Watching Topher Grace’s latest film, “Take Me Home Tonight,” is like eating comfort food ““ it cheers you up and you only feel slightly guilty about indulging yourself. From the opening to the credits, “Take Me Home Tonight” embraces all things ’80s.
The film’s premise is simple enough: Boy runs into high school crush and gets a second chance to ask her out. Grace plays the role of former nerd Matt Franklin, whose main goal is to score pretty girl Tori Frederking’s (Teresa Palmer) number.
Of course it wouldn’t be an ’80s movie without the sidekick friends, who in this case include Matt’s twin sister Wendy (Anna Faris) and his buddy Barry Nathan (Dan Fogler).
After running into Tori again, Matt decides to go to Kyle Masterson’s (Chris Pratt) party to pursue her, which marks the beginning of Matt’s night to remember. Though he gets off to the typical Topher Grace character awkward start, Matt manages to win Tori’s attention and affection, but the night hardly ends there.
Once Tori learns that Matt initially lied to her about working at Goldman Sachs, she stomps off hurt, claiming that Matt lied in order to sleep with her. But Matt does not give up so easily, and with a little encouragement from his friends, he takes his place as the film’s epic hero.
Whereas most ’80s movies focus on high school problems, “Take Me Home Tonight” moves in a different direction and touches upon the question of what’s next for the college graduate. Even though the film is only serious for a period of about five minutes, it successfully blends reality with the dreamlike quality that every good ’80s film possesses.
Though there are small jibes made at poofy sleeves and teased hair, the film is refreshing because it isn’t a spoof. Between its classic music soundtrack and the typical issues of growing up, “Take Me Home Tonight” manages to make a tribute to past films of the era while also following its own story.
While some of the plot ties are simple and cliche, they all come together to make a film that generates a happy high. “Take Me Home Tonight” clearly won’t be an award-winning movie, but it deserves recognition for being a great throwback to a simpler time of moviemaking, where the hair was big, the shoulders were poofy and the characters were different and endearing.
“Take Me Home Tonight” is worth seeing for the laughs. Grace, Faris and Fogler make the film funny, and they truly commit to their roles. Though Grace has played similar roles, he is truly good at being the awkward, endearing, average guy that gets the girl.
“Take Me Home Tonight” happily embraces cliches, but it is a joyful journey worth seeing. Expect to laugh and leave the theater singing those wonderful classic songs that have been forgotten for too long.
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