Takes Me Back to Hughes' 80s
It's been four years since Matt Franklin (Topher Grace) graduated from MIT and he still isn't sure what he wants to do with his life, choosing to work part time in a Mall video store much to the annoyance of his father who thinks his son is throwing his life away. But it is at the video store that Matt sees his high school crush Tori Frederking (Teresa Palmer) and rather than tell her the truth says he works for Goldman Sachs. Impressed by his claim she invites him to a party being held by Kyle Masterson (Chris Pratt), the boyfriend of Matt's twin sister Wendy (Anna Faris). But when Matt along with best friend Barry (Dan Fogler) steal a car from the car lot he has just been sacked from all hell breaks out.
If John Hughes hadn't died in 2009 I reckon he might have watched "Take Me Home Tonight" and been impressed by this movie which captures so much of this style when it comes to 80s teen movies. In fact I wouldn't have been surprised if he had been still alive that he would have been involved in this movie somehow as it is more than just a homage to 80s movies, it really captures the vibe of them. It is frankly the most memorable aspect of "Take Me Home Tonight" the whole 80s style from scenes of teens congregating outside a 24/7 to the whole nervousness of a young man still having a thing for his high school crush.
But that leads me to my kind of issue and let me quickly mention another movie "The Wedding Singer" as that also was a movie which took us back to the 80s and gave us a fun romantic comedy with the romance being just as important as the recreation of the 80s. Unfortunately I don't get the same from "Take Me Home Tonight" as whilst the John Hughes 80s style is great the actual storyline doesn't grab me as much. It means that at times "Take Me Home Tonight" becomes entertaining just for being a homage to the John Hughes movies with the use of various songs adding heavily to that nostalgic vibe such as a party scene where they use Dexys Midnight Runners "Come On Eileen".
The thing is that whilst the story ended up playing second fiddle to the whole homage to the 80s the casting is spot on. Anna Faris and Topher Grace get the brother sister thing spot on with Faris giving Wendy a touch of feistiness which acts well with Grace's more passiveness. Plus there is Dan Fogler who whilst cast in the comedy buddy role steals many a scene including a hilarious dance off scene where Fogler brings more than a touch of the John Belushi to his performance.
What this all boils down to is that "Take Me Home Tonight" is an okay movie, an enjoyable way to pass 90 minutes. But 90% of the entertainment comes from it paying homage to the movies of the 80s especially those of John Hughes rather than for the storyline which is only okay at best.