Thursday, 3 January 2013

Take Me Home Tonight (2011)

Based on a story by Topher Grace and Gordon Kaywin, Take Me Home Tonight is a 21st century John Hughes movie in the mould of Sixteen Candles and Ferris Bueller's Day Off and that, in case you didn't know it, is a good thing.

As well as coming up with the central idea, Topher Grace also stars in the film as Matt Franklin. It's 1988 and Matt has never realised his potential since he left MIT. He just can't bring himself to be passionate about the materialism surrounding him. Thankfully, there's a BIG party to attend that should take his mind off things for a while. He goes along with his friend Barry (Dan Fogler), who was JUST fired, and his sister Wendy (Anna Faris), who is considering throwing away a potentially great future to settle into the role of supportive partner to her boyfriend. The party should be a lot of fun but, more importantly, it should also be graced by the presence of Tori Frederking (Teresa Palmer), the girl with whom Matt has been in love with for many years. Everything is in place for a wild and crazy night and the four partygoers may just find that they look at the world a little differently in the morning.

Directed by Michael Dowse, with Jackie Filgo and Jeff Filgo responsible for spinning the story into a full screenplay, Take Me Home Tonight is energetic, funny and also quite sweet in places. But if you like your comedy a bit more raucous and illegal then never fear - there's also car theft, a LOT of cocaine and a weird sexual encounter between Barry and a character played by Angie Everhart.

The cast all do a great job. I've always liked Topher Grace and he's never turned in a performance yet that's changed my mind (do check out the excellent In Good Company f you've not seen it already). Anna Faris can do the light comedy stuff in her sleep but she doesn't go over the top here and her character is one to root for, as are all of the leads. Fogler is just hilarious and gets the lions share of the best lines, most probably due to some great improv. He also gets a great dance off sequence. Teresa Palmer is required to look lovely enough for Matt to desire so badly and she does that easily. She also acts just as well as anyone else onscreen even if she has the least to work with, in terms of character development (her character is already set, pretty much, but Matt has to find out about her while also aiming to impress). Michael Biehn is excellent as the father just wanting his son to try to do something with his life, even if he screws up in the process, while Lucy Punch and Michelle Trachtenberg play two very different party attendees. Oh, and Angie Everhart takes part in that hilariously weird encounter already mentioned above.

Just writing this review has brought a smile to my face and made me want to rewatch the movie and if that's not one of the best recommendations for a comedy then I don't know what is. I'm going to be buying this one ASAP and rewatching it whenever the mood strikes. I advise others to do the same. Or at least give it a watch if it pops up on the TV schedules.



  1. I'd never heard of it until a few months ago. This is one that Tyler Hosely was having a conversation about with someone and I thought it sounded great so got my hands on it . . . . . . and it was great. :-)