John Cusack, You Broke My Heart

Imagine my excitement when, while I waited for Sherlock Holmes to start, a preview came on for a movie that takes place in 1986.  Not only does my novel begin in that very year, but the movie stars John Cusack!  We're talking about Walter 'Gib' Gibson here.  You know, from The Sure Thing (1985).  Gib was my first unattainable crush; I named a Teddy Bear after him and everything.  So I happily crunched my popcorn and bounced in my seat at the very prospect of seeing my Giblet back in the 80s.  

Imagine my dismay as the preview played on.  The kitschy retro beginning caused me to willing overlook the weak opening scene with the four guys spending a lame night in.  And I even chuckled a bit at the thought of a hot tub time machine---hey, it was funny the way Craig Robinson looked directly into the camera after he said it---but as a steady stream of inanity spewed forth, my heart dropped, and all hope drained from me when Rod Corddry uttered, "Twitagra."

Why John Cusack, why?  Do you even look at the scripts before you accept a role?  I know this might seem a bit prejudgmental since the movie hasn't even been released yet, but one can presume that the studio puts forth the best pieces of the film in the preview, right?  Am I right?  Well, here's what I saw:

* The standard over-the-top obnoxious guy, who in the real world would have no friends at all but is included here as the device for delivering all the funny lines, which in this case, aren't funny at all.

* The standard friend who freaks out about everything.  Mildly funny.

* The standard nerdy friend. Not funny.

* The standard piece-of-poop friend (Cusack), who exhibits very few personality traits but somehow is supposed to be the one we relate to. Not funny, not endearing, not anything.

* Poor use of Chevy Chase.  All he does is look old and giggle.

At one point one of the characters runs into his mother in the past, and she appears to be a trollop.  I would have found this amusing had it not already been done---and so much better---in Back to the Future.  Too bad this mess didn't take more cues from that classic time travel film, like interesting characters, an ounce of intelligence, or clever and subtle digs at cultural differences.

Instead of "Well, that is your name, isn't it? Calvin Klein? It's written all over your underwear" and "Hey Biff, get a load of this guy's life preserver," we get unoriginal and tasteless comments like "What color is Michael Jackson?" and missed opportunities, like a flat response of "I have no idea what you're saying" to the question "Are you on-line at all?" No one saw any potential for a comical misunderstanding there?  Go-go 80s...lines of a certain white powdery substance...no?

But they saved the worst for last.  At the end of the preview it's revealed that the movie is, in fact, actually titled...Hot Tub Time Machine. That's just not funny anymore. And so, John Cusack, it's officially over between us.  I'm done making excuses for your poor choices.   

 I'm just sayin'


Morgan said...

I have to admit, I will Netflix this movie... It looks terrible but funny and relatable. And John Cusack is my 80s heart throb favorite with his bumbling hopeless romantic mess of a type cast character theme.

Although, I do worry that this will taint that for me... Even so, it's going in my queue.

Nicki Elson said...

Yeah...I probably will too...don't tell anyone. ;)

Anonymous said...

Gah, how the mighty have fallen...I remember your Gib bear. I hope he's covering his eyes with his paws right now :(

Speaking of 80s throwback films, just watched "Adventureland" over the weekend and must say I was quite pleased. The soundtrack rules. Opens with the Replacements and closes with INXS, with a whole lotta delicious nuggets in between. Yes, Kristen Stewart is still her "Meh, uh" self, but the rest of the cast more than compensates. Netflix it fo' sho'!

Morgan said...

So did you ever watch it? I went and saw it in the drive-in and really enjoyed it! It was the perfect environment - I love the drive-in because it makes me feel like I'm one of the cool kids from back in the day, sneaking alcohol in on a date, cuddling up in the back of his SUV. The movie was definitely laugh out loud funny, but we were already in an extra playful mood and mostly because it was relatable, not actually comical.
And yes, John Cusack was borderline terrible - still love him immensely, though. I understand that times get tough and you get what you can. =)

Nicki Elson said...

Hi Morgan! Haha, I haven't seen it yet, but I've promised my brother that I will re-blog about it after I have. He is hopeful for a full retraction of the first one.

I'm so happy that you had fun watching it! Ahh, the drive in... (You must live in a warmer climate than me---we're still getting blustery winds in Chicagoland.) Thanks for the "Hot Tub" review. I think it just moved up on my to-see list. Perhaps I'll have to get some 80s chums together and bite the bullet. :)