After making several well-received projects as part of the independent-cinema fringe, filmmaker Jim McBride moved toward the mainstream with this vulgar, wisecracking sex comedy, which nearly becomes pornography during several scenes. Set in the New York City area, the picture concerns a high-school schnook named Archie Anders (Henry Cory), whose hormones are driving him crazy. Archie’s beautiful girlfriend, Bette (Amy Farber), has become a devotee of Eastern religion, so she torments Archie during sex by insisting that he refrain from ejaculating for spiritual reasons. This sets the plot of Hot Times—also known as A Hard Day for Archie—in motion. Put bluntly, this is a movie about a young man with a near-constant erection trying desperately to find a sex partner who’s willing to go all the way. In what one presumes were intended to be outrageous comedy setpieces, Archie tries to score with hookers, porn actresses, promiscuous local girls, and so on. Every so often, something mildly amusing happens, but then McBride bludgeons the moment with an obnoxious sound effect or silly narration. Archie’s pal Mughead (Steve Curry) provides said narration, and here’s a sample: “He’d never been next of skin to so much feminology in all his years!” The movie is full of these would-be witticisms, as when Archie’s sister issues a barrage of puns when she discovers Archie masturbating: “Hey, Mom, he’s gonna have a dishonorable discharge!” Were the rest of the movie not so repetitive and sleazy, McBride’s enthusiastic wordplay might have seemed endearing. Yet Hot Times is mostly an endless procession of nude scenes, interspersed with vignettes of softcore coupling. Those who watch sex comedies to ogle female flesh will get their fill, but those who prefer a balance of edifying and erotic content will be disheartened.
Hot Times: LAME