Theatrical Review: TAKE ME HOME TO TONIGHT

James Wallace

by: James Wallace
March 3rd, 2011

Rating: 3.5/5

Writers: Jackie Filgo (screenplay), Jeff Filgo (screenplay), Topher Grace (story), Gordon Kaywin (story)
Director: Michael Dowse
Cast: Topher Grace, Anna Faris, Dan Fogler, Teresa Palmer
Studio: Relativity Media/Rogue Pictures

For fans of totally rad films from the eighties, there's one bitchin' flick hitting the mall megaplex this weekend that you dudes and dudettes will want to cruise over and scope out. TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT - starring Topher Grace, Anna Faris, Dan Fogler, and Teresa Palmer - is an authentic throwback to the era of John Hughes, Cameron Crowe, and other adolescent angst auteurs. Not a spoof, covered in neon-colored stereotypes of the decade, mind you but more of an authentic 1980's coming-of-age tale made 30 years late comprised of equal parts FAST TIMES and FERRIS BUELLER with a little SAY ANYTHING thrown in for heart and a little BETTER OFF DEAD for humor.

The That '70s Showstar jumps forward 10 or so years, playing Matt Franklin - a math wiz and recent M.I.T. grad destined for greatness but cursed to a life of mediocrity via Suncoast Video. But, as cinematic greats of the '80s have taught us, everything can change in a single night. Thus, young Franklin and his sidekick and best bud Barry Nathan (Fogler, playing the " '80s best friend" archetype to a B for Belushi) set out into the night with a stolen Porsche as their carriage to carry them on a journey that will includes but is not limited to voyeuristic bathroom sex with a would be DIE HARD villain, breakdance fights, and cocaine. Lots and lots of cocaine.

Oh, and of course the quest of our hero to win over the heart of the girl of his dreams (Palmer), only to obtain it, lose it, and then try to win it back again in the only way one can. By doing something totally gnarly and out-of-control that would make Lane Meyer proud. Things get heavy. All set to a soundtrack that could easily serve as the best mix tape of top 40 and hip hop hits from the decade.

The endearing quality TONIGHT has over other films of its particular influence is that does color outside the lines a bit in the coloring book of convention. Providing what is ultimately a nice homage to both the heart-filled teen comedies of the '80s and this modern day raunchy yet refined rom-com renaissance we seem to be going through in this present moment.

So, if you don't have a DeLorean in your garage, let TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT be your time machine back to "the decade of excess." It's a fun journey of a film, I promise. Oh, and if you do check it out, here's a nickel's worth of free advice, McFly; make sure you don't sit in the front row should you decide to hold your boom box high over your head out of celebration.

As a side note, figurative props goes to the film's set designers and wardrobe department for their exquisite attention to detail. Exhibit A: The Suncoast Video in the film looks and feels just as authentic as a real one. Just ask Chase Whale or myself...we both worked there. Granted it was in the 2000's and not the 1980's but all that really changed between that 20 years was the VHS tapes being replaced with DVDs and not much else. Talk about a time capsule!

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  • Marc Walker

    Thank you for making up my mind tonight on this or Adjustment Bureau. I can’t wait… I’ll be there at midnight.

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