Tonight better left in yesterday
It’s never a good sign when you hear that a film’s been on the shelf for a prolonged period of time, so when I read that Take Me Home Tonight had been moldering away in the vault for four years, I was expecting the worst. While the Topher Grace vehicle was not as awful I feared, it was obvious that the movie hadn’t improved with age.
Grace is Matt, a graduate of MIT who’s living in the then, still ruing the fact four years after graduating from high school that he never asked out his crush Tori (Teresa Palmer). As a result, he’s still reticent to take a chance of any sort and is working at a video store instead of pursuing a career in engineering. However, he’s going to get to right this oversight. A huge Labor Day party is happening, the object of his affection will be in attendance and he realizes that at this point he has nothing to lose.
It’s not that Tonight is bad, it simply has nothing new to offer. We’ve seen nights of teen angst, parties gone wrong and cheep sex gags before. Director Michael Dowse strains to create a Fast Times at Ridgemont High vibe and never really succeeds. There’s a sense throughout that everyone’s trying a bit too hard, no one more so than Dan Fogler as Matt’s obnoxious buddy Barry, who plays each scene as if his life depended on generating laughs. Let’s just say he’s on life support by the end. Grace and Palmer do have a bit of chemistry, but not enough to bring this collection of hackneyed elements to life.
Contact Chuck Koplinski at firstname.lastname@example.org.