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Gavin Grades The Movies

Take Me Home Tonight

Damn you, Take Me Home Tonight!  This movie cost me $46!  Not for the price of the movie or concessions (I get those for free...he he).  But because this movie, that is set in 1987, inspired me to go home and start an '80s playlist on my iPod.  I can't believe I didn't have one!  That's because there is only about 40 minutes of this movie that doesn't have an awesome '80s song playing overtop or underneath it.  That helps add to the emotion of the movie but it also made it feel rather forced and fraudulent too.  You know that '80s party you get invited too and you show up and they have all the hits playing and everyone is popping their polos or spraying their bangs up?  The movie feels like that.  Not sure if that's a bad thing necessarily but it doesn't feel like a period piece, more like a fake college '80s party.  Topher Grace (Spiderman 3) stars in this movie about a guy going to an epic post-college party to finally hook up with his high school crush, played by Teresa Palmer (I Am Number Four, The Sorcerer's Apprentice).  He's joined by his best friend played by Dan Fogler (Balls of Fury) and the lovely and talented Anna Faris (Observe and Report).  Take Me Home Tonight is basically 1998's Can't Hardly Wait for a different generation.  However, where Can't Hardly Wait had stereotypes and cliches, at least it was authentic in the respect that it was filmed in the decade it was about.  Take Me Home Tonight is not a bad film though.  It's pretty funny but also does an adequate job of capturing what it feels like to be in your early 20s; out of college, lost in the world and not have a single friggin' idea of what you want to do with your life.  That is an age and life struggle that seems to get overlooked by Hollywood a lot.  I suppose that's because it's pretty depressing.  But Take Me Home Tonight doesn't get bogged down in that due to a supporting cast like Chris Pratt (NBC's Parks and Recreation), Demitri Martin (Comedy Central's Important Things) and Michael Ian Black (Wet Hot American Summer).  Demitri Martin really shines though!  He's only in two scenes but is the winner of both.  You'll recognize other faces in the film too in small cameos that go underutilized and end up being confusing as to why they're in it at all.  Although the song Take Me Home Tonight is not actually used in the film, the soundtrack is great.  The film is very self-aware of the music and featured it fairly well.  Much like how the soundtrack to Forest Gump was a great musical encapsulation of the '60s and '70s, this film will do the same for the '80s.  The soundtrack features 19 tracks and it looks like they have Volume 2 coming out soon.  It also features dialogue from the movie, much like a Quentin Tarantino soundtrack might. Take Me Home Tonight is actually a lot more like the '80s than it realizes; just like the decade itself, it's fun, colorful and amusing but at its core is fake, empty and not very original. Take Me Home Tonight (Rated R) Gavin Grade: C+

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03/03/2011 6:54PM
Take Me Home Tonight
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