Posted September 8, 2011 by Dan Clay in Films
 
 

Take Me Home Tonight


It seems Hollywood’s affection for the ‘80s is as strong as ever. After last year’s Hot Tub Time Machine and surprisingly good Karate Kid remake comes Take Me Home Tonight; a film which seeks to encapsulate every hit film of the decade in one.

It seems Hollywood’s affection for the ‘80s is
as strong as ever. After last year’s Hot Tub Time Machine and surprisingly good
Karate Kid remake comes Take Me Home Tonight; a film which seeks to encapsulate
every hit film of the decade in one.

Taking
place over one full day (The Breakfast Club), Michael Dowse’s film brings us the tale of lovable loser Matt
Franklin (Topher Grace) who steals a
car (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off) and fakes a job (Secret of My Success) in a bid
to impress high school sweetheart Tori (Teresa
Palmer
) at a reunion party.

Stuck
working for a local video store after graduating from MIT, it’s no surprise
when his alter-ego actually starts working, meaning that Matt is going to not
only have to declare the truth by the time the night’s out but face up to it
too.

While TMHT never threatens to be an accurate
portrayal of the decade – it could have been set in any era – it does evoke
some nice memories for those still pining for shoulder pads and disco pop.
Cleverly casting an action star of the time (Michael Biehn) as Matt’s Dad, Dowse does a decent job of capturing
the decade’s frivolity and containing the plot to one night meaning there’s
little time to lose focus on what is, effectively, just one extended party
sequence.

As Matt,
Topher Grace is as likeable as ever, moving on from That ‘70s Show into the following decade with ease while Palmer and
Dan Fogler as Matt’s buddy Barry
bring the glamour and humour; the latter grabbing the best scenes involving an
unwanted sexual advance and a delayed airbag. However, as Matt’s sister Wendy,
Anna Faris is lumbered with a dull sub-plot that means her comic talents are
never utilised in a film which makes up in heart what it lacks in laughs.

All of
which means TMHT is actually closer
in spirit and story to 2008’s Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist and not those
John Hughes teen comedies it tries so hard to evoke. On this evidence, after
giving the ‘70s and ‘80s a go, expect Topher Grace to star as Damon Albarn in
the eventual Oasis/Blur big screen ‘90s tussle. Now that would be worth taking
home.


Dan Clay