Sunday, March 27, 2011

Take Me Home Tonight (2011)

I went to see this Romantic Comedy yesterday afternoon (with fittingly, someone special), not really expecting it to be all that much more than a typical Hollywood RomCom.

Well, it was a little better than many of those.

For one, it did live up to its name, with 80's music. There were a ton of memorable, nostalgic songs included in it. In fact, almost to the point, the movie seemed like one long music video. Which I might be more critical of, but credit the director, editor, for synchronizing them well.

I guess, just take a look at the soundtrack. imdb link

INXS, Wang-Chung, The Buggles, NWA, and there's many in there that are songs I don't think of by name, but when I hear them, I totally remember hearing them on the radio on Casey Casem's top 40, or on Friday Night Videos.

So, right away, that ended up being a positive about this movie.

Another thing was the cast, namely Dan Fogler. He was definitely the funniest/most entertaining part of this movie. I know him best from his role in 2009's Fanboys. Although in this, he doesn't have a beard. But the guy reminds me at times, of people like Jack Black, Tyler Labine, or maybe a friend of mine described him best by saying he's this generations Sam Kinison.

The guy has great comedic timing, at times. And in a handful of scenes, he more or less made them work. The one on the dance floor, despite the joke of kicking his opponent in the balls a few times. The scene with Angie Everhart and her *other* partner "who likes to watch" lol. The jokes with the cocaine. Even just when he steals the car from his former employer.

Topher Grace, while I guess he can be a bit of a heal in real life, did a reasonable job in this, playing the guy you want to root for even though he doesn't seem to know how to root for himself. Many people can relate to his circumstances, myself included in some ways. Facing your old high school peers, years later. The lying part, I guess was understandable, given he would not have been taken seriously had he told everyone he was working at Suncoast Video.

His sister, Anna Faris, honestly, I kept thinking was Drew Barrymore until about the end of the movie. Why she was with the preppie guy she was, who knows. Maybe due to late 80's Southern California suburban stereotypes.

The same goes a bit for Teresa Palmer's character Tori Frederking. But the hot girl you have a crush on, seeing years later and getting your chance to say the things you never got to say. Definitely relate-able to a point.

It was nice to even see Michael Ian Black in a cameo, although the character he played, was not as typical with the sarcastic wit. He approaches Topher Grace's character at a party and asks him about working for Goldman-Sax. In a way, it was nice to see him do something a little different and straight-forward. But the Michael Ian Black fan in me still desired for him to go into comedic MIB-mode.

But this movie was not entirely without flaw. For one, being set in the late 80's, there would not have been Car Alarms. At least I don't recall car alarms becoming in vogue at least until the mid 90's. I know, given I went to private school with a lot of well-off families with children whose car would have those installed if available, and they weren't.

Even Suncoast Video, my recollection of that franchise showing up in malls, was not until Sam Goody was as well. 1988? I don't know if that was vaguely when those showed up in Minnesota. I worked at a Sam Goody 1 summer in 1993. Sam Goody and Suncoast were owned by the same company. Again, perhaps in Southern California, their history dates further back.

And this being X number of years after Topher Grace was done with not only High School, but college. His age makes sense, as he's probably around my age now (34). But being set in 1988, that would mean he went to high school in the late 70's or early 80's. I didn't notice much if any references to things of the 70's. But being "an 80's movie" maybe they didn't mean to.

The director, Michael Dowse, I don't recognize any of his work on imdb. The 2 screenwriters are related I'd presume. Jeff and Jackie Filgo. Their work includes the terrible Julia Luise-Dreyfuss Old Christine show, along with the Topher Grace-included sitcom That 70's Show. But this movie at times felt like a Judd Apatow picture. The line Teresa Palmer has "girls can always tell when guys look at their boobs" or the *penis* yelling game.

I suspect Apatow's influence is almost everywhere in Hollywood RomCom's now. Which overall, isn't a bad thing.

What is a bad, or at least surprising thing is, this movie opened like 2 or 3 weeks ago I thought. Yet, it was only showing at 1 theater in the Twin Cities this weekend, being Block E in downtown Minneapolis. Why is that? It got a lot of advertising as I probably saw the trailer for it about a dozen times on tv over the last month. So maybe it did horribly it's 1st weekend and the big multiplexes pulled it?

I guess I'm a little surprised by that. Or maybe its distribution got delayed, and it'll be in most of the large cinemas in April. It's unclear still, but whatever. Perhaps it'll do better on the Itunes/Netflix sales than it did initially at the box office. The 80's music fans certainly will be rooting for it.