Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Take Me Home Tonight review

From the moment I saw the trailer, I knew.  I knew I wanted to see this film.  Take Me Home Tonight, the story of four friends and their wild night.  So I got on a list for an early screening and did just that.  The movie apparently has a back story as well.  It was shot four years ago!  And is just now being released.  After watching the movie, I think it's nuts the studio waited this long, let's begin!

What I liked about the film:
The Story
If you saw the trailer, you're thinking to yourself, "what kind of story could this film possibly have".  You'd be surprised.  It's a great story with a real growth of some sort to all of our main characters.  For the most part, every character has a reason for doing what they do.  And along with story, there is a lot of heart, that's because of the actors involved.  Which leads me to my next "like".

Actors
I never was religious about "That 70's Show".  I mean, I know it has spawned some decent careers, but I wasn't a real fan.  Topher Grace is someone that I've only really seen in Spider-Man 3 and a cameo in Ocean's 11.  Simply using Spider-Man 3 as an indicator of talent wouldn't be fair, that movie was God awful and it wasn't his fault.  Ocean's 11 on the other hand was a pre-cursor to his comedic timing.  In Take Me... Grace is really smart guy that kind find his way in life.  He went to MIT and has never lived up to his expectations.  Scared to make the jump from school to career, he's working at a dead-end job at a video store.

His best friend is played by Dan Fogler.  The lovable loser who is Grace's opposite.  He opted for a career in luxury car sales, rather than going to college.  Fogler is pretty much the same character he always plays, but it works.  He screams his lines a bit too much for me, but trust me, overall, he's great in this film.

Grace has a twin sister played by Anna Faris.  As smart as Grace is, and a lot going for her, she's about to marry a loser who has no aspirations in life.  She's great in what little screen time she has.  I like Faris a lot and think she's a very versatile actress. 

Then there's the prom queen that Grace has longed for since Junior High, played by Teresa Palmer.  You may remember Palmer from the decent Bedtime Stories, or the terrible The Sorcerer's Apprentice.   Forget those two films, she is MONEY in this film.  Beautiful, smart, successful, conflicted, she plays her part perfectly.  I was pleasantly surprised to see her do so well.  I assumed they cast a pretty face and hoped for the best, not the case, she's great.

There are a few cameos I don't want to spoil, but check out Michelle Trachtenberg and Demetri Martin are PHENOMENAL!  Martin plays quite possibly one of the funniest characters I've ever seen.  I mean that!

The Relationships
The movie is mostly grounded in reality, with the exception of a few situations.  I found it to be easier to relate to than say the American Pie films.  The reason for this are the relationships.  Grace and Faris' relationship.  It's twins; they fight with each other, they love each other, they push each other to do more, etc.  It was very nice to see this. 

The relationship between Grace and Fogler is an important one as well.  They too want more for each other.  They're very different, yet loyal to one another.  This is true in all of our lives.  We have friends that went down very different paths than us, but we remain close.  Awesome depiction between these two contradictory characters.

Lastly, the relationship between Grace and Palmer.  I love what they did with the story (maybe because it closely resembles my life more than I'd like to admit).  Palmer's character definitely grows throughout the film.  She reveals to Grace that if he asked her out in High School, she most likely would have turned him down, and now things are different.  How true to life is this?  Very, I think.  In High School it's all materialistic and superficial relationships.  Once we find ourselves are we better able to find our counterparts.  I loved how delicately they wove this into the story. 

The Music
Yeah, I said the music.  There are films that overdo it.  Directors try to use the music to state the obvious, "THE MOVIE TAKES PLACE IN THE 80'S"!  We get it.  But that does not happen here.  Director Michael Dowse and Jeff Carson (who has worked on numerous films), nailed it.  My wife and I were dancing along to all the popular oldies.  Again, never going overboard and taking over the film.

What I didn't like about the film:
The Outrageous
As I mentioned before, most of the film is based in reality.  It's only when it veers towards the outrageous does the movie start to slip.  I understand why directors feel the need to do this, but disagree with it.  It is a physical comedy in a sense, and Fogler is mostly known for his physical comedy skills, so I understand it.  But take out the outrageous and it's still a "that could happen to me" film.

The Verdict:
WHY DID THEY WAIT SO LONG!
I loved this film.  I was laughing the whole time.  I'm telling you, I am more than willing to go see it again (even if I have to pay for it).  It's that good.  I hope you all give it a shot.  I haven't read any other reviews, but if I was to submit to the various websites, I'd give it a 8/10.  Just a great comedy.  And Topher Grace, you have made a fan out of me.

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