Take Me Home Tonight
Dir. Michael Dowse
Styles: comedy, parody
Others: Superbad, The Wedding Singer, Pretty in Pink
Links: Take Me Home Tonight - Rogue
Take Me Home Tonight sputters along on the time-tested nerd-lust for beautiful, unattainable blondes that lent itself to hundreds of 80s teen movies. These films were essentially designed for writers to tell crass jokes, show plenty of breasts, and nail home the idea that fun is wrapped up in nose candy and kegs of flat beer, all under the guise of having “fun.” But it would be difficult to point to anything remotely fun during Take Me Home Tonight. Despite the good-guy charm of Topher Grace and the sly comedic timing of Anna Farris, the script from writers Jeff and Jackie Filgo (of That ’70s Show — yes, make your That ’80s Movie jokes now) is as vapid and empty as the show’s final two seasons, leaving the film’s best two actors working on skill alone — skill badly drowned out by Dan Fogler’s Sam Kinison shtick and personality vacuum (and the film’s requisite blonde) Teresa Palmer.
Take Me Home Tonight is a cup runneth over with exhausted clichés. So worn out is the film’s homage that it doesn’t even meet parody standards. The film is best summarized when Grace’s Matthew Sullivan makes his breakthrough with Palmer’s Tori Frederking. Hashing out their fear of life post-college while on the balcony of Tori’s perverted boss’ upper-crust party, the two fall into The Penis Game in a fit of high school adolescence: Tori’s overwrought scream of ‘PENIS!’ halts the party for a brief moment before Matt and Tori escape to a neighbor’s backyard for deep reflection and man-making sex.
But what sinks Take Me Home Tonight is its aimlessness. All the tenets of a 80s teen slacker movie are present, and despite knowing how everything will play out, the Filgos and director Michael Dowse somehow transform the promised rated R raunch into PG-13 debauchery that causes not one bout of blushing. The breast reveal stops at the bra; the coked-up crazy couple charged with adding a bit of awkward sexual comedy to the film is far more awkward than comedic; and the individual loner at the party is stripped to skeletal form: weird love licks and all black with no personality.
Take Me Home Tonight goes for mindless fun, but it has nothing to offer fans of the genre or of parody. It’s lost from moment one, and every plot device aimed at squeezing out an audience reaction is half-hearted at best. Never mind that all of the drugs, sex, and rock ‘n’ roll in the world couldn’t save this movie; Take Me Home Tonight can barely pass as a comedy.