Hollywood’s baffling love affair with all things ’80s continues with this funny, fizzy valentine to the era of big hair, big dreams and low-pay jobs at the video store.
Topher Grace stars as Matt Franklin, a recent MIT grad on the fast track to comfortable yuppiedom. Fearing a life of meaningless materialism, he drops out of adulthood, scoring a stress-free gig as a video store clerk.
His low-watt slackerdom ends abruptly when high-school crush Tori (Teresa Palmer) walks back into his life and invites him to the house party of the century.
Seizing the opportunity to finally get things right, Matt embarks on a weekend of life-altering antics, dragging twin sister (Anna Faris) and best friend (Dan Fogler) along for the ride.
Perhaps the most impressive part of Take Me Home Tonight is its light touch. Director Michael Dowse is mostly known for his Fubar films, a pair of dark, profane mockumentaries that follow the pointless misadventures of two heavy-metal zeroes from Nowheresville, Canada.
It stands to reason that Take Me Home would wander down the same dark path, but instead Dowse stays true to the sunny optimism of the film’s era, a time when a cream pie in the kisser or a couple of hours jammed in a locker was about as bad as anybody had it.
The soundtrack is a treat as well, packed with some of the most recognisable – least cool – hits of the era, from ‘Bette Davis Eyes’ to Wang Chung.
Of course, the film is no more accurate a snapshot of the ’80s than Hot Tub Time Machine was – seriously, far fewer men wore headbands in that decade than Hollywood would lead you to believe.
But this is still a warm, nostalgic throwback to the classic raunch-coms-with-a-heart that so many of us grew up with.
If you like your comedies scented with the heady aroma of Aqua Net, you’ll want to see this. A potential cult hit in the making, call this Dazed And Confused for the Members Only set.