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Take Me Home Tonight - Film Review

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Published October 17th 2011
Theatrical Poster (Copyright Universal Pictures)

Take Me Home Tonight is a retro comedy, which takes it's name from the popular Eddie Money song of the same name. Starring Topher Grace, Anna Faris, Teresa Palmer, Dan Fogler and Michelle Trachtenberg, the feature film is based on a story by Grace and Gordon Kaywin, and was written by Jeff and Jackie Filgo, whose previous writing credits include That '70s Show. It's All Gone Pete Tong director Michael Dowse, takes the helm. The film was actually shot back in 2007 and it's release was continually delayed. In March 2011 Take Me Home Tonight had a limited theatrical release in the USA and has been released straight to DVD in Europe - it has all the ingredients to become a cult comedy classic, but just how does it play out.

Grace portrays Matt Franklin, who has recently graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is currently working at a Suncoast Video store, still deciding what career path to take. Matt's best friend is Barry Nathan (Dan Fogler), who unlike Matt did not go to college after graduation, and is currently working as a Car Salesman. Matt's twin sister Wendy (Anna Faris) has been in a long term relationship with her high school sweetheart Kyle Masterson (Chris Pratt), and has secretly applied to the University of Cambridge Graduate School, just to see if she can get in. During the course of one night Matt, Barry and Wendy's lives are forever changed when they attend Kyle's Labour Day party.

Take Me Home Tonight has some great scenes and some predictable run of the mill moments as well. The first half of the feature film is certainly much stronger than the latter half, which mostly deals with Matt vying for the affection of his high school crush Tori Fredreking (Teresa Palmer). The opening montage scenes are cleverly done and the use of classic 80s tracks by The Buggles, Duran Duran, Yaz, N.W.A., Men Without Hats, INXS, Grace Jones and many more are certainly welcome.

The film is centred on the idea that although the characters have reached adulthood, all those teenage insecurities remain - and these scenes in particular are the strong points of Take Me Home Tonight - the St Elmo's Fire concept of twenty-somethings trying to figure out what to do with their lives; from Matt, who is trying to figure out his career path, to Barry who was unceremoniously fired just before the Labour Day party and Wendy, who has to decide between her boyfriend and her dream. In between these moments are some pretty unsubtle gags (American Pie style) - namely involving the comic relief character of Barry, who gets into all sorts of trouble throughout the evening. It is worth noting Michael Biehn has a small role as Matt's no nonsense dad, and Lucy Punch and a very funny Demetri Martin have small roles as Matt's former classmates.

Take Me Home Tonight is a predictable film, but it has some redeeming sequences and for the most part is clever, particularly when paying homage to the 80s. On the whole it is an enjoyable film - and it just may become a cult comedy classic given the current IMDB rating is 6.4 and the critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes is a miserable 28%.

3 out of 5.

Take Me Home Tonight is currently available to rent and buy on DVD.

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Why? Go back to the 80s
When: Take Me Home Tonight is currently available to rent and buy on DVD.
It promised so much but in the end delivered a sub - par product that neither left me feeling amazed or bewildered. Really should have done alot better then this with the actors they had on show. Thanks for the review, you are spot on.
By Alexander Lewandowski - senior reviewer
Wednesday, 19th of October @ 01:09 am
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