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A talented ensemble cast delivers laugh-out-loud performances in this “fun nostalgia trip.” Richard Roeper When Matt Franklin's Topher Grace high-school crush Tori Teresa Palmer shows up at his dead-end mall job, he and his buddy Barry Dan Fogler devise a wild scheme for Matt to finally win the girl of his dreams. But only time will tell if Matt can seduce this gorgeous goddess at a wild party and survive an outrageous night of seduction, destruction and debauchery. Take this hilarious comedy home tonight!
One last blowout before reality sets in: it's Labor Day 1988, and although they graduated from high school four years earlier, the kids from the class of '84 get together for a party that will surely because we're watching a movie about it settle old scores and kindle new romance. But a little creative improvisation will be necessary for Matt Franklin Topher Grace, who also coproduced and cowrote the story, who is wasting his degree from MIT on a summer job at Suncoast Video; he's just told his secret high-school crush Teresa Palmer that he works for Goldman Sachs--and she's going to be at the party. Throw in Matt's loud and newly unemployed buddy Dan Fogler, who has just found a baggie of cocaine in the glove compartment of the car he "borrowed" from his former job, as well as Matt's ambivalent sister Anna Faris, not quite unleashed enough, and the ingredients are there for an epic night. That's clearly the intention for this movie, and while the ideas are all in place, its grasp of comedy and drama feels generally forced. Forced in its song list, too: all the lumbering behemoths of '80s rock are rolled out, from "Der Kommissar" to Dexy's Midnight Runners. For anybody with a nostalgia jones for the 1980s, there are enough funny bits along the way to justify a look, and the supporting cast has its share of craziness: Chris Pratt as the clueless host of the party, Demetri Martin as a disgruntled classmate, Michael Ian Black as the dream girl's douche-bag boss. And any movie that sets Balls of Fury cutup Fogler on a toot will not lack in energy. But nope, Take Me Home Tonight falls short of the realm of American Graffiti and Dazed and Confused, to which it obviously aspires, and no amount of Wang Chung on the soundtrack is going to hide that. --Robert Horton