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PopEntertainment.com > Reviews > Movie Reviews > Take Me Home Tonight 

MOVIE REVIEWS

TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT (2011)

Starring Topher Grace, Anna Faris, Dan Fogler, Teresa Palmer, Chris Pratt, Michelle Trachtenberg, Lucy Punch, Michael Ian Black, Demetri Martin, Michael Biehn, Jeanie Hackett, Bob Odenkirk, Robert Hoffman, Angie Everhart, Jay Jablonski, Candace Kroslak, Nathalie Kelley, Edwin Hodge, Wade Allain-Marcus, Robert Hoffman, Ryan Bittle, Bruce Nelson, Kimberly Dearing, Seth Gabel, James Sharpe  and Clement von Franckenstein.

Screenplay by Jackie Filgo & Jeff Filgo.

Directed by Michael Dowse.

Distributed by Relativity Media.  97 minutes.  Rated R.

 

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Take Me Home Tonight 

Take Me Home Tonight is not so much nostalgic for the 1980s as it is nostalgic for the movies of the 1980s.  Specifically the teen sex comedies – and not the good ones like Risky Business or The Sure Thing, but the really cheesy ones with generic names like Spring Break, Losin’ It, Private Resort, Class, Fraternity Vacation and Just One of the Guys. 

That’s not necessarily a bad thing; most of those films were dumb but mostly they were rather fun.  And some of them were real launching pads for stardom – Tom Cruise, Rob Lowe, Johnny Depp, Tim Robbins, John Cusack, Sherilynn Fenn, Rob Morrow and Andrew McCarthy all got one of their first major roles in those above movies. 

The creators of this film obviously love the genre and they have done an interesting thing – instead of making a loving tribute to 80s movies, Take Me Home Tonight has simply made an 1980s film in the 2010s. 

In fact, the detail that this film takes place in the 80s barely matters to the storyline.  There is very little made of the time period.  There are a few weird outfits, one brief breakdancing interlude, a few big hairdos (but not nearly enough) and wall to wall hit songs from the span of the decade. 

To give you an idea how broad the film’s take on the 80s is, in the opening scene our heroes are in a record store.  That store is decorated with “currently” successful record posters – which veer from Olivia Newton-John’s Physical (which came out in early 1981) to Guns’N’Roses’ Appetite for Destruction (which came out in late 1988) as well as several other iconic 80s albums that were sprinkled between them throughout the decade.  What are they trying to say – the store is still trying to promote the 7-year-old ON-J album, or they got into a time machine to get the G’N’R CD?  Or, the filmmakers can’t be bothered to figure out when exactly the story takes place and find out what exactly was popular at that time?  There is also a wall full of Whitney Houston’s Whitney CD (1987), but when that album came out CDs were just becoming popular – so while there may be some CDs, there would have also been LP versions of the title.  It is little stuff, but it shows a carelessness on the filmmakers’ part. 

However, if they do not do their homework on the era, they certainly have the storyline down pat.  Nerdy guy (Topher Grace) has been nursing a crush for the prettiest girl in his school (Teresa Palmer) for years without ever taking his shot.  Finally, on one long, glorious party night he gets to know the object of his affection.  While he is trying to get her attention, he gets into mischief with his animal best friend (Dan Fogler) and his sweet-but-goofy twin sister (Anna Faris.) 

Nobody is exactly stretching themselves here.  Grace played essentially the same role for years on That 70s Show.  Fogler also has done similar nostalgic humor in Fanboys and Balls of Fury.  Faris has played variations on this sweet-but-slow girl many times. 

It’s not all new for them, but they are all good at the roles.

None of it is overly original and a good deal of it is not really as good as the films that inspired it, but Take Me Home Tonight has enough laughs to offer a qualified recommendation.

Jay S. Jacobs

Copyright ©2011 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: March 11, 2011.

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Copyright ©2011 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: March 11, 2011.

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