. After a drunken Lou almost kills himself by locking himself in his garage while singing 80’s power ballads in his running car, the guys decide to go back to the ski resort where they had the best time ever. However the resort is all rundown, there’s a dead critter in the hot tub, and the bellboy (Crispin Glover) is missing an arm. Suddenly, the tub is all bubbling and functioning so they dive in for a Hangover-type night. The next thing they know everything around them has changed, the resort is full of young people, ladies are wearing leg warmers, and the bellboy has 2 arms again. They look in the mirror and they see themselves as they looked in high school.
Chevy Chase shows up as the hot tub repairman, looking as confused as they are and who gives them cryptic advice about the hot tub. The guys think they should not mess with the time line and just let history repeat itself. This includes Lou getting beat up. It also includes Adam getting sliced over the eye when he breaks up with a girlfriend, and getting to playing music again with his band. Jacob gets an eyeful when he sees his mom as a loose party girl and then later gets a surprise by discovering his father. After many misadventures, they can’t help to try and change their destinies.
This movie will delight anyone who can relate to the 80’s. Directed by Steve Pink (co-producer of High Fidelity) and written by Josh Heald, Sean Anders, and John Morris (Anders and Morris also did She’s Out of My League), this comedy is consistent in the nostalgic nods to the audience. The personalities of the actors really deliver without becoming annoying or trite. Like She’s Out of My League, that also did multiple screenings, there’s a sharp wit and the film doesn’t constantly dumb down the humor. Of course, as a Cusack fan, one can be assured that the work will always be satisfying. I personally didn’t find it quite as hilarious as some, but then this wasn’t exactly in my generational reference. Anyone who finds That 70’s Show amusing will enjoy this film. Just be glad they didn’t cast Ashton Kutcher in Cusack’s role. I suspect after this movie is released, there may be an increase of hot tub parties in your neighborhood. (Review by Reesa Cruz Hawkins of Dallas Movie Screenings)