Overlooked and underappreciated, the romantic comedy/party flick Take Me Home Tonight earned only $7 million in the United States, despite a talented cast and an entertaining - albeit predictable - story. While no award winner, Take Me Home Tonight is a fun, lighthearted throwback to the coming-of-age movies of the 1980's.
The movie stars Topher Grace as Matt, a recent college grad looking to find his way in the world - and into the heart of his high school crush Tori (Teresa Palmer) during one wild night in Los Angeles. Joined by his pal Barry (Dan Fogler) and sister (Anna Faris), Matt must overcome his sincerities and embrace who he really is.
All while not getting arrested for driving a stolen car, possessing drugs and other crazy stuff.
Take Me Home Tonight takes its pages from plenty of other movies. The protagonist is working at a dead-end job, his father disappointed that he hasn't done more with his life. He discovers there's a huge party, his one chance to win the girl of his dreams' heart. He lies to get into her good graces. Crazy antics ensue. Girl finds out he's lying. They fight. They make up.
Pretty standard stuff.
Still, Take Me Home Tonight works because it plays the rules and plays them well. The main characters are fun and likable, each flawed in their own way but relatable. Grace makes a strong protagonist, and Teresa Palmer - one of the sexiest actresses working today - an engaging love interest. Fogler does his job as the crazy sidekick.
The only talent wasted is Anna Faris, who really doesn't have a very large part and isn't utilized given her comedic skills.
Take Me Home Tonight is entertaining from beginning to end. It's neither emotionally powerful nor laugh-out-loud hilarious, but it finds a middle ground and holds steady, delivering a nostalgic journey through one night in a colorful decade.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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