‘Take Me Home Tonight’ relies on ‘80s humor

3/5 Pithcforks

The movie landscape of the 1980s is defined by its comedies: “The Breakfast Club,” “Ferris Bueller's Day Off“ and “Revenge of the Nerds” are perhaps the most loved relics of that era.

“Take Me Home Tonight” is a nostalgic trip down memory lane that attempts to pay homage to the great ‘80s films. While the film never lives up to the movies it so clearly draws inspiration from, there are a lot of laughs along the way.

Matt Franklin (Topher Grace) is a recent MIT graduate who, after graduation, becomes trapped in limbo between college and real life. He is working a dead end job at a video rental store, living with his parents and going nowhere with his life. That is until his high school crush Tori Frederking (Teresa Palmer) walks through the door and tells him about a party she'll be at that night. Hell bent on finally getting her phone number, Matt grabs his best friend Barry (Dan Fogler) and heads off for one last chance at the one that got away.

The film is a straightforward romantic comedy that doesn't diverge far from the set formula of the genre. Its ending stumbles a bit as the moral of the story is repeated several times in a variety of ways and the romance between Matt and Tori plays out as expected.

Fortunately the movie’s unoriginality doesn't change the fact that it’s hysterical. Whether it's Matt's awkward attempts at connecting with Tori, or Barry's first try at snorting cocaine, this movie will have you laughing.

The relatively unknown actor Dan Fogler often steals the show as Matt's down-on-his-luck best friend. Many of the film’s best moments center on Barry and his cocaine-induced antics.

Most audiences will remember Topher Grace as Eric Foreman from “That ‘70s Show.” The same nerdy everyman charm that caused audiences to fall in love with Grace in the ‘70s works just as well in the ‘80s. Grace is perfectly able to pull off the lovable loser roll of Matt Franklin, even as he lies to everyone, steals a car and deliberately puts himself in harm’s way.

As you might expect, the film’s soundtrack is full of hits from the ‘80s. Everything from Pete Townshend’s “Let My Love Open the Door” to N.W.A.'s “Straight Outta Compton” is featured. In a strange choice, left out is Eddie Money and the song from which the title of the film is borrowed.

“Take Me Home Tonight” may be unoriginal, but there are plenty of laughs in between each predictable plot point.

Reach the reporter at tkuipers@asu.edu

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