TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT
High School Hedonism by Adults
Release Date: March 04, 2011
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Runtime: 97 minutes
Distributor: Relativity Media/Elliott Management
Director: Michael Dowse
Address Comments To:Jesse A. Cohn
Ryan Kavanaugh, CEO
Relativity Media (Rogue Pictures/Overture Films)
8899 Beverly Blvd., Suite 510
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Phone: (310) 859-1250; Fax: (310) 859-1254
The story follows Matt Franklin, a recent MIT graduate played by Topher Grace. Matt is utterly unable to determine a real career path for his life and works in a shopping mall video store. His sister, Wendy (Anna Faris), is also smart and hopes to go to on to Ivy League-level graduate school but is torn by her love for a dumb guy who wants to marry her.
When Matt runs into his high school dream girl Tori (Teresa Palmer), who acts like he never existed, he tries to impress her. She invites him to a one-night-only mega-party hosted by Wendy's boyfriend, an event that serves as a de facto, post-college, high school reunion in which Matt fears facing his much more successful peers. He teams up with Wendy and his best friend, the hedonistic Barry (Dan Fogler), to go to the party. Along the way, however, Barry steals a fancy convertible from the car dealership that just fired him for dishonesty and now the trio are also in danger of running afoul of the law.
The rest of the movie follows the wild events of the rest of the night.
[SPOILER ALERTS] Matt gets to sleep with Tori but leaves her feeling shallow about it until he rebounds to save the day and build a romance in the end. His ultimate transformation from indecisive man-child into decisive man comes when he risks life and limb to get into a giant metal ball Wendy's boyfriend owns and ride it down a steep hill as a challenge to prove his courage and daring. The fact this metal ball destroys lots of cars, people's yards, and ultimately smashes into an unsuspecting family's pool matters not to producers, who just want to see audiences laugh without regard to moral considerations. When Matt's policeman dad arrives on the scene and not only doesn't penalize or arrest him, he helps Matt cover up his wrongdoings.
TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT features appealing lead performances by Grace, Faris and Palmer, but Fogler is more of an acquired taste thanks to the fact that, although he shows the comic potential of a John Belushi or Chris Farley, he relies on utter immorality to get his laughs. Plenty of other laughs come from inoffensive settings or scenes, so everything is not completely horrible. Regrettably, though, the ending, where the protagonist escapes all consequences for destructive behavior, is unacceptable.
Rated R, TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT features some appealing lead performances, but the hedonistic friend’s lewd character is an acquired taste. Also, in the end, the protagonist escapes the consequences of his bad actions. This, and the movie’s lewd content and drug use, is unacceptable.