Best Movies of All Time + [Topher Grace]

TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT

TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT
R

Take Me Home Tonight is a 2011 comedy directed by Michael Dowse that chronicles the nights of three twenty-somethings as they traverse their way through a summer-ending party. The film opens on Matt Franklin (Topher Grace), an MIT graduate who lives with his parents and works at Suncoast Video, as he learns that Tori Frederking (Teresa Palmer), his high school crush, is back in town. The two meet by chance at Matt's workplace where he tells her that he is now working for Goldman Sachs. Impressed by their similar line of business, Tori asks Matt whether he is attending the (in)famous Kyle Masterson (Chris Pratt) party later that evening. Matt says he'll see her there then makes his way to find his best friend Barry (Dan Fogler) to tell him the news. Barry, who had just been fired from his job at a car dealership, chooses to help Matt with his fa├žade by stealing a car. With the help of Matt's twin sister Wendy (Anna Faris), the three finally make it to Kyle's party, and Matt begins his attempts at wooing Tori.

When I first saw the trailers for this film, I thought we might be in for a fun ride back into the late 1980s. The trailer was filled with some classic '80s musical hits, so I thought we might have another homage to that particular time period. I'd like to say now that Take Me Home Tonight doesn't come close to succeeding in that particular regard. The storyline could have easily taken place in 2011, and at times, I completely forgot that I was supposed to be in 1988. The only thing that's left to keep the audience tied to the '80s is the constant stream of '80s music; the rest of the film, however, doesn't carry any of that feel or appeal.

The storyline is decent but doesn't offer anything truly spectacular. I liked the fact that we have three intertwined storylines as it gives a little bit of a fresh breath of air every ten minutes or so. Yes, the Matt-Tori relationship is the film's centerpiece, but we also get a glimpse into Barry's attempts at getting high and getting laid as well as Wendy's struggle with her application to Cambridge as well as her relationship with the aforementioned Kyle Masterson. In a way, all three stories are connected, but their connection comes full circle back to Matt. I mean, he is the film's central character, so it makes sense logically to bring everything back to him. His story in the film is probably the simplest: he's a young man who has no direction in life, and when he sees an opportunity to score on one of his biggest high school regrets, he decides to take action. In a way, I felt like I could relate to Matt, but I won't bore you with any of those particular details here.

The acting is also decent but we're not given anything truly spectacular. For a comedic film, the bar is relatively on keel with what you should expect with this type of film. Our aforementioned "leads" do their best with what they're given. Despite the fact that I'm not much of a Topher Grace fan, I think he did well with this particular role. Faris and Fogler are okay, and Palmer brings a little bit of sass to the screen (and she's definitely easy on the eyes). As is the norm in comedic films nowadays, Take Me Home Tonight is filled with a slew of cameos. Be on the lookout for the likes of Demetri Martin, Michael Biehn, Michelle Trachtenberg and Michael Ian Black. Unfortunately, none of those individuals named really gives a fantastic cameo piece. Part of the reason some comedies have been successful in recent years is the effectiveness of their supporting characters and cameos. Look at 2009's The Hangover - it had a who's who cast of Hollywood celebs, and it was capped by an extended Mike Tyson cameo, and he's one of the first people you remember about that film. Star power works, my friends, and it definitely helps people remember a film.

The biggest problem with Take Me Home Tonight is that it's going to be entirely forgettable. If you asked me in a week, I probably won't remember much about what happened and about what was funny within the film. It ultimately didn't make me laugh all that much. It's a nice ride while you're riding it, but as soon as it's over, you're definitely ready to move on. The great films make you keep thinking about them, pondering them and laughing at them. Take Me Home Tonight won't do that - it's good for a one-time view, but that's all it will ever be.

Movie Review Summary:Grade: C-
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