Release Date: March 4, 2011
Director: Michael Dowse
Writer: Jackie Filgo, Jeff Filgo, Topher Grace, Gordon Kaywin
Cast: Topher Grace, Anna Faris, Dan Fogler, Teresa Palmer, Chris Pratt, Michael Biehn, Jeanie Hackett, Lucy Punch, Michelle Trachtenberg, Demetri Martin, Michael Ian Black, Bob Odenkirk, Angie Everhart, Jay Jablonski, Edwin Hodge, Candace Krosiak, Nathalie Kelley, Wade Allain-Marcus, Robert Hoffman.
MPAA Rating: R
Runtime: 97 minutes
Studio: Rogue Pictures, Imagine Entertainment, Relativity Media
Genre: Comedy, Drama, ROmance
Country: USA, Germany
Budget: $23,000,000 (estimated)
It’s exciting taking a trip back in time to remember the past decades so different from the world today. They bring back memories of what used to be, and show everyone how far they’ve come. While this is taking place you see that those who don’t know the past are doomed to repeat it. That line shines so bright making you realize there’s nothing new under the sun. Teens and young adults partied hard, have sex with random people, snort cocaine, steal cars, and make dumb decisions. ‘Take Me Home Tonight’ is a mixture of it all, full with likeable characters that will have you bursting out with laughter. Though at some points, I couldn’t see the whole point of this picture.
Matt Franklin (Topher Grace) is living in the 80’s and is extremely smart but is wasting his degree from one of the best colleges money can buy. Instead of pursuing a career in his area of study from school he’s working at the local video store. OF course his father Bill Franklin (Michael Biehn), isn’t too happy with this, feeling a large chunk of his saving is going to waste. He just wants his son Matt to try at something but Matt appears to be afraid of failure. Instead on moving along with his wife Matt’s still has goo goo eyes for his high school crush Tori Frederking (Teresa Palmer). She’s just another example of what he’s afraid of chasing due to possible failure. His sister Wendy Franklin (Anna Faris) is more ambitious than he is. Instead of stopping at a bachelors degree she has plan to go on to her Master’s at a school in England. She’s reluctant to tell her annoying polo shirt, collar popping boyfriend Kyle Masterson (Chris Pratt) feeling he won’t be to happy with the news. Kyle doesn’t seem to happy about anything except telling the same story, over and over and over again. Every time he tells it his girlfriend Wendy looks like she wants to punch him, but is too afraid. As I said earlier all these characters are likeable besides the boyfriend, but the ace in the bunch is Barry Nathan (Dan Fogler) who is Matt’s best friend since 5th grade. While everyone went to college he didn’t, and decided to start a career at a car dealership in hopes of gaining experience in the real world and being independent. Through unsuccessful attempts at work, the dealership and his employment there aren’t a good mix so he’s ready to make up for all the time he’s missed from not going to college. All I have to say is he does, and will having you laughing from beginning to the end.
After a montage of opening credits of 80’s memories of high school days from a list of likeable characters we move on to Matt, his sister Wendy, and best friend Barry at the video store. Matt’s still brings up the story from jr. high of him yet again, not taking advantage of a golden opportunity. Meanwhile Barry’s on the other end of the rope attempting to take advantage of every opportunity, but embarrassing himself in the process and making a total mess of things at the same time. At this point you’re already laughing and know there’s more smiles to come. At the video store Matt’s old school crush enters the store and being embarrassed that he hasn’t moved on with his life to the next phase he tells a little white lie to get in the door of acceptance with his dream girl Tori. He’s invited to a party and now feels this is his chance of redemption to a life full of running away from every decision. Accompanying him to the party is Wendy and Barry but they feel they’re going all the way tonight. While barry’s career choice didn’t work out for him he just decides to live it up this night, with the motto of not thinking but doing even if this involves stealing a car. So with this mind set Barry’s on the go, like a juggernaut letting nothing stand in his way. He’s trying to make up for all the years he missed by not going to college and all I can say is he does with flying colors. Still being pigeon held of not moving forward with his life he finally pulls things together and starts to venture off. He’s tired to the stand still and finally decides to live it for one night but is compromised when the truth comes out. Wendy too starts to stand up to her boyfriend because it seemed she couldn’t stand up to him. It’s fascinating to see individuals give it their all even if it’s a party setting. Sometimes theses moments define our future and it looks like Matt, Wendy, and Barry have gained that concept. So after a ton of craziness it all comes together as a story of believing in yourself and taking advantage of everything path laid out.
With this film being set in the 80’s it does hit a home run for with the music, costumes, and characters. I’d say the characters and their humor saved it from a lower rating. There were some dead moments and I did not see the point or the direction of the film until it’s ending. In all honesty it’s nothing special, so it’s not a must see, but if you want to escape for a couple of hours for a some laugh’s this may the right destination. It contains crazy dance offs, nut jokes, funny sex scenes, and hilarious drug use, but if you’re looking for anything more you won’t find it here. I was happy with it’s conclusion and I’m glad to say my expectations were kept in check.