THE 1980s was definitely the decade that fashion forgot, which accounts for the profusion of bouffant hair-dos and shoulder pads in Michael Dowse’s nostalgic romantic comedy.
Set in 1988, Take Me Home Tonight is a sweet yet exceedingly-slight tale of unrequited love and narcotic excess as seen through the bloodshot eyes of 23-year-old twins, who must make bold decisions about their future and stumble awkwardly towards adulthood.
The script, co-written by Jackie Filgo and Jeff Filgo, unfolds largely over the course of one eventful night at a house party where the boozy protagonists lose their inhibitions and in some cases, their dignity.
Dowse stretches out the party, which would amount to a brief interlude in any other coming-of-age story, to the best part of an hour.
The film’s misguided hero is Matt (Topher Grace) who has recently graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) and should be clambering up the corporate ladder.
Instead, Matt is directionless, biding his time with a thankless job in a video store.
In the midst of his ennui, Matt encounters childhood crush Tori Frederking (Teresa Palmer) and in a moment of panic, he tries to impress her by pretending to be a banker with Goldman Sachs.
They meet up later that night at a party thrown by Kyle (Chris Pratt), boyfriend of Matt’s twin sister Wendy (Anna Faris).
Take Me Home Tonight doesn’t deviate from a well-worn narrative path, bringing Matt and Tori together by deception, then watching the emotional fallout when the lie is exposed.
Grace is an endearing hero and he shares sparky screen chemistry with Faris as the feisty sibling, who despairs every time Matt’s dissects his obsession with Tori.
The soundtrack is a glorious step back in time, opening with the unmistakable electronic beat of The Buggles’ Video Killed The Radio Star.
Fashion sucked, but the pop rocked.