Friday, March 4, 2011

Movie with Abe: Take Me Home Tonight

Take Me Home Tonight
Directed by Michael Dowse
Released March 4, 2011

For those craving an 80s film fix, this may be just the solution. While there have been some recent films that paid homage to 80s movies, such as “Easy A” and “Hot Tub Time Machine,” there hasn’t really been an 80s films in quite some time (perhaps since the 80s themselves). And who better to headline such a venture, filled with dozens of tracks from that fateful decade, than the onetime star of FOX’s “That 70s Show,” equipped with a clean cut haircut and just as little motivation to go out into the world and succeed as he encounters the next decade. Topher Grace stars as a highly educated, patently uninspired product of the 1980s in this thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable film.

A movie with a title like “Take Me Home Tonight” presupposes a limited time span, and therefore it’s no surprise that the film’s events take place over one gloriously jam-packed twenty-four-hour period. Nostalgia is in the air as the omnipresence of cell phones and computers is traded in for the allure of just living in the moment and, for Grace’s hero Matt Franklin, finally getting up the courage to tell his high school crush, Tori Frederking, how he feels about her. Armed with a made-up story about a fake job and a best friend more than willing to give him plenty of bad advice, Matt launches headfirst into what might well be the most memorable night of his life.

To call “Take Me Home Tonight” a great film isn’t quite an honor it deserves, but it’s hard to find too much to complain about when the film manages to suck its viewers in so completely with the energy, drama, and excitement of its protagonist’s big night. Grace has geeky appeal, and it’s hard not to sympathize with this loveable dork as he constantly bumbles his way through the night. It doesn’t hurt that his crush is fairly easy to like as well, not victim to the oft-invoked trope of the curtain being pulled back and the girl revealed to be not nearly as sweet or kind-hearted as romanticized. Matt’s best friend Barry (Dan Fogler) is also good-natured, and even Matt’s twin sister Wendy’s boyfriend Kyle (Chris Pratt) isn’t as much of a jerk as he could be. With such sympathetic, fun-loving, embarrassment-prone characters at the helm, what’s not to like about this film? It’s a harmless, enthralling throwback to simpler times and a musically-accompanied ode to living in and for the moment.


No comments: