Wednesday, July 20, 2011

TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT - Eighties Nostalgia, Anyone?

TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT (romantic comedy)
Cast: Topher Grace, Anna Faris, Dan Fogler, Teresa Palmer, Michele Trachenberg and Michael Biehn
Director: Michael Dowse
Screenplay by Dowse, Jackie and Jeff Filgo based on the story by Topher Grace and Gordon Kayman
Time: 112 mins
Rating: * * 1/2 (out of 4)

Grace, Fogler and Faris in TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT

PREAMBLE: Anyone interested in a dose of Eighties nostalgia? Well, this is courtesy of Topher Grace, one of the stars of That '70's Show on television. Grace provides the storyline for this rom-com, with Gordon Kayman as co-writer. Well, there isn't much difference between the American-styled 80's and 70's comedy but those who have grown up with That 70's Show should be able to appreciate the 'nostalgia' provided.

SYNOPSIS: It is the Labour day weekend of 1988 when Matt Franklin (Grace) meets his high school crush Tori Frederking (Teresa Palmer) at the L.A. video store where he works. An MIT-grad who has yet to find the job he is suitable for, Matt lies to Tori that he is working for Goldman Sachs, even though Goldman Sachs has no office in Los Angeles.

Topher Grace and Teresa Palmer

Matt then meets up with Tori at a wild party together with his best friend Barry (Dan Fogler) and twin sister Wendy (Anna Faris) - and they go through the 'rites of passage' that kids of the Eighties need to go through to earn respect.

HITS AND MISSES: This is mainly Grace's vehicle and he has the talent and screen presence to sustain our interest in his character, aided in no small measure by the sexy and adorable Palmer (right). Faris seems underused as the level-headed Wendy, while Fogler provides most of the laughs in his role as a used car salesman and 'resident clown'. Another star who shines is Michele Trachenberg who plays a kinky Gothic-styled party-goer who offers promises of 'wild action' but does not get to fulfil it.

Indeed, youthful fun in the 80's is mostly about booze, cars, drugs and endless partying - and we get a large dose of these here. Those who expect the rowdy absurdity of The Hangover will be disappointed although there is a sequence of sophomore madness involving a guy rolling in a huge metal ball. The nostalgia element also comes on the soundtrack, with 80's hits like Bette Davis Eyes and Let My Love Open The Door. Alas, the title song by Eddie Money and Ronnie Spector, is missing.

VERDICT: Mild but likeable comedy for those looking for something retro.


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