Hot Tub Time Machine

Rated 3.0

Three lifelong buddies (John Cusack, Craig Robinson, Rob Corddry) take a midlife-crisis trip to a ski resort of their youth, where a hot tub magically throws them back to 1986—and they become, to all outward appearances, their younger selves. Let’s not mince words: Josh Heald, Sean Anders and John Morris’ script is a slovenly mess—it’s like Back to the Future rewritten by a foulmouthed 12-year-old with ADHD who’s gone off his Ritalin—and Steve Pink’s direction plays up the script’s weaknesses. And yet the movie is a guilty pleasure in spite of itself; Pink prods his stars into being too loud and frantic, but their comic rapport is real, and the wrap-up, though a foregone conclusion, is patly satisfying. Amid the noise, Cusack enjoys some sweet moments with Lizzy Caplan as a visiting reporter.