Take Me Home Tonight (2011) is a action/comedy directed by Michael Dowse, with screenplay written by Jackie Filgo. The film stars Topher Grace (Predators), Dan Fogler (Balls of Fury), Anna Faris (Observe and Report) and Teresa Palmer (I Am Number Four) and is about three friends on the verge of adulthood who attend an out-of-control party in celebration of their last night of unbridled youth.
This 80’s retro, “coming-of-age” comedy threw me back a bit. I mean, did people really dress like that in the 80’s? It’s a good thing I was too young to really remember. Take Me Home Tonight is about Matt, (Grace) a MIT graduate who doesn’t have a clear path on his goal in life, regardless of the persistence of his dad Bill (Michael Biehn) to do something more with life– or to “just take a shot at something,” he tells him. Instead of thinking of choosing a career, he decides to waste away at the local Suncoast video VHS store. There, he runs into his high-school sweetheart Tori (Palmer), and in order to impress her, he tells her he worked for a non-existent LA based investment firm, Goldman Sachs. Impressed with Matt’s obvious “success,” Tori invites him to a crazy party, where it is only the start of his troubles.
This is the part in the film where we see how Matt utilizes his self-deprecating charm–along with the help of his best friend Barry (Fogler) to persuade him that he still has a chance to be with the girl of his dreams. Leaving his video store persona behind him; Matt, Barry, and his twin sister Wendy (Faris) head out to this little get-together. Their evening is filled with hilarity, and although Barry lost his job at a car dealership earlier in the day, to help his friend impress the girl of his dreams, Tori, he steals a car–which has drugs in the glove compartment. Plus, the event includes this a huge metal “ball” that has something to do with a “right of passage.”
Barry (Fogler) had a wild night himself. After finding drugs in hhis bosses car, he does a bit of experimenting and wounds up on the fooor in a bathroom with a weird voyeur-esq couple, and besides being overly drunk half the film, he dished out many well deserved laughs. The last film I watched that featured Fogler was Balls of Fury, and he didn’t deviate too much from his type-cast character persona and comedic charms. Not to neglect mentioning Faris and Palmer roles fell a bit–flat. However, it was good to see that they were not forced to play pretty and clueless female lead roles. Refreshing to see.
What was truly great about this film was the soundtrack. I truly enjoyed that the minor details were adhered to–from the wardrobe, music, and attempting to match the ‘lingo’ of the times–I think they did (well, I remember some from watching Pretty in Pink–a great film.) Again, the music, I completely enjoyed, especially when Matt and Barry sang an homage to N.W.A’s “Straight Out Of Compton” after stealing his bosses car, which was funny as hell! Regardless of these characters’ failures to launch, they some how miraculously “grow up” and mature by the end of the film.
Grace’s character, Matt, in this film is not unlike other characters already familiar to us already–charming, likable, and funny. Nothing more. The most rise I seen out of Grace as an actor was when he played a criminal sociopath in the forgettable Predators film. It is surprising that he get “stuck” in these sort of “That’s 70’s Show” type of character roles. It seems that he could do so much more. This film is completely unoriginal, however features a fantastic collection of 80’s hits that made most of their escapades, well, enjoyable to watch. Take Me Home Tonight’s certainly nothing you may or may not have seen before.
Not a perfect film. But enjoyable.
Take Me Home Tonight DVD Features:
- 7 Deleted Scenes
- Cast Get Together
- Music Boombox
* “Video Killed the Radio Star” – The Buggles
* “Hungry Like the Wolf” – Duran Duran
* “Situation” – Yaz
* “Straight Outta Compton” – NWA
* “Betty Davis Eyes” – Kim Carnes
* “Safety Dance” – Men Without Hats
* “Come on Eileen” – Dexy’s Midnight Runners
* “Everybody Have Fun Tonight” – Wang Chung
* “Let My Love Open the Door” – (E. Cola Mix) Pete Townsend
* “Live if Life” – Opus
* “Don’t You Want Me” – Human League/New Version by Atomic Tom
- “Take Me Home Tonight” Music Video
- Theatrical Trailer and TV Spots