Take Me Home Tonight– March 4, 2011
Starring: Topher Grace, Anna Farris, Dan Fogler, Teresa Palmer, Chris Pratt (also making quick appearances are two of my true loves, Michael Ian Black and Demetri Martin)
Written by: Jackie Filgo and Jeff Filgo
Directed by: Michael Dowse
My thoughts: I’m a major fan of the 80s, so this movie was right up my alley. Plus, with the additions of Michael and Demetri, how could I say no? First things first, the number of winks at classic 80s films did not go unnoticed by me – or any other 80s buff I’m sure. We had Matt (Grace) being saved by his best friend Barry (Fogler) in a swimming pool plus some trampoline jumping as being obvious homages to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and the alma mater of all the classes being Shermer High School as a reference to The Breakfast Club, just to name a few.
I can’t quite figure out if this was just supposed to be a movie set in the 80s or if it was an attempt at making a “new” John Hughes style movie. If it was the latter, it didn’t do a very good job, unfortunately. The “thing” right now is to make crude humor that the 20-something generation can like, totally relate to, 80s films were anything but crude. It was all about the awkward and uncertain time of teenagerdom. Albeit, this movie was full of 22 (or so) year olds. Regardless, every left and right was a “what the fuck?” or someone was playing the penis game (which felt a bit too 2011 and 500 Days of Summer for my taste.)
I was into the soundtrack, but the only 80s songs used were well-known songs that are now associated with the 80s. Check out the soundtrack to Some Kind of Wonderful. Yeah, the songs were all from the 80s, none of those were exactly huge hits that are played at 80s night at clubs now. The song choices in TMHT were a bit obvious – “Situation”, “Der Komissar”, “Safety Dance”, and “Come On Eileen”. Though I do have to give major props for using Yo La Tengo’s “Alrock’s Bells”.
There was some funny moments to be sure. But the fact is, it felt too much like a child of 90s’ idea of what the 80s were like – everyone doing coke, listening to the same 10 songs over and over, and having giant hair – especially when the movie was set in 1988, just at the tail end of that era.