Take Me Home Tonight (Blu-ray)
Ahh the 80’s. I remember them well. It was a time of aerosol stretched bangs, popped collars and acid washed jeans. We rocked at the seedy concerts of our favorite hair bands, moonwalked with Michael Jackson and pretended to be shocked by Madonna’s controversial lyrics in front of our parents. We crowded around our television sets to witness the first royal wedding, the skills of Air Jordan and to finally figure out who shot JR.
It’s such a shame that the major pop culture references of this colorful decade barely made an appearance in TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT. In fact, I often forgot the film was a “period piece” taking place in the 80’s. It seemed more like a low budget movie, mixed with an indie feel, starring actors I knew I’d seen somewhere but couldn’t really place. Needless to say, it was distracting.
Matt Franklin (Topher Grace) is a clerk at Suncoast Video in the mall. We learn quickly that he has harbored a crush on Tori Frederking (Teresa Palmer) since high school. When she comes in the store to purchase a VHS, Matt causally tries to impress her by mentioning he works for Goldman Sachs. Naturally, Tori just happens to be in banking too.
Matt’s nerdy sidekick Barry (Dan Fogler) and twin sister Wendy (Anna Faris) encourage him to bite the bullet after all these years and ask Tori out now that she’s back in town. Clearly, the big high school reunion Labor Day party would be the perfect setting for such an occasion. They will all have to work together to make Matt’s story plausible. Surely everything will work out, right?
Of course not.
It’s easy to assume that Matt was a burn out who never went to college and ended up working at the mall because his parents made him get a job. Instead, he’s an honors graduate from MIT who hasn’t found his way in the world. I guess this was supposed to be the general theme of the film: Matt finally following his dream of getting Tori’s number, Wendy telling her beefcake boyfriend that she wants to go to graduate school at Cambridge and Barry experiencing a night where he doesn’t think before doing. Unfortunately, it’s lost in a poorly written script and a principal actor who is completely convinced that the movie he’s shooting will be in the bargain bin at the equivalent of a modern day Suncoast Video.
I was never invested in Matt’s story. I thought Wendy was a nerd and then became confused when it was revealed her boyfriend was a popular guy. Barry was the picture of debauchery (stealing, booze, sex, drugs, very bad dancing) and I found myself feeling sorry for Tori’s hair style and wardrobe choices until I remembered, again, that the movie was set in the 80s. I wished they would have embraced the hideousness of the decade. Go big or go home. Otherwise, why make a movie in 2007 for an audience of kids who wouldn’t know Duran Duran if it was blaring on a jambox right beside them?
In short, gag me with a spoon. I don’t think you should take it home tonight. Or tomorrow night. Or any night.
Video (1080p High Definition): The video was crisp and clear. The party scene was the most entertaining. Again, they could have gone bigger with the 80s set and wardrobe, but it was still fun to see nuances here and there. There was a car wreck and an adventure with a large metal ball that also were impressive in high def.
Audio (5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio): The soundtrack is standard 80s hits. I particularly enjoyed the “Come On Eileen” montage.
Deleted Scenes: “Picking Blinds”, “Driving with Wendy”, “Barry Fired”, “So Are You Rich”, “After Proposal”, “To the Victor” , “Carlos Outtakes”; The first two deleted scenes feature Anna Faris. I would have preferred for the entire movie to be centered around her character. She was the most believable, even if her wig was not. The rest of the deleted scenes were forgettable.
Cast Get Together: The main members of the cast talk about their experiences in high school and the chemistry they have with each other. Ironically, they have more fun in this extra than they do on the actual movie. Another interesting fact…Anna Faris and her boyfriend (Chris Pratt) are actually married in real life.
Music Boombox: This is a quick recap of the 80s songs featured in the film. Includes:
Video Killed the Radio Star, Hungry Like the Wolf, Situation, Kickstart My Heart, Straight Outta Compton, Bette Davis Eyes, Safety Dance, Come On Eileen, Everybody Have Fun Tonight, Let My Love Open the Door, Live Is Life, Don’t You Want Me
(Ironically, “Take Me Home Tonight” by Eddie Money was never featured.)
Take Me Home Tonight Music Video: The characters recreate memorable scenes from 80s movies set to a modern day version of “Don’t You Want Me.” It was actually entertaining! They showcased “Say Anything”, “Dirty Dancing”, “Ghostbusters”, “Weird Science”, “Ghost”, “16 Candles”, “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure”, “Karate Kid”, “Fatal Attraction”, “Return of the Jedi”, “When Harry Met Sally”, “Poltergeist”, “Top Gun”, “Splash”, “Teen Wolf”, “Back to the Future”, “Risky Business”, “Indiana Jones”, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”, “Weekend At Bernie’s”, “Rambo”, “Big”, “Cocktail”, “Flashdance”, “Nightmare on Elm Street”, “Can’t Buy Me Love”, “Twins”, “Caddyshack”, “Terminator” and the “Blues Brothers.”
Clearly, if they had put a fraction of the energy into the movie that they poured into the video, we may have had a cult classic on our hands.