Take Me Home Tonight (R15)

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The ViewDunedin Review

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Review byMatthew Turner13/05/2011

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 97 mins

Disappointing comedy that coasts along thanks to a likeable performance from Topher Grace but ultimately falls down thanks to some poor writing, a lack of decent jokes and a wasted supporting cast.

What's it all about?
Directed by Michael Dowse, Take Me Home Tonight is set in the summer of 1988 and stars Topher Grace (who also produced the film and receives a story credit) as Matt, an under achieving graduate who's wound up working in a video store, wondering what to do with his life. When his high school crush (Teresa Palmer) walks into the store, Matt ditches his uniform and pretends to be a banker in order to impress her, only to have to continue the deception when they both wind up at a riotous party hosted by the boyfriend (Chris Pratt) of Matt's twin sister Wendy (Anna Faris).

Meanwhile, Matt's raucous best friend Barry (Dan Fogler) steals his ex-boss's flashy car in order to help Matt with his deception at the party. However, after discovering a bag of cocaine in the glove compartment, Barry's party experiences take a decidedly different turn.

The Good
Grace has a likeable screen persona that ensures that the film is never less than watchable, even if it's not all that funny. The main problem is that the relationships are badly written and there's zero chemistry between Grace and Palmer (who looks like a blonde Kristen Stewart and not in a good way), none of which is helped by painfully contrived dialogue during the supposedly emotional moments - the inevitable revelation scene is badly handled, for example.

The Bad
Fogler can be funny in small doses, but a little of his obnoxious screen persona goes a long way and there's a full-blown case of Fogler overload here. What's worse is that the film completely wastes talented comic performers such as Faris (who's given nothing funny to do at all beyond an amusing opening scene), Lucy Punch (as a girl with a crush on Matt) and Michelle Trachtenberg, whose painfully underused sexy Goth is the best thing in the film.

The film's biggest problem is that it simply isn't funny enough. There's also no real reason for the film to be set in the 80s (apart from an excuse for an 80s heavy soundtrack) and it bottles out of some potentially funny ideas, such as a sex scene on a trampoline that we don't see.

Worth seeing?
Topher's likeable screen persona ensures that Take Me Home Tonight remains watchable but the script is all over the place, the relationships are unconvincing and it's surprisingly low on actual laughs.

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Content updated: 12/12/2017 08:10

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