When someone asks if you want to go to a press junket for Hot Tub Time Machine, you say yes. If you don't know how press junkets work, here's the deal: the film studio, in this case MGM, gets a bunch of press members and as many of the actors in the film being publicized as they can and then goes above and beyond to make everyone really happy so that they'll say good things about the movie. It's pretty much the best.


For this particular press junket, I was flown out to Tahoe (Tahoe!) to stay in a fancy hotel where I got to party with other press members, a bevy of enthusiastic MGM public relations people, and all of the actors in the film (minus John Cusack). I won't even attempt to provide you with a review of the movie because, after all of the sweet junket perks that were lavished upon me, you have virtually no reason to trust my judgment. I'll simply say this: it does not disappoint.


The only feature of Hot Tub Time Machine that I will review, without bias or agenda, is Craig Robinson. Craig Robinson is the coolest person ever. That's not an embellished superlative. I mean it. The coolest. Let me paint a scene for you:


You're at an 80's themed party at a hotel in Tahoe. It's not 80's themed because every party since 1997 has been 80's themed. That's just a happy coincidence. It's 80's themed because it is being thrown to celebrate a movie in which the protagonists are transported back to 1986 via hot tub. Everyone is decked out in costumes of various degrees of intricacy and accuracy. Only the public relations people don't appear to feel uncomfortable. Only the public relations people aren't guzzling drinks from the open bar. The vibe in the room is a cross between the first middle school dance and the last night of summer camp. Plus alcohol. (Side note: middle school dances should serve alcohol.)

As you stand awkwardly by the snack table, wondering how many Nutter Butters you can shove in your pockets without looking like you've stolen something more valuable than Nutter Butters (6), in walks Craig Robinson. Crispin Glover, Rob Corddry, Clarke Duke, Lizzy Caplan, Collette Wolfe, and Lyndsy Fonseca also enter the room, but it takes a little while to remember why you know them. Craig Robinson makes it simple: he is wearing his Dunder Mifflin jacket. It doesn't look like he's wearing it to help people recognize him, though. It looks like that's just his jacket and it may well be. He's that cool.


Still don't believe me? Well, I'm not done painting the scene yet, so back off.


Your entertainment for this party is an 80's coverband call "Aquanet." The lead singer is wearing the tightest pants ever. At best, he could steal one Nutter Butter without detection. At worst, his sequined leather pants could squeeze his patellas out of his mouth like they're the last dregs in a tube of toothpaste. Either way, he's not exactly putting on the best show. People are starting to get bored. They're not leaving the party, because there is nowhere else to go, but there is some significant milling happening by the snack table. The Nutter Butters have long since run out. There are only Skittles and Bugles left. You make a mental note that Bugles are awesome and shuffle back over to the bar.

In passing, you hear someone drunkenly demand, "Wouldn't it be crazy if Craig Robinson got up and sang 'Jessie's Girl' like his character does in Hot Tub Time Machine?" (Actually, he says, "It would be so sweet if the Office guy sang that song that he sings. You know.") You side-step this fool with little care for what he's saying until you just happen to glance out of the corner of your eye and see that Craig has heard the suggestion. Maybe he hasn't actually heard, but he has a way of looking around a room that makes you think he hears everything. He definitely knows where all the Nutter Butters are hidden.


In one swift movement (or maybe a series of slow movements. The party is pretty dark.), Craig strides across the party—a sudden army of drunk people in 80's attire follow in his wake—he nabs an orange mullet off someone's head and jumps on stage. The party is saved.

See? The coolest.

Hot Tub Time Machine opens today.