This is the story of Matt Franklin, a college graduate from MIT living with his parents in Los Angeles who really does not know what he wants out of life and is willing to settle from a sub-par existence working for Suncoast video store until he gets some perspective on things. In walks his high school crush, Tori Frederking, and the lies begin. He makes up a fake career, gets invited to the party of the year hosted by his sister’s boyfriend, and has the time of his life. However, when things heat up between the two, will he tell her the truth? Will they be able to get past his white lies? Watch and find out!
Directed by: Michael Dowse
Cast: Topher Grace, Anna Faris, Dan Fogler
Screenplay: Jackie Filgo, Jeff Filgo
Take Me Home Tonight has all the makings of a John Hughes film with less censorship from the key Hughes era. The basic formula includes a boy pining for his high school crush, a crazy sidekick-type buddy for some moments of outlandish comedy, and an awesome soundtrack with tunes that just take the audience back to the 80s (even if they weren’t alive then). Couple that with a cocaine and booze injected party that Charlie Sheen would even call a “winner”, and you have yourself one insanely good time.
The lead cast did a great job in this feel-good “coming of age” comedy. I have loved Topher Grace’s knack for playing the awkwardly cute outsider since his role as Eric Foreman, and Teresa Palmer was just as lovely as ever with a hint of “girl next door”. Dan Fogler was absolutely, ridiculously goofy as he always is, but what do you expect from a zany, recently fired, drunken friend?
Some of the best films cause audiences to reflect on their own life, and that is what happened with this film. The story has a lesson to it: To figure out what you want, and go for it. This is true whether that dream is to ask out the prettiest girl in high school, or to apply to study creative writing at Cambridge University.
Personally, I could not get over the stacks of VHS tapes on the video store shelves, and the old school Whitney Houston poster. That’s something we have not seen in awhile!
Besides the unoriginal storyline, there just was not enough of that 80s magic to meet expectations brought on by the trailer. There seemed to be flashes of fashion that were reminiscent of that era, but many of the party-goers were dressed up making it not as apparent and true to the decade. Some hairstyles were pretty poofy, but I was looking for at least one girl with a mile-long hairspray enforced tower of hair with blue eye shadow and one of those dresses.. You know the one I am talking about. It will totally blind you or at the very least make your eyes water if you stare at it for too long. I think of it as a lava lamp dress because of all the colors mixed together and regurgitated onto the fabric.
Most of us know of Topher Grace from the long running hit TV sitcom That ‘70s Show. If you will recall, the networks tried to keep the ball rolling with That ‘80s Show, but horribly failed and running the show beyond about 13 episodes. It was not pretty. Take Me Home Tonight is what That ‘80s Show should have been, but failed to achieve, in recreating ‘80s nostalgia.
I would recommend this film to anyone (age 18+) in need of a no-brainer, fun show to kick back and relax to with a bucket of popcorn. You definitely have to like the general theme of it to enjoy this film. One of those people would be me, and it sure did put a smile on my face!
Take Me Home Tonight gets an overall score of 7 out of 10.