I will warn you now, I am not as big of a movie buff as some of our other fantastic writers. I do, however, watch enough movies to gain some knowledge to sink my chops into this tasty gem. Strap up, saddlebags!
Sitting on the shelf for nearly four years, Take Me Home Tonight finally got picked up by Relativity Media and released in March 2011. It was directed by Michael Dowse, who I have not heard of before this film, but hey, everyone deserves a chance!
This movie takes you back to the late 1980’s where the cocaine (coke for short) flows like Coca-Cola (Coke for short). While letting you know you are in the 80’s, it doesn’t shove a giant load of nostalgia in your face like some hot tub based comedies have done in recent years. For me, it feels like it submerges you in the 80’s instead of bringing the decade to you in parodic fashion.
Topher Grace plays Matt Franklin, a college graduate who has no idea what he is going to do with his life. He works at Sun Coast video, so he has that going for him. Matt has no motivation to do anything with his life but reminisce on missed opportunities. That being said, he notices his high school crush Tori Fredercking, played by Teresa Palmer, approaching the store. Naturally, Matt ditches out the back door and tosses his work clothes and re-enters Sun Coast nonchalantly. They start chatting and catching up on their lives. In the works, Matt stretches the truth a little, telling Tori he is works at Goldman Sachs. The show moves on after they plan on meeting up at a party later in the night.
To bring light on some of the other main characters, we have Wendy Franklin (Anna Faris), who is Matt’s twin sister. Wendy is dating Kyle (Chris Pratt) who is the 80’s version of the modern Abercrombie douche bag what with the popped collars and the misuse of metaphors. Besides Kyle’s “Bro-ness”, he throws some crazy parties. Wendy and Kyle’s roles differ as they attempt to take their relationship further with different aspirations.
Our last main character is the wild card. Dan Fogler plays Barry Nathan, Matt’s best friend. Barry decided to go straight into the work force after high school, not thinking of what may come of his work status in later years. He never had time to party it up as much as the college kids did. Well, on this night, Barry gets to let lose. Doing so, he manages to get really drunk, steal a car, and snort some cocaine. Hilarity ensues nearly every time he is on screen.
Not only are the main characters fantastic, but the supporting cast is great. Take Me Home Tonight has some awesome comedians such as Demetri Martin and Michael Ian Black mixed in there. Plus, Michael Biehn as Matt’s father, and a small role from Bad Teacher‘s Lucy Punch.
Take Me Home Tonight unravels fantastically as one of those all in one night movies with events that seem realistic and believable. That is what I think is great about it, they don’t go far out and do something that is completely outrageous and unbelievable. They keep it within the realm of sanity. Plus, the acting is believable. The way the main characters bounce lines off of each other seems very natural.
While I personally love Take Me Home Tonight, this cant be pitched as the perfect movie. Simply because it has been done before. We have seen a lot of these kind of movies where it takes place in one night and the protagonist’s life is changed forever. It makes you think of such greats like Dazed and Confused and (for me) Superbad.
Even though the plot isn’t as original as you expected, Take Me Home Tonight still captures the feel of an old movie classic. It is paying homage to the all-nighter party movies, while maintaining its own groove. I would surely recommend this to anyone who is a fan of Dazed and Confused.
Video: The video is very good. Fox gave up a nice 1080p transfer. It looks very good with the color scheme they use with shades of red, purple, and orange to give you that 80’s feel. It is clear, but not too clear. You can see some textures from the environments, but it still has a layer of grain to smooth it out and give it that classic look.
Audio: Fox also gave us a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track that isn’t that bad for what the movie is. Usually for comedies, you dont hear that extravagant of an audio track because it is focused more on dialogue. For Take Me Home Tonight, you have the element of being at a party, with background music and ambience and chatter mixed in the back speakers to engulf you in the party. There is one scene of slight action where a car spins out where they took the car sound effect and panned it from left to right in the back speakers to give a good moment of depth.
Take Me Home Tonight has a few mildly entertaining special features to deal with (All in HD):
Deleted Scenes: Just a few extra scenes that would be slightly relevant to the movie. Usually just some added jokes that weren’t necessary for the final cut. Most of them are actually entertaining.
Cast Get-together: Here you have the main 5 people in the film (Grace, Faris, Fogler, Palmer, and Pratt) sitting in a room discussing the movie and what it was like to work together. Its kind of entertaining.
Music Boombox: An alternative scene selection tool. It pretty much just gives you each song that was played in the move, has a short bio of the song written, and it pretty much just takes you to the scene where the song is used. Kind of lame.
Music Video: We are given a music video of a cover of the song “Dont You Want Me” by some hipster band named Atomic Tom. The music itself is awful, but the video makes up for it by having the cast dressing up from scenes of classic 1980’s films.
Overall, Take Me Home Tonight is a fantastic movie paying homage to the classic John Hughes movies and others alike. It is not like your modern over the top comedy where unthinkable things happen to the characters in Bangkok and you wasted your money on a regurgitated sequel. The audio and video is as it is. It is nothing to showcase, but it still does look and sound fantastic. The special features are there if you finished the movie and dont feel like getting up to take the disc out. They aren’t that entertaining, but it is something to watch, right? This movie is worth a buy of you are a fan of realistic, fun, classic styled comedies… or the 1980’s!
Movie – 8.5/10
Video – 8/10
Audio – 8/10
Special Features – 6/10
Click Here to buy Take Me Home Tonight from Amazon.com