“Louder and funnier.”

This is a movie review of Hot Tub Time Machine, penned by Josh Heald, Sean Anders and John Morris, and helmed by Steve Pink.

God knows what they would've said about this flick.

You’ve heard the old adage:  A veteran actor’s on his deathbed, and his family asks him how he’s doing.  “Dying is easy,” the actor says.  “Comedy is hard.”

Comedy is hard.  I’ve done stand-up at Caroline’s, which went damn well, and Gotham, which went so poorly I did what no performer should do:  Go after the audience.  (I ended with, “You’ve been mediocre, I’ll be at the bar.”)  Same set, too.  Comedy is hard.  I once directed a Donald Margulies-penned one act in the city that went like death, night after night.  (One of the actors shouldn’t have been playing comedy, but nonetheless, I was the director…  ultimately I was the one responsible for getting the yuks.)  And there’s nothing worse than going on with a play night after nights knowing you won’t have to hold for laughter.  Comedy is hard.  It’s Kermit the Frog hosting for Johnny Carson on the old Tonight Show, with Fozzie the Bear offering his advice:  “Louder and funnier.”

Heeeeeeeeeeere's Kermit!

This is all by way of saying the new flick Hot Tub Time Machine simply isn’t very funny, and it’s hard to know who to blame or say why.  Pink co-wrote the modern classic High Fidelity, and Anders penned a half-hour pilot that should’ve gone to series.  Then you through in thespians such as John Cusack and Craig Robinson (The Office, people!), and you’re thinking ‘comedy gold.’

But somehow it’s the Snakes on a Plane of comedies:  All Internet hype, no delivery.  The schtick grates, the lines don’t deliver.  And most egregious of all, it commits the worst sin of modern comedy:  It wastes the great Chevy Chase.

In other words, to quote Fozzie:  “Louder and funnier.”

Wocka, wocka


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