One of Harold Lloyd's least rewarding comedies, which is a shame, as it is something of an attempt to break away from the typical Lloyd formula. Instead of working toward some achievement and thus winning the girl of his dreams, Harold wins the girl in the first five minutes of the film and spends the rest of the contending with the ups and downs of married life, including surprising his wife with a new car and having to put up with a visit from his in-laws. The domestic comedy situations, with an emphasis on distasteful relatives, has much in common with later W. C. Fields films like THE MAN ON THE FLYING TRAPEZE and THE BANK DICK.
Unfortunately, many of the gags lack the comedian's usual cleverness, and although Lloyd plays them well, he never displays the knack that Charlie Chaplin or Buster Keaton had in turning a middling gag into a memorable one through a bit of business or an unexpected reaction. Unlike his two contemporary fellow geniuses, Lloyd didn't do things funny, he did funny things. Lloyd's gags were always best served with a strong story, but there is no such thing in HOT WATER. The film goes from one episode to another - Harold bringing home a turkey on a crowded trolley, Harold and the family go out for a drive - with little to sustain our interest except the jokes and situations themselves. Even the most intriguing and funniest section of the film, a long, black comedy scene where Harold mistakenly believes he has killed his mother-in-law, is hampered by some forced and mechanical gags. ½ - JB