I don’t think I have had this much fun at the theaters since MacGruber or Hot Tub Time Machine. Take Me Home Tonight is a very funny comedy that manages to stay grounded and never get stupid. Yes, I know that I mentioned MacGruber and Hot Tub Time Machine, the first of which can be described as a “stupid” comedy and the second can be described as “dumb”, but I honestly can say that both were hilarious and while Take Me Home Tonight was very funny, it felt like something that could really happen. There wasn’t really any moments in the movie that were completely unbelievable, given the circumstances. It’s a great 80’s comedy that never really pokes fun at the 80’s, instead it manages to submerge you into it. Excellent cast and script filled with one awesome soundtrack that I plan on buying as soon as it becomes available.
Take Me Home Tonight follows Topher Grace, who plays the main character, Matt Franklin. Matt was a nerd in high school and had potential to do pretty much anything he wanted after graduating, but he decides to work at Suncoast video store. Not a bad job if you ask me, but some people don’t take movie stores serious these days! Moving on now, Matt ends up running into his old high school crush named Tori. Tori was the one that he never had the courage to ask out and he decides to lie and tell her that he’s a successful banker at Goldman Sachs. She invites him to a party and the story takes off. The poster above best describes the rest of the movie. Matt Franklins Best. Night. Ever.
What really works in this film is the solid acting by everyone involved. Topher Grace plays the lead that has no idea what he’s doing with his life and he really is believable. I never really watched him in That 70’s Show, so I can’t comment on if he played a similar role. I can say that this is probably the best thing I have seen him in yet. I think the main reason he really clicks in this is because he helped create the characters for the movie and he is also a producer. You can tell that this movie really means a lot to him and that he really wants to see it succeed. Another great actor in this movie would be Dan Fogler, who plays his best friend Barry Nathan. The character of Barry is so wild and fun and it really is a blast to see Dan go wild, but still manage to keep his cool. The cast is rounded out with some excellent supporting actors/actresses like Teresa Palmer, Anna Faris and even Michael Biehn. Everyone was funny in their own scenes and they all seemed to work together great.
As I mentioned above, another thing I really enjoyed was the soundtrack. It’s loaded with tons of classics from the 80’s. It really helped the story flow from each scene to the next. The only down side about the music was the lack of Take Me Home Tonight by Eddie Money. It’s the name of the movie and it’s even featured in the trailer, yet it was nowhere to be seen in the movie. I must mention that the print I viewed didn’t have the ending credits finished, so maybe they plan on slipping it in at the end, but other than that, the music worked really well and had my head nodding the whole time.
Another thing I really wanted to mention was how well they managed to get the 80’s setting down. I kept comparing it to Hot Tub Time Machine and really noting how both of the films managed to give you a totally different feeling. Hot Tub Time Machine gives you the retro feeling of all the funny stuff that was around in the 80’s, where Take Me Home Tonight manages to use the 80’s as a perfect backdrop for a universal story. They never try and throw the 80’s at you at all, besides the music, which I wouldn’t say was thrown because you can’t have a party in the 80’s without 80’s music.
Overall, I would say that I don’t have any complaints about this movie. I went in with low expectations and walked out pleasantly surprised. It’s a very funny movie with a great story and lots of solid performances. Everyone plays their role perfectly and the acting alone really makes the movie something special. 2011 hasn’t started out real strong as far as movies go. It’s been a dry year so far and I think Take Me Home Tonight is the perfect movie to help get things going.
Take Me Home Tonight – 8.5/10