Take Me Home Tonight

27 11 2011

(Originally posted on alternate site – July 24, 2011)
________________________________________

“Oh my God! Holy Fuck! This is great!” 
My thoughts exactly, Wendy Franklin.

Anna Faris (Scary Movie, The House Bunny) and Topher Grace (That 70s Show, Traffic) star as fraternal twins Matthew and Wendy Franklin, recent college grads spending the summer at home planning their next move. Grace also co-wrote and co-produced the film.

Rounding out the core ensemble are Chris Pratt (Everwood, Bride Wars), Dan Fogler (Robot Chicken, Fan Boys) and Teresa Palmer (Bedtime Stories, I Am Number Four). 

Pratt is forgettable as Wendy’s doofus boyfriend Kyle Masterson, at whose home the most bitchin’ annual Labor Day party/Class of 1984 pseudo-reunion is to be held. Despite having been in a relationship of significant length with Wendy, Kyle and Matthew have minimal interaction with or interest in one another. It is unfortunate that more time is spent glossing over this marathon party, when there was plenty of room to examine and play with their rivalry.

Fogler is an older, more comedically refined Jonah Hill. He plays the lovable slacker and borderline psychotic Barry Nathan, Matt’s best friend who skipped college to try his hand at car sales. Barry spends the film trying to forget about his “stolen youth” after getting fired from the auto dealership, and helping his friend achieve the picture’s tagline:  ”Best. Night. Ever.”

Palmer, a refreshing Australian newcomer, is a blonde Kristen Stewart — except more talented and in possession of a full range of facial expressions, lip biting not included. She plays Tori “The Frederking” Frederking, Matt’s unattainable high school love, who has come back to their hometown, just outside L.A., for an internship with Drexel Burnham.

^Fogler, Faris, Grace, Palmer^

Admittedly, the plot has properties of already-told “coming of age” stories, but an underlaying endearing familiarity that brings to mind the great 80s movies of John Hughes, TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT manages to continually amuse.

Delicious little 80s nuances and clichés abound from the opening credits:
Big hair, shoulder pads, Ray Bans and pushed up suit sleeves.
Cocaine, Izod polos and break dancing.
Side ponytails and ridiculous phrases.
Valley Girl speak.

TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT was held by Imagine Entertainment for four years before it was released in theaters (TMHT was filmed in 2007).  Despite the success of adult comedies like “Old School” and “Wedding Crashers,” in the pre-“Hangover” media climate TMHT didn’t inspire producers with much confidence.

Cameos by Michael Ian Black (sexual harrassment lawsuit waiting to happen), Angie Everhart (socialite with a fetish and a taste for cocaine) and Demetri Martin (differently abled and differently humored!) are all memorable, but Michelle Trachtenberg as an angry, slutty, apple-bong-smoking goth chick was the most delightful casting surprise.

A character in itself is ‘The Ball.’  A metal-plated, meteor-looking vessel that sits in Kyle’s truckbed is referred to several times before it is launched– with Matthew inside. Bets are placed, an epicly cliche, get-the-girl, revelation moment speech is given, and off he rolls through the neighborhood. And down a hill, then over an embankment. And into a pool.

A couple white lies, a game of truth-or-dare and a car theft later, Matt is well on his way to having the best night ever with Tori.  A sequence of regret and uncertainty is quickly, and somewhat predictably, followed up by Matt finally getting Tori’s phone number… 818-404-7327.
But not Jenny moments here, entertainment blogger Frank Murphy determined the line to be a defunct  NBC Universal.

Running time of 97 minutes, rated R, and is available on DVD now! Take it home tonight, boiiiii!

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One response

29 11 2011
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